Knome Appoints Martin Tolar as Chief Executive Officer
“We are very pleased to appoint an outstanding, seasoned life sciences executive to lead Knome as we seek to partner with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and expand our products and services into the clinic and beyond”
“We are very pleased to appoint an outstanding, seasoned life sciences executive to lead Knome as we seek to partner with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and expand our products and services into the clinic and beyond,” said Sundar Subramaniam, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Knome. “Martin has the ideal skills and experience we need to accelerate our growth and extend our leadership in the interpretation and application of genomic data.”
Dr. Tolar has served in several senior positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Before joining Knome, he was Chief Executive Officer of Normoxys, Inc., where he established the foundation for the business—including building a professional management team, securing venture financings, and successfully advancing the company’s novel cancer therapeutics from a research project into clinical development. Prior to Normoxys, he was Chief Scientific Officer and then Chief Business Officer at CoMentis, Inc., where he led the company’s scientific and business growth and negotiated a landmark collaboration agreement with Astellas Pharma. Prior to CoMentis, Dr. Tolar held a variety of leadership positions at Pfizer in the Clinical Development, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development divisions. At Pfizer, he directed programs through all stages of clinical development and NDA submissions, and was instrumental in a wide range of business development transactions, including the record-breaking acquisition of Rinat Neurosciences.
Prior to entering the private sector, Dr. Tolar served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine. He trained in Neurology at the Boston Medical Center, where he served as a Teaching Fellow in Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine and as a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Tolar received a PhD in Neuroscience and has published a number of scientific publications in the area of Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s disease.
“I am delighted to join Knome. The company has superior technology and world-class genome interpretation capabilities that I believe will make a major impact on the way we diagnose and treat diseases, develop drugs, and make lifestyle decisions. We are on the cusp of the genomic and personalized medicine revolution—right when the cost of sequencing has reached a point where the application of genetic information is feasible across a host of opportunities. I expect that Knome will be a leader in this transformation as we broaden our business from academic research into expanded applications for drug development at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the treatment of individual patients at hospitals and clinics; and a wide range of consumer applications,” said Martin Tolar, Chief Executive Officer of Knome.
In addition to Martin Tolar’s appointment as CEO, new executive positions were announced by Knome:
• Jorge Conde, the company’s founding CEO, will become Chief Strategy Officer and continue to serve on the board of directors for Knome. In his new role, he will lead the development of Knome’s genome interpretation software and services. Mr. Conde has spent his professional career in the biotechnology industry. Prior to Knome, he worked in strategic marketing and operations at MedImmune, Inc., in business development at Helicos Biosciences Corporation, and in the life sciences group at Flagship Ventures. Earlier in his career, Mr. Conde was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co., specializing in the biotechnology and genomics industries. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University.
• Jonas Lee, a founding member of Knome’s board of directors, will become Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Consumer Genomics. Prior to Knome, Mr. Lee founded and managed several finance, internet, and high technology ventures that pioneered new markets and technologies, including Redbrick Partners, Poindexter Systems, GiftCertificates.com, and Integrated Computing Engines. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lee served as a management consultant with Bain & Company. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.
• Marc Rubenfield will become Vice President of Operations for Knome. Mr. Rubenfield has more 20 years of experience in genomics and genomic services. Prior to joining Knome, he was responsible for the sequencing services product line at Beckman Coulter Genomics, including the introduction of next-generation sequencing. Previously, he worked with Agencourt Biosciences, where he led many of the company’s largest sequencing and genomics projects, and with Genome Therapeutics Corporation (GTC), where he helped establish and build one of the first commercial DNA sequencing services. Earlier in his career, he was also involved in several pioneering genomic developments, including the early development and application of multiplex sequencing.