FIND appoints new members to Board of Directors

Geneva, Switzerland – 2 December 2011 – FIND announced today the appointment to its Board of Directors of Mark Kessel, co-founder of Symphony Capital LLC, a private equity firm investing in the clinical development programmes of biopharmaceutical companies. He will be joined by Gene Walther, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who replaces outgoing board member Jan Gheuens. The announcement was made during the 29th meeting of the Board, held in Geneva. This initial expansion of the Board follows FIND’s strategy to increase the breadth of experience and skills available to guide future activities. Mark Kessel, a widely recognized leader in structuring product development investments for the biopharmaceutical industry, is also a Senior Advisor to Sagent Advisors Inc., an independently-owned private investment bank. He was formerly the Managing Partner of Shearman & Sterling, with day-to-day operating responsibility for one of the largest international law firms. He received a BA degree in economics from the City College of New York and a JD degree from Syracuse University College of Law.

Gene Walther joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation a year ago as Deputy Director – Diagnostics and is responsible for the Foundation’s cross-disease diagnostics strategy. Before joining the Foundation, Gene worked in the venture capital industry with Bay City Capital and as Executive Chairman for one of their investment companies, GenturaDx. He has over two decades of experience in the healthcare field, including as President of Novartis Diagnostics and in leadership positions at Chiron, Gen-Probe, Abbott Laboratories and American Hospital Supply. Gene holds a BSc degree in microbiology and immunology from Michigan State University and an MBA degree from the University of Washington. He replaces Jan Gheuens, Acting Strategic Program Leader, Tuberculosis, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who has been instrumental in guiding the work and strategy of FIND over the past 3.5 years.

“I would like to thank Jan for his unwavering support to FIND and our mission,” said Gerald Möller, Chairman of the Board of FIND, “and am delighted to welcome Mark and Gene to the FIND family. I look forward to our working together to steer the organization in the direction of bringing new and affordable diagnostic tools to those who need them most.”

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About FIND
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics is dedicated to developing affordable, easy-to-use and cutting edge diagnostic tests that save lives in the poorest areas of the world. From proof of principle to putting new tests into practice, the organization works with multiple and diverse groups, from academia, industry, donors, partners in the field, Ministries of Health and the World Health Organization. With five new diagnostic tools for TB already in use, FIND also has established programmes in malaria and sleeping sickness, and has begun working on other neglected diseases, such as leishmaniasis. Launched in 2003, the not-for-profit Foundation is ISO certified and financed by both the private and public sectors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Government of the Netherlands, the European Union, UNITAID, UK Department for International Development, National Institutes of Health (USA), UBS Optimus Foundation and others.

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