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OncoMethylome Sciences S.A. Appoints Dr. Jan Groen as CEO



4/12/2010 11:46:13 AM

Liege (Belgium) - April 12, 2010, 8:00 CET - OncoMethylome Sciences SA announced today that its board of directors has named Dr. Jan Groen to serve as the company's chief executive officer. The company also reports that all agenda items for the Extraordinary General Shareholders' meeting held April 6 were unanimously approved by the quorum of shareholders present and represented at the meeting.

Dr. Jan Groen, has more than 25 years of experience in the clinical diagnostic industry, with a focus on emerging technologies, product development and commercialization. Dr. Groen was previously the president of Agendia Inc. and COO of Agendia B.V. and was responsible for their United States and European diagnostic operations. Prior to this, he served as vice president of research and development at Focus Diagnostics Inc., a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics, in California. Dr. Groen has held numerous management and scientific positions at ViroClinics B.V., the Erasmus Medical Center, and Akzo-Nobel. Dr. Jan Groen is a supervisory board member of IBL International B.V.

Dr. Bob Timmins, OncoMethylome's chairman, said that the OncoMethylome board unanimously selected Dr. Groen based on his extensive experience of managing diagnostic product development and commercial operations in both the United States and in Europe, as well as his strong executive and personal qualities. "Our search for a CEO to lead the company in its next phase of development and to accelerate the commercialization of our pipeline of products has been thorough. A screening team of board members evaluated a broad range of candidates and interviewed many individuals. Dr. Groen was our top choice" said Dr. Timmins.

"Dr. Jan Groen has a reputation for being both a strategic visionary and a results-driven leader. At Agendia and at Quest Diagnostics, he has managed products in areas similar to those of OncoMethylome, such as tests for colorectal and breast cancers. Dr. Groen's hands-on experience in dealing with several critical factors in our industry - such as conducting and prioritizing research projects, validating products in clinical trials, seeking and obtaining regulatory approval of new tests, and obtaining insurance and government reimbursement for medical tests - make him a perfect fit for the company's needs" comments Dr. Timmins.

"I am very excited to join the company at this critical time and I very much look forward to work with OncoMethylome's team to realize its ambitious goals for the development and growth of molecular diagnostic products to target the global cancer diagnostic market." said Dr. Jan Groen.

Dr. Groen will start on April 26 and join the OncoMethylome board immediately. "Dr. Groen is an excellent choice as CEO for OncoMethylome and I will support him and the company going forward" stated Mr. Herman Spolders. Mr. Spolders retired as CEO in 2009 and will now also retire from his OncoMethylome Board position effective April 26, 2010. Herman Spolders will stay on as an advisor to the company, but desires to spend more time on other activities.

The Board is thankful to Herman Spolders for all the work and effort he put into developing the company and its products over the past 7 years. "Herman Spolders was key to identifying opportunities and developing products based on a new technology, and we are glad to be able to count on his continued support going forward" stated Dr. Timmins.

Dr. Jan Groen will succeed Mr. Philip Devine, a co-founder of the company, who has been chief financial officer since 2003 and has also been the interim chief executive officer. Philip Devine will remain CFO. OncoMethylome will continue the changes that have been launched by Mr. Devine in the last months, including the focus on a core set of products, a reduction of the operating costs of the company, and the focus on the United States market.

On April 6, OncoMethylome held an Extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting, as communicated on March 11 and 12. All proposed agenda items were unanimously approved by the quorum of shareholders present and represented at the meeting.

About OncoMethylome Sciences

OncoMethylome Sciences (Euronext Brussels: ONCOB; Euronext Amsterdam: ONCOA) is a molecular diagnostics company developing gene methylation tests to assist physicians in effectively detecting and treating cancer. Specifically, the company's tests are designed to help the physician (i) accurately detect cancer in early stages of cancer development, (ii) predict a patient's response to drug therapy, and (iii) predict the likelihood of cancer recurrence.

The company collaborates with leading international molecular oncology research centers, such as The Johns Hopkins University, and has a number of commercial and collaborative partnerships with LabCorp, Schering-Plough Corp., GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals , Millipore Corporation's BioScience Division, Merck KGaA and Qiagen. OncoMethylome's products are based on methylation technology invented by Johns Hopkins University (USA).

Read at BioSpace.com


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