Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Orchid Spreads Roots

Premium

At first glance, Orchid BioSciences’ recent round of high-level appointments looks like a management overhaul. But according to Dale Pfost, president and CEO, the truth is that the company has finally got “all the key positions filled” and is looking to spread its roots.

The appointments of Jack Ball, Michael Boyce-Jacino, Russell Granzow, James Marcella, and Michael Pettigrew signify the maturation of Orchid, Pfost says. These hires and promotions enable the company to set up individual groups focused on clinical testing services; instrumentation and consumables; and developing intellectual property rights by finding medically important SNPs. “The business really falls very well into those three arenas,” Pfost says.

Boyce-Jacino, the new CTO, was “a leader in the SNP field before 99.9 percent of us knew about SNPs,” says Pfost. Ball will be general manager of Orchid’s life sciences group, and Marcella and Pettigrew will work with him. And as vice president of corporate business development and strategy, Russ Granzow fills the need for “a central person to coordinate [business] collaborations,” Pfost adds.

Orchid’s recruiting efforts may be slowed, but they’re not over. Look for additions in Orchid’s sales, informatics, and clinical applications groups.

For Pfost, the new top guns will mean he finally gets to do his job. Jack Ball says that these positions give the CEO more time for M&A activities. While Pfost won’t be pinned down on specifics, “It is very much an indication that Orchid is looking assertively at ways of building shareholder value,” he says.

— Meredith Salisbury

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.