Panna Sharma has stepped down as CEO at Cancer Genetics Inc.
Panna Sharma has stepped down as CEO at Cancer Genetics Inc.

Precision medicine oncology company Cancer Genetics Inc., announced today that Panna Sharma, the company’s CEO since 2010 will be stepping down from his post. The company’s board of directors have named John A. (Jay) Roberts, currently serving as chief operating officer, as the interim CEO.

“We would like to thank Panna for his service and contributions to Cancer Genetics and his leadership through our evolution and growth as a company. We are confident of a seamless transition and the continued operational progress being made by the business,” said John Pappajohn, chairman of the board, in a press release announcing the management change.

Cancer Genetics went public in April of 2013, in an offering of 600,000 shares at $10 per share. Share of the company peaked later that year at $23.25, but the company has struggled to turn a profit on its proprietary and non-proprietary cancer screening tests and diagnostics and via provision of lab services. In its last quarterly corporate earnings statement, released Nov. 9, the company reported revenue growth of more 19% to $8 million, though it recorded a loss of 16 cents per share, larger than Wall Street estimates of a 13 cents per share loss.

Company shares closed unchanged on news of the management change, closing at $1.90 per share.

The company has notable collaborations and partnerships with leading academic and medical institutions including Memorial Sloan Kettering, The Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Keck School of Medicine at USC and the National Cancer Institute.

In mid 2017, it also completed the acquisition of Australian contract research organization vivoPharm for $12 million. According to Cancer Genetics, the deal was designed to strengthen the company’s capabilities in providing integrated preclinical, safety and biomarker profiling services to biopharmaceutical customers.

The company has also been increasing its presence in the burgeoning immuno-oncology area including the launch of its AntigenID neoantigen discovery service in October 2017, and last month announcing an expansion of its immuno-oncology panel Complete::IO to include five new IO markers.

Interim CEO Jay Roberts has been with Cancer Genetics since July 2016. Prior to joining the company, Roberts worked as the CFO for VirMedica a company that provides management services for specialty drug manufacturers and pharmacies to optimize product commercialization and management. Roberts also served in similar roles with AdvantEdge Healthcare Solutions, a global healthcare analytics and services organization, and InfoLogix, a publicly-traded healthcare-centric mobile software and solutions provider.

“Jay has been a member of the management team at Cancer Genetics since July 2016 as chief operating officer. He has in-depth familiarity with our business and growth strategy, and a long and successful healthcare industry career,” added Pappajohn. “With Jay as interim chief executive officer, the company will have a seamless transition that will allow us to continue on our strategic path and maintain our growth in the biopharma arena as we move towards profitability.”

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