PathoGenetix Names Ann Merrifield as Chief Executive Officer and Prepares to Launch Unique Bacterial Identification Technology

Experienced in developing high-growth biotechnology businesses, Merrifield will lead the commercialization of PathoGenetix’s proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning™ (GSS™) technology for application in food safety testing and outbreak investigation.

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PathoGenetix, rapide bacterial identification technology, food safety testing, outbreak investigation
Genome Sequence Scanning is an innovative and powerful new platform for bacterial identification and typing.

Woburn, MA (PRWEB) December 05, 2012

PathoGenetix, Inc., a commercial-stage developer of an automated system for rapid identification and typing of bacteria strains, today announced that Ann Merrifield has joined the company as President and CEO. Ms. Merrifield takes the lead as PathoGenetix prepares to launch the first commercial system of its proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning (GSS) technology for food safety testing and outbreak investigation. PathoGenetix will provide its automated, benchtop technology to food industry and government customers beginning in 2013.

Ms. Merrifield has spent much of her career leading the development of high growth, profitable biotechnology businesses in biologics, diagnostic services and devices. Prior to PathoGenetix, Ms. Merrifield spent 18 years at Genzyme Corporation, a diversified, global biotechnology company, where she served as President of both the Genzyme Biosurgery and Genzyme Genetics businesses. Prior to Genzyme, Ms. Merrifield was a partner with Bain & Company, Inc.

“Ann Merrifield is the ideal leader to set direction, drive commercialization and develop partnerships for PathoGenetix as we transition from technology development to commercial application of Genome Sequence Scanning,” said PathoGenetix board member, Steve Gullans, Ph.D. “Ann’s success in ramping revenues for revolutionary scientific products is a perfect match for PathoGenetix at this stage.” Dr. Gullans is a co-founder and partner at Excel Venture Management, and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital for nearly 20 years.

Originally developed to identify microbial bioterrorism threats, Genome Sequence Scanning is a breakthrough in bacterial identification technology that offers new levels of speed, automation and accuracy for food safety testing and public health investigations of foodborne pathogen outbreaks. The market for effective pathogen confirmation and identification tools for outbreak investigations is estimated at $250 million, and is growing at greater than 10% per year.

“Genome Sequence Scanning is an innovative and powerful new platform for bacterial identification and typing,” Ms. Merrifield said. “I look forward to working with the talented team at PathoGenetix to bring the significant benefits of GSS into the food safety market."

When a pathogen is detected in a food production facility—or worse, is making people sick in multiple locations or states—an investigation is undertaken to identify the organism and trace it back to its source. Current identification systems require time-consuming sample preparation to isolate the bacteria, followed by complex protocols that often produce inconsistent results, even when run by the most skilled operators.

In just four hours, Genome Sequence Scanning extracts microbial DNA from enriched food or clinical samples to confirm and characterize foodborne pathogens. The strain information provided is comparable to pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), the current gold standard for food pathogen outbreak investigations. Yet because GSS does not require a cultured isolate, it is compatible with sample preparation protocols that are often used with the newer, rapid detection methods that are increasingly in use in clinical and food safety testing laboratories. Its automated platform and simplified protocol require minimal training and ensure consistent, accurate results.

About PathoGenetix, Inc.
PathoGenetix, Inc., is a commercial-stage developer of a rapid, single-molecule analysis technology for bacterial strain typing and identification. Proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning (GSS) is a breakthrough in microbial identification that works directly from complex samples and provides results in just four hours—days faster than current microbiological identification methods. The simplified protocol and automated platform require minimal training and ensure consistent results. PathoGenetix is currently developing a compact, benchtop GSS system for use in food safety testing and outbreak investigation, which will be available in 2013. Learn more at http://www.pathogenetix.com.