CRO Blue Sky taps new CEO amid growth

After more than doubling its capacity over the past year, Blue Sky BioServices has appointed a new CEO, looking to increase its share of the preclinical research market.

Ted Marple will take the helm after years at CMO Xcellerex, and founder and former company head Paul Wengender will shift to chief commercial officer. Before GE Healthcare ($GE) scooped up Xcellerex in 2012, Marple steered the company to continued growth as chief business officer, and Blue Sky believes he can repeat that success as the CRO scales up its operations, Wengender said.

"Adding Ted provides the team with a smart, energetic leader and catalyst for future scalability of customers and services," Wengender said in a statement. "His recent leadership roles in finance, operations and strategy will be key additions to help us expand."

The CRO attributes its growth over the past year to a change in strategy, moving away from in-depth development partnerships and toward a transactional service model. Last year, the company's revenue was about 70% custom work and 30% functional service, Wengender said, and Blue Sky is now working to reverse that ratio, focusing on fast, low-cost R&D work.

- read the announcement