AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge announced the appointment of Dr Peter Meintjes, an experienced molecular diagnostics and genomics business leader, as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Dr Meintjes, a New Zealand citizen currently resident in Boston, brings to Pacific Edge extensive global diagnostics, biotechnology, and commercial leadership expertise. He also has a track record for commercialising new and disruptive biotechnologies and driving rapid business growth across multiple territories including the US and Europe.
He will take up the role on 10 January 2022 replacing Executive Director and Chief Executive David Darling, who announced his retirement in April 2021 and will step down from the CEO role and the Board of Direcrors on the 10th of January and continue as a consultant to the company.
Dr Meintjes’ most recent role was Chief Commercial Officer at the Massachusetts-based Eurofins-Transplant Genomics, a transplant diagnostics company. In that role he led the commercialisation of the company’s suite of tests for biomarkers of organ rejection, including the flagship product TruGraf®, the only biomarker test for kidney transplant recipients approved for reimbursement by US national health insurance system administrator, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Prior to Eurofins-Transplant Genomics he spent six years with the Budapest, Hungary-based Omixon, a global molecular diagnostics company focussed on pre-transplant organ and recipient compatibility testing. With Omixon, he occupied senior roles in both Hungary and the US, ending his tenure after three years as Chief Executive Officer. In that role he presided over the rapid expansion of Omixon, including delivering compound annual revenue growth of more than 75%.
Dr Meintjes started his business career in New Zealand with the Auckland-based Biomatters, a bio-informatics company, after completing undergraduate and graduate study at Auckland University culminating in him gaining a PhD in biological sciences in 2008.
Pacific Edge Chairman Chris Gallaher said: “We are delighted Peter has agreed to join Pacific Edge. He is an outstanding business leader and scientist. He brings to our company a broad experience of global healthcare markets and has direct experience with the molecular diagnostics sectors that are relevant to Pacific Edge and our suite of Cxbladder products.
“We are particularly pleased to have been able to attract back to New Zealand, and to Dunedin, a New Zealander who has built an impressive international track record in molecular diagnostics and who has succeeded in the highly competitive US market.”
Dr Meintjes said: “I am excited and delighted to be joining Pacific Edge and returning to New Zealand after a long period working overseas. The company is exceptionally well positioned to drive growth in shareholder value and, importantly, improved health outcomes for urothelial cancer patients around the world.
“The Cxbladder suite of tests offers patients, clinicians, healthcare providers and funders accurate, reliable, cost-effective, non-invasive urothelial cancer diagnostic tools. The efficacy and benefits of the tests are supported by an extensive and growing body of high-quality peer-reviewed clinical evidence.
“Pacific Edge has, over the last decade, made enormous strides putting in the foundations to commercialise Cxbladder tests globally. Cxbladder’s annual addressable opportunity of US$3.5 billion in the US is significant, while international markets such as Australia and Southeast Asia provide additional opportunities for Pacific Edge to grow globally.
“This potential is underpinned by the company’s strong operational capabilities including its laboratories in the US and New Zealand, its growing sales and marketing team, and its strong and productive research and development capabilities and collaborations both in New Zealand and around the world.
“Finally, with the success of the company’s recent capital raise, Pacific Edge has the funding to accelerate the execution of these opportunities. The challenge before the company is now to continue to build on the adoption of Cxbladder among physicians, healthcare providers and payers around the world.
“I am looking forward to engaging with the Pacific Edge team, its customers and the loyal investors who have underwritten the achievements of the past few years. I am also looking forward to returning home to New Zealand, being close to family and introducing my young family to the great Kiwi lifestyle.”
Mr Gallaher also acknowledged the commitment and achievements of outgoing Chief Executive David Darling during his 19-years at the company.
“Under Dave’s leadership Pacific Edge has grown from a research concept to a fully-fledged commercial entity that is not only poised for growth in multiple international markets but also offers cancer patients around the world less invasive diagnostic alternatives. This success is due in no small measure to Dave’s drive and his vision. He leaves Pacific Edge in a strong position to take the next steps on its commercial journey.”