OXFORD, UK – 6th January 2022 – Joanna Smart, an experienced Director and CEO in the life sciences sector has been appointed Non-Executive Chair of Oxford Cancer Biomarkers Ltd. She will take a leading role in helping the company achieve its growth and funding goals at a pivotal stage of the business, building on the two recent commercial launches of cancer diagnostic tests that form the core of OCB’s suite of AI-driven clinical decision tools.
Joanna has over 20 years’ experience driving enterprise growth, corporate deal-making and technology translation in the life sciences industry across SME’s, start-ups, multinationals and investment banking. Previously Joanna was CEO of Verso Biosense Ltd, leading the company from academic start-up to clinical stage SME and has led corporate development activities including fundraising, licensing, M&A and IPOs for public and private companies in the UK and the US. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Verso Biosense, Deputy Chair of the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Challenge Award Panel and an adviser to Google For Start-ups.
Oxford Cancer Biomarkers is a spin-out from the University of Oxford, developing and commercialising a suite of AI-enabled diagnostic tools that harness the analytical capabilities of digital pathology and pharmacogenomic markers to optimise cancer treatment pathways. The company has built a world class team consisting of industry professionals, leading scientists and oncologists and has launched two products – ToxNav® and OncoProg®– into global markets. OCB continues to expand its portfolio with novel biomarkers and proprietary algorithms that enable clinicians to make personalised treatment recommendations based on real-world evidence and empower patients to make better-informed decisions about their own cancer therapy.
Professor David Kerr, Director and Founder of OCB, said, ‘We are delighted to welcome Joanna, with her wealth of experience and perspective, as Chair of the Board. As OCB enters the next exciting stage of growth, her corporate development and governance expertise in the sector will be invaluable.’
Joanna Smart, Chair of OCB, said ‘Oxford Cancer Biomarkers is already changing the lives of cancer patients by providing clinical decision support tools that generate clinically meaningful insights to allow clinicians and patients to take a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to their treatment journey. I see significant potential for OCB to be a leader in the fields of digital pathology and personalised medicine and I look forward to working with the team to drive the company to commercial success and to realise value for all stakeholders.’
About Oxford Cancer Biomarkers
Oxford Cancer Biomarkers started as a spin off from the University of Oxford. The aim of the company was to discover and develop biomarkers using screening platforms to advance personalised medicine within oncology, specifically colorectal cancer.
Since then, the company has built a world class development team consisting of industry professionals, leading scientists and oncologists whilst maintaining strong links to the University of Oxford. Together, we have launched two products, ToxNav®, a pharmacogenomic test to predict patient toxic response to chemotherapies, and OncoProg®, an AI-enabled clinical decision support tool to assess the risk of cancer recurrence. Our vision is to be the leading pioneer in biomarker technology and deploy artificial intelligence technology that places individual patients at the heart of cancer care.
Hao Zhang – Chief Executive Officer
Joanna Smart – Chair