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People in the News: Biognosys, Sialix, and More


Biognosys this week named Patrick Plewman as its new CEO, taking over from Oliver Rinner, who is now the company's chief scientific officer.

Plewman was previously CEO of cardiovascular diagnostics firm diaDexus. Prior to that he worked at SmithKline Beecham.

The company also announced that it closed an intermediate funding round that will allow it to expand its business in the US and Europe.

Sialix announced this week that is has formed both its scientific advisory board and business advisory board.

The members of the scientific advisory board are: Galit Alter, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School; Robert Anthony, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School; Brian Collins, senior scientist, Momenta Pharmaceuticals; Nicholas Haining, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School; Ganesh Kaundinya, co-founder and chief scientific officer, Momenta Pharmaceuticals; Shiv Pillai, professor, Harvard Medical School; Sean Stevens, vice president of research, Ablexis; Ajit Varki, distinguished professor, University of California, San Diego; Todd Zion, former CEO of SmartCells.

The members of the business advisory board are: Ed Cannon, CEO, Unigen; John Ripple, owner, Ripple Biotech; Roger Swanhey, senior vice president, Novartis International; Todd Zion, former CEO of SmartCells

Conrad Mir has joined Pressure BioSciences as chief financial officer.

Mir has two decades of experience in investment banking, financial restructuring, and corporate reengineering, and he has held executive management roles and served on the boards of directors at several biotech companies, including serving as chairman and CEO of Genetic Immunity and as executive director of Advaxis.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.