Knome, a US-based life sciences company specialising in genome research, appointed Martin Tolar as its chief executive officer on Monday. Tolar previously held the same position at biopharmaceutical company Normoxys. Prior to helming Normoxys, Tolar held executive positions at pharmaceutical companies CoMentis and Pfizer, where he played a significant role in the corporation’s acquisition of Rinat Neurosciences in 2006. Founded in 2007, Knome works on interpreting human genomes likely to govern particular diseases and responses to drug treatments. Academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers outsource the interpretation part of their work to Knome, while clinics are able to purchase large-scale data systems to aid their work. France-based diagnostics company BioMerieux invested $5m in Knome, in April 2010, as part of a strategic collaboration involving the development of in vitro diagnostic tools. Knome attracted a further $5m in August 2011 but did not disclose the source of the funding. Tolar said: "I am delighted to join Knome. The company has superior technology and world-class genome interpretation capabilities that I believe will make a major impact on the way we diagnose and treat diseases, develop drugs, and make lifestyle decisions. We are on the cusp of the genomic and personalized medicine revolution-right when the cost of sequencing has reached a point where the application of genetic information is feasible across a host of opportunities. "I expect that Knome will be a leader in this transformation as we broaden our business from academic research into expanded applications for drug development at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the treatment of individual patients at hospitals and clinics; and a wide range of consumer applications." Tolar’s hiring was made as Knome made additional rotations on its board. Founding chief executive Jorge Conde will become chief strategy officer, while Jonas Lee, also a founding member of Knome’s board and its head of consumer genomics, will expand his role to include chief marketing officer.

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