SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sera Prognostics, Inc., a women's healthcare company, today announced that Arnold L. Oronsky, Ph.D., General Partner at InterWest Partners, LLC, was appointed to its Board of Directors. Dr. Oronsky's addition to the Sera Board occurs as the company is in the final stages of developing PreTRM™, its novel proteomic predictor for preterm birth risk, prior to its commercial launch.
"Dr. Oronsky is accomplished as a business leader and investor in innovative medical technologies. We are very pleased that he has joined Sera's Board," said Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sera Prognostics. "Arnie's broad experience has particular relevance for Sera at this time, as we complete the development of our PreTRM™ test. His acknowledged success as a strategic thinker further adds to the depth of our Board as we transition Sera from research and development into a revenue stage company."
As General Partner leading healthcare investments at InterWest Partners, Dr. Oronsky has significant experience investing in diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies. He has served on numerous boards of successful healthcare companies that address significant unmet medical needs through innovative technologies. Prior to joining InterWest Partners in 1994, Dr. Oronsky led pharmaceutical research as vice president for discovery research of the Lederle Laboratories division of American Cyanamid Company. He earned a Ph.D. in immunology from Columbia University and is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School.
"Sera's strategy employs cutting-edge diagnostic science to address some of the biggest problems in maternal fetal medicine worldwide," commented Dr. Oronsky. "I am pleased to work with Sera's exceptional team to realize the promise of its technology and transform the company into a commercial business that creates lasting value and makes an important difference in the lives of patients and families globally."
Sera today also announced that Douglas Fisher, M.D., has recently resigned his position as a director on Sera's Board to join the company's management team as Chief Business Officer.
"I thank Doug Fisher for his conscientious service on our Board and now look forward to working closely with him as our Chief Business Officer as we further develop and execute the company's strategy to become a global leader in maternal fetal medicine," said Critchfield.
Dr. Fisher has been a partner at InterWest Partners, serving on Sera's Board of Directors since November 2011. He received his M.D. and M.B.A. from the School of Medicine and the Wharton School, respectively, at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fisher has focused on biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device investments throughout his career, working in venture capital, consulting and pharmaceutical industries.
"It has been a privilege to be involved with the Company since its Series A funding in 2011 and to serve on Sera's Board," said Dr. Fisher. "I have tremendous confidence in the approach that our team is diligently pursuing to develop its first-to-market proteomic PreTRM™ test that has high potential to significantly impact pregnancy care. I look forward to contributing further to Sera's success as its business and strategy development executive."
Sera's PreTRM™ test will use a routine blood sample obtained during the second trimester of pregnancy to provide an early and individualized assessment of a woman's risk of preterm birth. Upon launch in the U.S., commercial testing will be performed at Sera's state-of-the-art CLIA laboratory with results returned to referring physicians. Physicians may then use this information to personalize interventions early in pregnancy, with the goal of improving newborn health and potentially reducing the costs of healthcare delivery. The annual public healthcare cost of caring for preterm infants in the U.S. in 2005 was estimated in an Institute of Medicine Report at more than $26 billion.
About Preterm Birth
The global impact of preterm birth affects 15 million infants born each year, with 1 million deaths occurring from prematurity. Of the nearly 4 million babies born annually in the U.S., more than one in nine, or approximately 11.5 percent, is born preterm. Preterm birth is defined as any birth before 37 weeks gestation, and is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns. Preterm birth is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long-term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, intellectual disability, seizures, and vision and hearing loss. The complications from preterm birth can also extend beyond the first year of life, and generate significant costs throughout the lives of affected children.
About Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Sera Prognostics is a private biotechnology company developing innovative diagnostic tests designed for the early prediction of preterm birth risk and other pregnancy complications. Sera's tests are designed to help better inform the care of a mother and her unborn child during pregnancy, and potentially lead to improved health. The company has assembled a strong management team and Board of Directors with significant clinical development and women's healthcare diagnostic experience. Sera's PAPR study is one of the world's largest and broadest clinical trials to validate the performance of Sera's PreTRM™ test for predicting the risk of preterm birth. The study is fully enrolled and results are expected during the second quarter of 2015. In February 2015, Sera Prognostics announced that it had increased the size of its Series B financing to $25 million. Sera Prognostics is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.seraprognostics.com.
Sera Prognostics, the Sera Prognostics logo and PreTRM are trademarks of Sera Prognostics, Inc.
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