Nuclea hires team, including new COO, to market its biomedical products

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PITTSFIELD - Nuclea Biotechnologies Inc. has hired a team of scientists from one of the county's leading scientific companies, including a doctor who has become the Pittsfield-based firm's new COO.

Mary F. Lopez, the director of Thermo Fisher Scientific's BRIMS Center in Cambridge, and five of her colleagues joined Nuclea on Monday. Lopez will serve as Nuclea's COO.

Also joining Nuclea are Bryan Krastins, the director of the BRIMS Center's CLIA Protemic Lab; the center's director of bioinformatics, Maryann Vogelsang; and Gregory Byram, a senior technologist for clinical protemic discovery.

Nuclea has also hired a clinical protemics manager and a director of business and biomarker development, but their names will be released at a later date, said Nuclea's President and CEO Patrick J. Muraca.

Lopez will split her time between Pittsfield and Nuclea's facility in Cambridge. The other members of the team will all be based at Nuclea's Cambridge facility.

Muraca said the new team will play a key role in transitioning Nuclea from a company that discovers and develops biomarkers and diagnostic assays, or tests, for treating various kinds of cancer, to a firm that markets those treatments.

"We're moving from a research and development organization to actually commercializing our own technology," Muraca said. "We have FDA (Food and Drug Administration) projects that are not becoming commercialized. We need expertise in that area, which Mary and her team bring to us.

"This is a real big step for Nuclea," he said, "a game changer for us."

BRIMS is an acronym for Biomarker Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry. The center provides customers with commercial applications of clinical assays and supports the sales and marketing efforts of Agawam-based Thermo Fisher's Mass Spectrometry Division. Thermo Fisher has revenues of $17 billion and employs 50,000 workers in 50 countries, according to the company's website.

Lopez said she and her team have worked together for seven years.

"I built the team when I came to the BRIMS Center focusing on people who bring synergistic talent and skills," said Lopez, who has worked in the fields of proteomics, a form of biotechnology; electriophoresis and protein chemistry at various companies since 1989.

"Over the years we've been able to hone those skills and be a fully functional team that can hit the ground running at a place like Nuclea," she said.

"It's a phenomenal opportunity to really do what our team has sort of been preparing for all those years at Thermo Fisher Scientific," she said.

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Nuclea have partnered on projects before, most recently in June 2014 when they worked on a program related to diabetes and insulin research, according to Thermo Fisher's website.

In other business, Nuclea has partnered with BacterioScan Inc., of St. Louis, in validation of their BacterioScan 216Dx instrument in a CLIA certified laboratory.

The collaboration will focus on antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) to guide the best course of antibiotic treatment for a variety of different strains of urinary tract infections.

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413-496-6224.


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