BURLINGAME, Calif., Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Inflammatix, a molecular diagnostics company that is developing rapid tests that read the immune system to improve disease diagnosis, today announced that Oliver Liesenfeld, M.D., has been appointed chief medical officer. Dr. Liesenfeld, a veteran of the diagnostics industry, comes to the company from Roche Molecular Diagnostics, where he served as chief medical officer since 2012.
Dr. Liesenfeld will oversee the clinical studies and regulatory approvals needed to commercialize Inflammatix's HostDx™ tests, which will initially target acute infections and sepsis, respectively. These tests use the company's novel, validated, bioinformatics-based approach of reading the genomic "fingerprint" of the host response to disease to quickly determine if a patient has a bacterial and/or viral infection – and thus, whether they need antibiotics – and to measure the severity of disease to determine if the patient is likely to have or develop sepsis.
"We are delighted to have an individual of Dr. Liesenfeld's experience and stature join our team as we transform infectious disease diagnosis and resolve the pressing public health challenges of antibiotic resistance and sepsis," said Tim Sweeney, M.D., Ph.D., cofounder and chief executive officer of Inflammatix. "With his extensive background in diagnostics, particularly in infectious diseases, and his broad regulatory experience, he will be key to helping us achieve our ambitious goals."
Dr. Liesenfeld has over 25 years of industry and academic experience in the diagnostics field, with a focus on molecular diagnostics and infectious diseases. As chief medical officer at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, he built a state-of-the-art medical department and led the company's clinical science, medical affairs, clinical operations and biometrics functions. His team designed and executed numerous clinical trials to support regulatory approvals and commercialization of the company's broad product portfolio, including the LightCycler® SeptiFast test for use in sepsis diagnosis. Prior to Roche, Dr. Liesenfeld served as associate professor of Medical Microbiology and Infection Immunology at the Charite Medical School in Berlin, Germany, where his research focused on the immune response to infections. He holds an M.D. and a doctoral (Dr. med) degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and completed his residency in medical microbiology and infection epidemiology at the Charite Medical School, Berlin. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Liesenfeld has authored more than 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals and more than 30 book chapters.
"I believe that a data-driven, bioinformatics approach that measures patients' immune response represents the future of improved diagnosis for numerous diseases and conditions," said Dr. Liesenfeld. "I am excited to join Inflammatix and advance their groundbreaking work in acute infections and sepsis, where current testing methods are inaccurate or too slow. I look forward to bringing their HostDx tests into the clinic where they can support the improved management of patients, helping physicians quickly get the right treatments to the right patients."
Inflammatix is a molecular diagnostics company that is developing rapid tests that use bioinformatics and machine learning to read the immune system, enabling improved patient care and reducing major public health burdens. The company's initial focus is on acute bacterial and viral infections, and sepsis, where its HostDx™ tests will allow physicians to quickly get the right treatments to the right patients, reducing morbidity and mortality, health system costs, and antibiotic resistance. While current tests diagnose infections by "finding the bug" – an approach that misses many infections because they never enter the bloodstream – Inflammatix evaluates the body's immune system response to provide more accurate and faster diagnosis. Its scientific approach has been validated in 38 cohorts involving over 2,400 patients and published in leading medical journals. The privately held, Burlingame, Calif.-based company is funded by Khosla Ventures, Stanford-StartX Fund and the U.S. government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). For more information, please visit www.inflammatix.com and follow the company on Twitter (@Inflammatix_Inc).