Broken String Biosciences (“Broken String”), a genomics company building a technology platform to drive the development of cell and gene therapies that are safer by design, today announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with the appointments of Vincent Smith, PhD, as Chief Technology Officer and Jessica Rich as VP Business Development. Bringing significant expertise in their respective fields, Vincent and Jessica’s appointments are a key part of Broken String’s strategy to deliver on its Series A goals, which include the continued development of its INDUCE-seq™ DNA break-mapping platform and acceleration of its commercial expansion across global markets.
As CTO at Broken String, Vince will lead product development, providing leadership and the expertise required to build INDUCE-seq into the gold standard technology for the assessment of off-target effects during gene editing. Based in Boston, MA, Jessica is Broken String’s first US hire, expanding the Company into this key market. Jessica will oversee the development of commercialization strategy, enabling the Company to capitalize on early commercial traction and accelerate growth across the US, Europe and Asia.
Vince’s appointment to Broken String brings extensive experience in the development of innovative DNA sequencing technologies. Prior to joining the team he held executive-level positions at Base Genomics and Exact Sciences Innovation. Vince began his career in genomics at Solexa, where he was one of the primary scientists that contributed to the development of the chemistry that underpins Illumina sequencing. As VP of Consumable Development at Illumina, Vince led a global team developing assays and consumables for industry leading NGS platforms such as MiSeq, HiSeq, NextSeq and NovaSeq. He holds an MA from Oxford University and a PhD from Imperial College London, both in Biochemistry.
Jessica has spent over 20 years in the life sciences industry, specializing in supporting sales and commercialization strategy. Before joining Broken String, Jessica held several senior leadership roles, including Senior Director of Sales and Regional Marketing at Bionano, Senior Director of Commercial Development at Synthego and Chief Commercial Officer at 54gene. In these roles, Jessica was responsible for providing leadership across all sales and commercial activities, including commercial deal expansion. Jessica was also part of Illumina’s commercial team for 8 years, where she was pivotal in the expansion of microarray products into new markets and applications.
Vincent Smith, PhD, Chief Technology Officer at Broken String Biosciences, commented: “With INDUCE-seq, Broken String Biosciences have created a simple, elegant and powerful technology that is already addressing a critical unmet need in the rapidly expanding gene editing space. I’m impressed by the progress the company has made to date and am excited to help the talented Broken String team evolve the technology further. I believe INDUCE-seq will become the gold-standard for assessment of off target gene-editing. Through development of the platform as a scalable sample-to-answer solution, we will accelerate the design and development of safe and effective gene editing-based therapies that will improve human health.”
Jessica Rich, VP Business Development at Broken String Biosciences, said: “I am excited to join the team at Broken String Biosciences and to expand the global commercial footprint from my base in Boston, MA. The technology platform, INDUCE-seq, delivers the much-needed solution to assess off-targets accurately and quickly from gene editing and nuclease function for companies developing cell and gene therapies. We have already seen solid commercial traction, demonstrating the platform fills the market need. The INDUCE-seq technology is a groundbreaking approach which will help deliver safe, effective gene therapies for many diseases currently without treatment today.”