Repositive, the Cambridge (UK) tech start-up on a mission to accelerate cancer drug discovery, has made three senior appointments to propel the company into its next phase of growth.
Established in 2014 as a social enterprise, Repositive aims to increase discovery, access to and sharing of genomic research data for the benefit of patients. Repositive has created two products based on its secure platform through which communities of researchers and data providers can connect, to facilitate the sharing of previously hard-to-come-by data and models, to support research studies.
Joining the management team are: Ave Wrigley, Chief Technology Officer; Robert Thong, Chief Business Officer; and Julian Coe, Chief Finance and Operating Officer. All highly experienced in their fields, the three new recruits will help to drive Repositive’s next stage of development. The Repositive team has grown by 50% in the past 12 months, and now numbers 38 individuals.
Repositive’s new CTO, Ave Wrigley, has over 20 years’ experience running technology departments across a wide variety of disciplines – including ecommerce and digital marketing, data-driven marketing insights and multimedia content management – and will help Repositive to focus on scalable delivery and maximising the benefits of the platforms for researchers and data providers.
Wrigley said: “Repositive’s idea to solve a real and important problem – enabling medical researchers to deal with the tidal wave of genomic data – is fantastic. I have worked in several scale up organisations going through similar growth to Repositive, but what is different here is the team itself. The people are driven by a passion for what they are doing and have strong values. The work is not without challenge, but there is such a ‘can do’ attitude which means that, with the right leadership, none of these challenges are insurmountable.”
Robert Thong, CBO, brings almost 30 years of experience in leadership and commercial roles in B2B enterprises in the life sciences sector. Thong is a recognised authority on the biopharma R&D externalisation trend, a published author on biopharma R&D partnerships and also a guest lecturer on R&D alliances at institutions including the University of Cambridge and University College London. He is a valuable addition to the team and will play a vital role in building Repositive’s community.
Thong said: "I have previously worked with numerous biomedical R&D organisations, as well as with providers of services, technology and data to those organisations, but creating a marketplace for all of these stakeholders at Repositive will be a great new challenge that brings together all of my previous experience. I am incredibly excited to help establish Repositive’s Cancer Models community and marketplace, while building a dedicated international commercial team along the way.”
Julian Coe, Repositive’s CFO and COO, is an experienced finance director who has previously supported large health companies – such as LGC Genomics and Ieso Digital Health – with creating business plans, developing finance models and securing funding.
Coe commented: “Repositive has incredible potential, and I am determined to use my experience to help the company raise the funding it needs and to scale its operations to execute its growth plan. Precision medicine is the future, but its development requires biomedical researchers to have immediate access to a much greater volume of more pertinent genomic data. Repositive is making waves in the research world by providing this advanced search capability.
“We now have an incredibly strong team and we are confident that, in the next six months, we will be the world’s single largest source of translational cancer models for researchers.”
Fiona Nielsen, Founder and CEO of Repositive, said of the new appointments: “It truly is an exhilarating time here at Repositive and I am enormously proud to have attracted such impressive individuals to our management team – all of whom share our vision and passion, and have a wealth of industry and business experience that will help drive Repositive through our next stages of development. Every member of our team plays their part in fulfilling our mission to accelerate cancer drug discovery and I cannot wait to see the developments that the next year brings.”
Repositive’s first data-sharing product, Discover, was launched in 2016 to enable researchers globally to locate any human genomic data that is already publicly available but is often not, for a number of reasons, easily located or accessible. Discover now indexes over 1 million datasets from more than 50 data sources, and is forming the basis of Repositive’s contribution to the NIH Data Commons initiative.
Responding to demand from biopharma and biotech companies, Repositive has also developed a second product based on its secure platform, which is poised to become the world’s largest marketplace and community for translational cancer models. Repositive’s Cancer Models provides commercial oncology researchers with a holistic, searchable, comparable view of existing cancer models across the globe, whilst providing Contract Research Organisations (CROs) - providers of cancer models - with a tool to market, showcase and manage their model inventory.
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Notes to Editors
Founded in 2014, Repositive secured its first round of external investment in 2015 to develop a public platform, which currently catalogues more than 1 million genomic research data sets from more than 50 global data sources, and has an international user base of academia and industry researchers from more than 90 countries. In 2017 the Repositive platform was selected to contribute metadata search and indexing technology to the NIH Data Commons Pilot Consortium.
In December 2016 Repositive announced the development of the Global PDX Directory, to act as a global data broker and network for oncology researchers and PDX model developers. In April 2018 the PDX Directory became Cancer Models, and its’ scope was expanded to incorporate CDX, syngeneic and humanised mouse models, as well as 3D in vitro systems and other popular translational cancer models that support immuno-oncology and combination therapies.
Cancer Models is unique in that it is accessible to all interested commercial parties, both oncology researchers seeking models, data and services, and Contract Research Organisations (CROs) and others providing models, data and services for oncology research. This is unlike most existing catalogues, which are either exclusively run by one particular CRO, and so have a limited supply of models, data and services, or are accessible only to a particular group of researchers. Repositive is also committed to enhancing the field of translational oncology research by building a pre-competitive community of academic and industry researchers focused on key issues and the future direction of translational research.
The team at Repositive is currently on-boarding more Cancer Model vendors, providing initial catalogue management services, and introducing new biopharma research partners to the platform.