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People in the News: Lars Holmkvist, Marian Sacco, James LaFrance, Stephane Bancel


Agilent Technologies said this week that Lars Holmkvist has resigned from his position as senior VP of the company and group president of its Life Sciences and Diagnostics Group. He has been replaced by Fred Strohmeier, a 34-year veteran of the company, who also serves as VP and general manager of the company's Life Science Products and Solutions sector.

Holmkvist was named leader of the Life Sciences and Diagnostics Group in September, when the company announced its plans to split into two publicly traded companies, one focused on life sciences and diagnostics business, and the other on its electronic measurement business.

Vermillion said this week that it has promoted Marian Sacco to be senior VP of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer.

She has previously worked for companies including Centocor, Kirin Diagnostics, Barron Diagnostics, and Adeza Biomedical.

Vermillon hired Sacco recently as a strategic planning consultant to help the company in the commercial launch of its OVA1 ovarian cancer test.

Vermillion also elected James LaFrance as its new chairman of the board. He most recently served as head of digital pathology and acting CEO of Omnyx, and held a series of commercial, strategic marketing and business development leadership roles at Ventana Medical Systems.

LaFrance succeeds Bruce Huebner, who is retiring from the board. Vermillion also said that William Wallen has also retired from its board.

BG Medicine said in an SEC filing this week that Stephane Bancel has been promoted from executive chairman to chairman, as of Nov. 1.

In connection with the promotion, Bancel's consulting agreement with the company was terminated.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.