Akonni Biosystems Elects Brian J. Morra as Executive Chairman of the Board

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Executive with Successful Entrepreneurial Track Record and Large Company Experience Elected to Support Next Phase of Akonni’s Corporate Evolution

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Akonni Biosystems, a molecular diagnostics (MDx) company that develops, manufactures, and intends to market advanced MDx systems, today announced the election of Mr. Brian J. Morra as the company’s Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. His election highlights the company’s commitment to succeeding in the next phase of its corporate development. In his new role, Mr. Morra will lead the Board of Directors and provide crucial operational support to Akonni’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Charles Daitch. He will work closely with the Board, senior management, and other key stakeholders to ensure the company’s financial and operational posture enables it to meet its strategic corporate objectives and build shareholder value.

Mr. Morra was a senior executive in two entrepreneurial firms that each had highly successful liquidity events. As a senior vice president at Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation (PSR) he was instrumental in the company’s successful all-cash sale to Veridian. As a sector president at Veridian, Mr. Morra was an integral player in the company’s M&A strategy, culminating in several acquisitions and their integration into the firm. Veridian subsequently conducted a successful IPO in 2002 and was acquired by General Dynamics in 2003. Daitch worked for and was mentored by Morra at PSR and Veridian. Daitch’s biological detection business unit played a key role in the acquisition of PSR by Veridian for $55M in 1998 and became one of the 5 key pillars to Veridian’s successful 2002 IPO raising $213M (market cap $495M). Daitch exclaimed, “Brian and I have worked synergistically together for over 20 years and I am looking forward to us working together again to add to our track record of successes.”

After joining Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2004, Mr. Morra was appointed as Sector Vice President and capitalized on his entrepreneurial expertise to lead several M&A actions and strategic equity investments in small businesses in the United States and abroad. His expertise in small businesses enabled him to serve on the board of directors of Northrop Grumman acquisitions and to guide those companies through their integration into the company. Mr. Morra also led half a dozen divestiture actions all of which delivered significant value, while improving Northrop Grumman’s portfolio focus. Mr. Morra’s entrepreneurial experience and expertise in strategic planning, M&A, divestiture, and strategic equity investments was used extensively across the entirety of Northrop Grumman and highly valued by the top leadership of the company.

Mr. Morra served nine years as a regular officer in the United States Air Force, has a BA degree from the College of William and Mary, an MPA from Oklahoma University and an MA from Georgetown University. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

For more information visit: http://www.akonni.com.

About Akonni Biosystems
Akonni Biosystems was founded in 2003 and has 17 US and 24 International issued patents primarily covering sample preparation, microfluidic devices, bio-instrumentation, and integrated systems. Product development has been supported by a series of government grants and contracts from NIH, CDC, DOE, DOD, NIJ, and NSF. The company significantly advanced the original technology by improving the system’s capabilities from sample preparation to test result. Commercial products in Akonni’s near-term pipeline include rapid sample preparation technologies for nucleic acid extraction and multiplex panel assays for detecting clinically relevant genotypes for pharmacogenomics, human chronic diseases (i.e. cancer and neurodegenerative), and genotypes for infectious diseases such as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), upper respiratory infections, viral encephalitis, and hospital-acquired infections (MRSA).

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Michael Reinemann
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