Slone Partners Recruits CEO for Mesa Biotech

The race is on to find a vaccine for COVID-19 – and along with it the pace is picking up to find top leadership talent at many of the nation’s leading life sciences, medical diagnostics and biotech companies. Here’s one of the latest searches just successfully completed.

June 18, 2020 – Executive search firm  Slone Partners has recruited Ingo Chakravarty as the new president and CEO of Mesa Biotech. He assumes leadership of the company less than two months after it received emergency use authorization from the Federal Drug Administration to market its 30-minute point-of-care molecular SARS-CoV-2 test. Mr. Chakravarty succeeds Dr. Hong Cai, co-founder and CEO of Mesa Biotech since 2010. Dr. Cai will remain actively involved with the company in her new role as chief technology officer.

“Ingo Chakravarty is an accomplished and passionate leader in the healthcare and medical diagnostics fields, and he will be a tremendously valuable addition to Mesa Biotech’s executive team as the company expands its product line to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leslie Loveless, CEO of Slone Partners.

“Mesa Biotech, under Dr. Cai’s leadership, has achieved extraordinary success with the successful launch of two FDA cleared products for Flu A/ Flu B and RSV, and the more recent emergency use authorization for the 30-minute point of care Accula SARS-CoV-2 test,” said William Brody, chairman of the board. “Entering our next phase of growth, Mr. Chakravarty is the right person, at the right time, to lead Mesa Biotech.”

Mr. Chakravarty joins Mesa Biotech with more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record in capital formation and building and leading high-performing organizations in the healthcare industry. He most recently served as president and CEO of NAVICAN Genomics after spending nearly two decades building global businesses in the oncology and infectious disease market. He has held senior leadership positions at GenMark Diagnostics, Gen-Probe, Roche and Ventana Medical Systems.

Mesa Biotech designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes next generation molecular diagnostic tests, bringing the superior diagnostic performance of nucleic acid PCR amplification to the point-of-care. Similar to Mesa Biotech’s commercially available tests for influenza and RSV, the new rapid Accul SARS-CoV-2 test provides actionable, laboratory-quality results at POC with greater sensitivity and specificity than traditional infectious disease rapid immunoassay tests, the search firm said.

“It is remarkable what Mesa Biotech has achieved over the past decade,” said Mr. Chakravarty. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a dedicated, high performing team. Together we will seize the opportunity and be part of the global response to the current and any future infectious disease challenges that require us to quickly generate the most accurate diagnostic data possible – anytime, anywhere,” he said.

Shifting Needs in Life Sciences Attract Non-Traditional Talent
To keep up with the mind-bending changes that are coursing through the life sciences sector, recruiters who specialize in this area are keeping an open mind to new possibilities in their own work.

As Leslie Loveless, CEO of Slone Partners explains, the life sciences industry has become increasingly consumer-centric, opening the door for recruiting more talent from outside the field. In addition, exciting progress in areas like gene-editing, and the promise it holds, has piqued the interest of many executives who in the past would have given the sciences a wide berth. An entrepreneurial spirit permeates much of the industry, and that has also attracted non-traditional talent.

Slone Partners is a nationally recognized senior-level recruitment provider that specializes in delivering executive, management and leadership talent for the diagnostic, biopharmaceutical, healthcare information technology and laboratory testing industries. The firm has offices in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Recently, Slone Partners was included among Hunt Scanlon Media’s “Top 50 Healthcare & Life Sciences Search Firms.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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