David Atkins
David Atkins

David Atkins, Ph.D., a veteran of healthcare and diagnostics businesses with experience stretching more than 25 years, has been appointed CEO of Congenica, a provider of clinical genomics interpretation software.

Based in Cambridge, U.K., at the Welcome Genome Campus, Congenica has developed the clinical genomics analysis platform Sapientia, designed to analyze, interpret, and generate clinically actionable reports on patient derived genomic data.

Sapientia’s underlying technology was spun out of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and the platform is now used by the 100,000 Genomes Project, as well as two similar genome interpretation projects, China’s 100K Wellness Pioneer Project and Portugal’s In2Genome Project.

“It has always been a privilege to be involved in businesses that focus on providing solutions to patients. I am looking forward to working with the impressive team at Congenica to drive the company’s expansion at a time when genomics is set to truly revolutionize medicine and patient care,” Atkins said in a statement.

Atkins joins Congenica nearly a year since the company completed a Series B financing that ultimately closed at £9.6 million ($13.5 million), saying that proceeds would be used toward accelerating international growth and expanding customer support for Sapientia, with the goal of sustaining its commercial rollout. Congenica also said it would use the financing to invest in further product development and innovation.  

“He will lead Congenica’s international growth as it rolls out its commercial operations across Europe and into the US and Asia, and oversee further product development of Sapientia,” added Congenica Chairman Andy Richards, CBE, Ph.D.

Last year, Congenica expanded its operations into the U.S. and China, while Sapientia was licensed by Portugal’s Coimbra Paediatric Hospital (CPH), part of the Coimbra Hospital and University Centre (CHUC), to perform analysis of whole-exome sequencing data and produce diagnostic reports for its In2Genome project. The €1.2 million ($1.5 million) project aims to revolutionize the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases through insights gained from population-wide genomic data, and is funded by Portugal2020, Compete2020, and the European Commission’s European Structural and Investment funds.

Also in 2017, Congenica and Edico Genome agreed to offer their complementary platform technologies as a single-genome data analysis solution, with the goal of helping clinical labs and hospitals accelerate their progression from DNA sequencing to diagnosis for inherited diseases. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

Before joining Congenica, Atkins was CEO of Synevo, a clinical diagnostic laboratory service business operating across Germany and Eastern Europe.

Previously, Atkins served as global head of the Advanced Staining pathology business unit for Leica Biosystems, a Danaher Company; and served for more than 20 years at Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Device and Diagnostic businesses, where he held R&D, business development, and senior international commercial roles.

“David has an impressive international track record of success in leading and scaling healthcare technology companies. I am delighted that he has chosen to join Congenica at this pivotal time in the Company’s development,” Richards added.

Atkins holds B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of East Anglia, U.K.; a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacology from the University of New South Wales, Australia; and an MBA from Columbia University.

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