NetScientific announces completion of acquisition of 30% stake in Vortex Biotech Holdings (Vortex) and appointment of new Vortex CEO
16th August 2022
To drive commercial opportunities and develop an industry leading solution
London August 2022
NetScientific plc (AIM: NSCI), the international life sciences and sustainability technology investment and commercialisation Group, is pleased to announce, further to its announcement of 6 May 2022, that it completed yesterday its acquisition of a 30 per cent. stake in Vortex. Additionally, Vortex has recently appointed Paul Jones as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Vortex is focused on developing its position in the multi-billion dollar oncology liquid biopsy market, which is estimated to grow at 14% CAGR by 2030*. Vortex’s core technology allows for the capture and isolation of high quality Circulating Tumour Cells (“CTCs”) from blood samples. Paul will lead Vortex’s growth strategy around this core technology with the aim of developing it into an industry leading platform that will help accelerate the translation of research insights into the clinic and help deliver to an affordable population health agenda.
Paul has previously worked at Illumina, Inc., the global leader in genome sequencing, where he was the Head of Population Genomics. He led the team that created, developed and actively managed large-scale programmes across more than 50 different countries. Prior to this, Paul was the founding CEO of Genomic Enterprises, the arm of Genomics England responsible for all commercial aspects of the 100,000 Genomes Project. Paul has also held roles as Director and Leader of Global Life Sciences at Cisco and Head of Global eMarketing & eSales at Novartis. Early in his career he was a Management Consultant at PwC, focused on life sciences. Paul completed a Certificate in Private Equity at Imperial College, London in 2022, an MBA from the University of Sheffield, in 1992, and an undergraduate degree majoring in physiology in 1989.
NetScientific’s completed acquisition of its 30% stake in Vortex positions the Group well to take advantage of the substantial upside potential for an innovative technology platform in the liquid biopsy space. The Vortex multi-phased growth strategy will include product and cartridge sales; a services lab business catering to cancer research efforts (both academic and industry); and in the longer term laboratory developed tests to support key prognostic, diagnostic, therapy selection and potentially predictive markers of relevance to everyday clinical practice.
Vortex’ VTX-1 platform has been placed and used for KOL published research in leading University and Research centres in the US, UK and EU, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Ghent University (Belgium), University of Maryland, and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. In addition, Vortex is now seeing growing interest from pharma and biotech clients. The company has developed several workflow integrations of the VTX-1 instrument with third party instruments, opening further commercialisation opportunities.
Dr Ilian Iliev, CEO of NetScientific PLC and Chairman of Vortex, commented: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of our stake in Vortex, and delighted to welcome Paul to the Vortex team. We are excited by the growth potential of the company in this rapidly growing and maturing market and see Paul as an integral part of achieving our ambitious goals. He brings a wealth of industry experience, which will be invaluable as Vortex develops its operations. We believe that Vortex offers significant upside and the ability to commercialise the technology in the US and Europe will drive significant value.”
Paul Jones, CEO of Vortex Biotech Holdings, added: “I’ve worked for many years to enable a vision of affordable population health. Recent developments in liquid biopsy will enable earlier disease detection, support personalised medicine and allow far easier ongoing disease monitoring – making this vision a realistic prospect even in the short term. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead Vortex and show how we can make a real difference for patients suffering from cancer across the world.”