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Jan 4, 2013

SeraCare Sheds Biorepository Assets, Focuses on IVD

  • SeraCare Life Sciences said yesterday it took key steps toward sharpening its focus on diagnostics, starting with selling its biorepository, biobanking, and laboratory services business to Precision Health Holdings (PHH). The price was not disclosed.

    Headquartered in Chevy Chase, MD, PHH is a specialized medical research company that supports development and commercialization of personalized medicines and therapies. PHH’s offerings include biorepository and biobanking services, AccuCell® products, and some laboratory services.

    PHH was founded last year by life science entrepreneurs Ethan Leder and Mark Clein with $150 million in equity capital. PHH intends “to build a portfolio of innovative services and businesses that lower the cost and improve the quality of research and development of pharmaceuticals and other medical products,” according to the website of a PHH co-investor, J.H. Whitney & Co.

    “We can now more freely serve our growing customer base in the in vitro diagnostics market and execute on our mission of improving quality of life by advancing a global understanding of disease,” Charles Mamrak, SeraCare’s CEO, said in a statement. “The sale of our biorepository business is an important element in our growth strategy for SeraCare.”

    SeraCare also said it is reorganizing into three commercial business units—IVD research, IVD processing, and clinical laboratory—with the goals of gleaning greater insight into customer needs as well as streamlining business processes.

    SeraCare also appointed five new executives to lead those units as well as units involved in operations, R&D, and quality. The five new executives:

    • Russell Garlick, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, will focus on expanding SeraCare’s R&D organization and product development pipeline. He previously served as co-founder of Life Sciences Group, and CEO and CTO of Protein Forest, and earlier held executive R&D positions with PerkinElmer Life Sciences and DuPont NEN Life Sciences.
    • Cheri Walker, Ph.D., chief commercial officer, will head SeraCare’s IVD research and clinical laboratory business units, as well as oversee corporate development activities. She previously consulted with private equity firms as well as diagnostic and life science tools companies on marketing, strategy, and corporate development activities, after holding senior positions with Charles River Laboratories, QIAGEN, and Invitrogen (now Life Technologies).
    • Ann McCormick, COO, most recently cofounded and managed SeraMetrix, where she was involved with developing and manufacturing protein biomarkers for oncology and autoimmune applications. She previously held numerous manufacturing and operational leadership positions over 12 years with Invitrogen, and earlier was a senior scientist at Beckman.
    • Joe Kozma, vp of IVD process solutions, will build and manage SeraCare’s IVD process solutions group with the aim of better meeting the needs of IVD manufacturers. He previously held executive positions at Serologicals and Millipore and co-founded Intergen, a manufacturer of biological and recombinant reagents for research and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical and diagnostic products.
    • Lisa Alexander, vp, quality and regulatory, most recently served in a similar position at Xcellerex (now GE Healthcare). Earlier, she held management positions at Millipore, Amgen, GTC Biotherapeutics, and BioReliance.

    SeraCare went private last year following its $82 million acquisition by Linden Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused exclusively on leveraged buyouts in the healthcare and life science industries.


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