Ann Arbor-based NextGen Sciences Inc., a subsidiary of London, England-based NextGen Group plc, Wednesday announced a reorganization and several new staff positions.

The company said the reorganization is expected to help the company execute its strategy of becoming a leading player in the growing oncology and central nervous system biomarker markets. Targeting these therapeutic areas, two new biomarker assay products are expected to be launched in the first half of this year.

Key appointments include Dr. Neal Siegel as director of assay development, a new position. He joins from Sword Diagnostics Inc. and prior to that the US healthcare company Abbott Laboratories, and will lead assay delivery, validation and quality control.

Glenn Barney, formerly of Decision Biomarkers, becomes vice president of business development, and will be responsible for driving sales growth across all products, as well as overseeing marketing.

Hiroshi Saito joins from Optiem LLC, an Internet and digital marketing agency, as director of arketing, working closely with Barney.

“NextGen Sciences’ reorganization brings an increased commercial focus to our biomarker business, with the new appointees bringing extensive technical and commercial expertise,” said Klaus Rosenau, chairman and CEO of NextGen Group. “The next step is expected to be the launch of a human plasma assay targeting several oncology disease areas, and a human cerebrospinal fluid assay for CNS disorders, in the first half of this year. This will help us generate value in this growing market via our quality products and services, and increased partnering with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies. We believe that our increasing profile will be beneficial to our long-term aim of bringing complementary technologies into the NextGen Group.”

With a rise in the industry focus on personalised medicine and cost-effectiveness, biomarkers are playing an increasing important role in drug discovery, development and patient access, as well as healthcare delivery. The global market for biomarkers is expected to grow to $12.8 billion, according to BCC Research, with those for neurological disorders (growing to $3.5 billion by 2015, according to Espicom Healthcare) and oncology ($9.5 billion by 2014, according to playing an important role.

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