UPDATED: Saladax hires permanent CEO as quest continues for $20M Series D

Diagnostics company Saladax Biomedical has hired a permanent CEO as it moves ahead with plans to raise a $20 million Series D round sometime this year, Dow Jones VentureWire reports.

A company needs a CEO to lead that development and it lost Edward Erickson in February, who resigned for personal reasons, according to the story. Since then, Kevin Harter has served as interim CEO and he has now been named to the spot indefinitely. And he told VentureWire that the company envisions closing the Series D round "in the $20 million range" later in 2012. To date, the company has pulled in about $22 million in previous funding.

Saladax, which is based in Bethlehem, PA, is largely focused on developing diagnostics tests to help patients identify the ideal dose of the cancer drug they are taking. According to its website, Saladax has 13 tests in various states of development. And as the VentureWire article notes, Saladax is already working with larger pharma companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), to develop companion diagnostic tests for specific drugs. Beyond cancer, Saladax is also developing a diagnostic test that would detect whether a person with mild cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer's. And Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) company Ortho Clinical Diagnostics will distribute and market the product once it gains approval, according to the story.

Harter's goals are ambitious, for Saladax to debut two novel cancer-related diagnostics tests in the U.S. within two years and gain approval for the Alzheimer's test by 2014. Additionally, he hopes to bring Saladax into profitability by 2015.

- read more here

Editors note: This story has been updated to correctly explain the type of diagnostics test Saladax is developing, and to note that it is developing its Alzheimer's test with an eye for approval in 2014.

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