Verinata Health Announces Leadership Appointments in Sales, Marketing and Bioinformatics
Names Noah Nasser, Vice President, Sales and Market Development; Suzanne Yokota, Vice President Marketing and Commercial Operations and Dr. Xitong Li, Director, Bioinformatics
SAN CARLOS, Calif., July 19, 2011 -- Verinata Health, Inc., a privately-held company dedicated to maternal and fetal health, today announced the appointments of Noah E. Nasser as Vice President of Sales and Market Development, Suzanne Yokota, as Vice President of Marketing and Commercial Operations and Xitong Li, Ph.D. as Director of Bioinformatics. These individuals will have the responsibility to enhance Verinata's fetal diagnostic test capability, ensure a strong evidence-based market launch, and deliver a superior value experience for our clinician customer base.
Noah Nasser brings more than fifteen years of commercial and management experience in the life science and diagnostic industries to Verinata. Mr. Nasser was most recently the Business Unit Manager for Molecular Diagnostics at Quidel Corporation. In this role, he led the development and implementation of the Company's molecular diagnostics strategic plan, and directed the activities of commercial, operational and development teams. Prior to this, Mr. Nasser served as General Manager of Quidel's Specialty Products Group, where his focus was on the development and commercialization of novel, esoteric products for women's health. Mr. Nasser holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Diego.
"Noah's deep understanding of molecular diagnostics and esoteric women's health testing will be essential in optimizing our 'go to market strategy.' Noah will be responsible for building and leading an expert sales organization to successfully achieve our revenue targets while assuring extraordinary outreach to clinicians and their patients. In addition, he and his team will guide us to continuing current test enhancement while developing the business and health economics model for Verinata's future testing offering in maternal and fetal health," said Caren Mason, Chief Executive Officer of Verinata Health.
Suzanne Yokota, now Vice President, Marketing and Commercial Operations, joined Verinata Health in October of 2010 as Senior Director of Commercial Operations. She brings more than 20 years of commercial leadership experience in clinical diagnostics and life sciences. Prior to joining Verinata, Suzanne served as Commercial Director at Satoris, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company focused on neurodegenerative disorders, where she was responsible for sales and marketing of its plasma protein-based neurological panels. Prior to Satoris, Suzanne held several escalating leadership positions at Affymetrix where she launched the CLIA Services Laboratory for diagnostic services of microarray-based products, headed the North American Marketing group and also expanded the Company's international distributor network in Japan and Asia. Earlier in her career, Suzanne held key management positions in product marketing, business development and technical service and operations at Syva and Behring Diagnostics. Suzanne received her B.A. in molecular biology from San Jose State University.
"Since joining Verinata, Suzanne has focused expertly on creating the company brand and preparing for commercial launch," continued Ms. Mason. "She is building a commercial operations organization committed to achieving excellence for clinicians in transactions, billing and payer support. Suzanne and her team will be the communications lynchpin to ensure strong alliances with all Verinata contact points."
Xitong Li, Ph.D., brings more than 10 years of experience architecting solutions and delivering biomarker and genomic-based clinical diagnostic products to Verinata. Prior to Verinata, Dr. Li was Associate Director of Bioinformatics for Genomic Health, Inc., where he built the bioinformatics infrastructure from the start, growing the team into an integrated part of the commercial products. Prior to Genomic Health, he held various positions at Ingenuity Systems, PPD, Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. He received his Ph.D. in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Rochester, his M.Sc. in Biophysics from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his B.Sc. in Biophysics from Fudan University in Shanghai. Dr. Li is the author of several peer-reviewed bioinformatics publications, has been an invited speaker for numerous industry and medical conferences and is an inventor of five patents or pending patent applications.
"We are excited to have Xitong join the Verinata team," said Richard Rava, Scientific Co-Founder and President of Verinata. "Xitong's experience will allow us to build on the existing algorithms that will enable Verinata to optimize the computational and classification methods used for the detection of aneuploidies."
Verinata Health, Inc.
Verinata is driven by a sole, extraordinary purpose – maternal and fetal health. Our initial focus is to develop and offer non-invasive tests for early identification of fetal chromosomal abnormalities using our proprietary technologies. We aim to reduce the anxiety associated with today's multi-step process, the unacceptable false-positive rates, the non-specific and sometimes confusing results of current prenatal screening methods, as well as the risk of current invasive procedures. In support of national guidelines recommending first trimester aneuploidy risk assessment, we believe women who desire such an assessment should be offered a single blood draw test with a definitive result. Verinata is conducting a prospective, blinded pivotal study to clinically validate the sensitivity and specificity of its first prenatal test on a large scale with results of the study expected in 2011. For more information about Verinata, please go to www.verinata.com.