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Michael Tognotti, William Marshall, Stephen Scaringe, Mark Kay, Sara Cunningham, and David U Prichard


CombiMatrix said this week that it has named Michael Tognotti as its director of sales for the company’s CustomArray products in North America.

Tognotti will be responsible for building and managing CustomAray-related sales, technical support, and customer service groups, said the company.

According to CombiMatrix, Tognotti most recently held sales and marketing positions at Illumina, Qiagen Operon, Fisher Scientific, and Genentech.

“Michael has played a key role in developing sales and marketing strategies for other notable life science companies and we believe he will be a tremendous asset as we prepare for the launch of our 13,000-site custom array and other new products in our pipeline,” CombiMatrix president and CEO Amit Kumar said in a statement.

Following the completion of Fisher Scientific’s April acquisition of Dharmacon, Dharmacon executive vice president of research and operations William Marshall has also assumed the role of site manager.

Marshall told RNAi News that in this position he is responsible for overseeing all the company’s operations and reports directly to Leland Foster, president and CEO of Fisher’s biochemicals group.

Additionally, Dharmacon’s founder and former chairman and CSO Stephen Scaringe told RNAi News that he has become an employee of Fisher, helping the company “evaluate further transaction opportunities” in both RNAi and other life science fields.

He said that his role at Fisher is “continuing to transition,” and that he was unable to provide his exact title at the company.

Mark Kay, the director of the Human Gene Therapy program at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and a professor in pediatrics and genetics, will join the scientific advisory board of Benitec of Queensland, Australia, after the company last week announced the acquisition of Sunnyvale, Calif-based Avocel, which Kay co-founded.

Additionally, Sara Cunningham, also an Avocel co-founder and the company’s vice president of intellectual property and development, joins Benitec as chief operating officer. Previously, she had worked as a manager at BD Biosciences and Clontech.

Invitrogen said this week that David U’Prichard has been elected to the company’s board of directors.

According to Invitrogen, U’Prichard is currently a partner with global private equity provider Apax Partners, and is president of Druid Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

U’Prichard was previously CEO of 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, overseeing this company’s inital public offering and acquistion by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, said Invitrogen.

U’Prichard holds a bachelor’s degree and PhD in pharmacology from the University of Glasgow and the University of Kansas, respectively.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.