WuXi NextCODE snags executive Rob Brainin from Illumina

Illumina's Rob Brainin jumps ship to join WuXi NextCODE.

Rob Brainin has jumped ship from Illumina and has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the genomics company WuXi NextCODE.

The announcement came on the heels of WuXi NextCode raising $240 million in a series B round of financing the company said it plans to use to build out its platform and strike precision medicine and diagnostics partnerships to grow its user base and data repository.

Brainin was the vice president and general manager of Illumina’s life sciences and applied genomics.


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“Rob understands genomics intimately and is skilled at listening to users and helping them to take advantage of sequence data to achieve their goals,” Hannes Smarason, WuXi NextCODE’s CEO, said in a statement. “I can’t think of a better person to build out our business and to leverage that growth to deliver ever more powerful consumer solutions—creating a network effect that enables everyone to benefit from the genome.”  

Brainin brings 15 years of experience leading the product development, market development and commercialization of life sciences and genomics technologies. In addition to his stint at Illumina, he led business units at Invitrogen, Life Technologies and Thermo Fisher. 

WuXi NextCODE grew out of Amgen’s $415 million takeover of deCODE, a genomics pioneer that once rode high on the Human Genome Project hype but later fell into bankruptcy. The company unveiled $75 million in series B funding in May and has more than tripled that number in the completed round.


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