Murielle Thinard-McLane appointed new CEO. Two pore guys, in silicon-based nanopore diagnostics, has rebranded as Ontera. to reflect its broader mission of providing better biological information for a healthier planet. As part of these changes, the company has appointed two seasoned executives to its management team: Murielle Thinard-McLane as Chief Executive Officer and Andrea Chow, Ph.D., as Senior Vice President of Engineering. The company also announced that its investor, Khosla Ventures, has exercised its final warrant.
Ontera’s primary focus is on supporting sustainable agriculture, a $5 trillion market faced with enormous challenges in light of climate change, population growth and lack of arable land. As the global community faces the need to feed more people, it is critical to bring about new innovation in crop management technologies that can increase yields and catch devastating diseases early. Ontera’s unique nanopore-based, single-molecule detection platform can help quickly identify and quantify crop traits, pathogens and pathogen resistance in the field in less than 20 minutes, enabling precision treatment of crops and thereby reducing the use of inefficient chemical spraying. This new, proactive approach to pest treatment will enable farms to save money and also work in a more sustainable way while preserving the potency of new crops and crop protection for longer.
Ms. Thinard-McLane is a seasoned operations executive with decades of experience scaling organizations. She most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Genome Medical, a telegenomics start-up. Prior to that, she was Executive in Residence for GE Healthcare Ventures, and General Manager at McKesson for seven years during which she oversaw multi-billion dollar P&L. Ms. Thinard-McLane serves on the executive council on pharmaceuticals and digital health of Springboard Enterprises, a network dedicated to building high-growth, technology-oriented companies led by women. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I am proud to be joining a great technical team that has spent the last several years building a truly revolutionary diagnostics platform,” said Ms. Thinard-McLane. “While our platform has broad applications in human, animal and plant diagnostics, our primary focus over the coming months will be on providing a new precision tool for our agritech partners.”
Dr. Chow is a microfluidics product development executive with more than 15 years of experience advancing life science platforms and health diagnostics. During this time she developed and brought nine products to market. She joins Ontera to a multidisciplinary team to develop products using nanopore technology for fast, quantitative and multiplexed testing at the point of care. Prior roles include senior executive positions at BioElectron, Promega and Caliper Life Sciences. She earned her PhD in chemical engineering from Stanford University.
“I am truly excited to have the opportunity to apply my years of product development experience to one of the most important issues of the 21st century, supporting the health and sustainability of our planet,” said Dr. Chow. “I look forward to driving the development of this transformative platform from prototype to commercialization and getting it into the hands of our partners to solve these pressing challenges.”
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