Single-cell sequencer Mission Bio adds 3 new executives

Single-cell genomics developer Mission Bio has made three new hires to build out its executive team, following a $30 million series B round late last year and a new deal to provide sequencing services to LabCorp and its Covance drug development business.

Nigel Beard, Ph.D., joins the South San Francisco-based company as its senior vice president of R&D. Beard previously headed up R&D for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s forensics business, working on technologies to identify individuals, and also led integration and global R&D at Life Technologies.

Most recently, Beard served as chief technology officer of the 3D-printed custom footwear startup Feetz, and is principal and founder of the consultancy TechWise Ventures, which assists firms with technical due diligence.

“I’m thrilled to join Mission Bio at a time of rapid growth, especially as we witness this explosion in big data in single cell genomics,” Beard said in a statement. “Having devoted my career to genomics and machine learning product development, I believe Mission Bio is the most exciting company to combine these disciplines in pursuit of better patient outcomes.”

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Mission Bio also brought on Darrin Crisitello as chief commercial officer, who previously served as VP of global sales at both Color Genomics and Natera. He is also an adjunct partner at the life sciences accelerator IndieBio.

In addition, Marcel Roche was named senior VP of finance and administration, after holding finance VP roles at Achaogen and Guardant Health. Before that, he was a corporate controller at Picarro and a director of financial planning and analysis at Illumina.

“It’s been incredible to help scale up the sequencing market at Illumina, and then expand the market into liquid biopsy at Guardant. I see Mission Bio as the next frontier of genomics,” Roche said.

In late March, the company was tapped by LabCorp, which will help evaluate Mission Bio’s Tapestri DNA sequencing platform and explore its use in clinical trials and the development of new companion diagnostics such as sensitive, single-cell tests for minimal residual disease and the prediction of cancer relapses.