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Biofidelity moves to larger Cambridge Science Park HQ and appoints Dr Robert Osborne as COO



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Biofidelity has moved to new, larger headquarters and appointed a chief operating officer as it plots growth.

The company, which has a unique cancer diagnostic platform, has made rapid progress since it was founded in 2019.

Biofidelity moves into its new Cambridge Science Park HQ (43521801)
Biofidelity moves into its new Cambridge Science Park HQ (43521801)

It raised $12million in August, as the Cambridge Independent reported, and this month moved into more than 500 square metres of office and laboratory space on Cambridge Science Park from its previous base on the Broers Building on JJ Thomson Avenue.

Dr Robert Osborne has now joined as COO with responsibility for the overall operation of the business. He will lead product development and validation, overseeing manufacturing and quality systems as Biofidelity, which is recruiting, prepares for the launch of its first product.

This will be a non-small cell lung genetic panel, which offers a viable alternative to complex and expensive sequencing.

Biofidelity says its chemistry-based assays, which run on the same equipment used for PCT tests, enable the ultra-sensitive detection of markers. They promise to provide oncologists with simple, but highly accurate reports on an individual patient’s cancer along with details of what drugs can be used.

Dr Osborne joins from liquid biopsy company Inivata, where he was senior vice president of technology and assay development and had responsibility for 21 scientists involved in assay development, clinical laboratory work, bioinformatics and intellectual property.

Dr Robert Osborne, COO of Biofidelity (43521797)
Dr Robert Osborne, COO of Biofidelity (43521797)

Dr Barnaby Balmforth, CEO of Biofidelity, said: “Robert joins Biofidelity at a crucial time as we prepare for the launch of our first unique genetic panel, which we believe will revolutionise patient access to fast and accurate cancer diagnosis.

“Robert is an innovative scientist and strategic thinker with proven technical and operational management experience in genomics, biotechnology, diagnostics and oncology.

“With the recent completion of our $12million Series A round and the appointments of Dr. Heiner Dreismann as chairman and Stephen Miller as chief commercial officer, Robert’s appointment is a further significant strengthening of the first-class management team that will lead us to commercialisation in the US and internationally.”

Dr Osborne led the development of Inivata’s RaDaR product for the detection of recurrent and residual disease from concept to commercial launch in less than 12 months and was previously principal staff scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton. He was also previously director of technology development at its spin-out company 14M Genomics, and director of research at Population Genetics Technologies.

The inventor or co-inventor of 16 patents, he holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Nottingham and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester in New York and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford.

Biofidelity moves into its new Cambridge Science Park HQ (43521799)
Biofidelity moves into its new Cambridge Science Park HQ (43521799)

Dr Osborne said: “Biofidelity represents a major step forward in cancer diagnostics, with a breakthrough technology that overcomes many of the limitations of existing sequencing-based approaches.

“It combines precise, actionable information with simple workflows and affordability, enabling many more cancer patients to receive the right treatment at the right time.

“I’m delighted to be joining Biofidelity’s highly experienced international leadership team as we work to deliver a pipeline of products based on this revolutionary approach.”

Dr Balmforth said the new headquarters also represents an important milestone for the company, which is focused on colorectal cancer as well as NSCLC but expects to expand into a broad range of cancers, as well as providing an enabling solution to the detection of resistance to therapy and disease recurrence.

“The move to Cambridge Science Park marks another key step in our growth as we prepare for the first launch of our clinically actionable NSCLC genetic panel,” said Dr Balmforth. “Backed by compelling data, we are rapidly building an experienced scientific, medical and commercial team to make this disruptive technology available to oncologists, pathologists and laboratories.”

In the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards 2020, Biofidelity is shortlisted for Start-up of the Year, sponsored by Kao Data, and The Award for Innovation, sponsored by Cambridge Precision Ltd.

The winners will be announced early next year.

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