APDN hires experts to spearhead new industry drive

APDN advisory board trioApplied DNA Sciences has appointed the first three members to a new advisory board that will serve as ambassadors for the company as it tries to expand into new industrial sectors.

The first board members - two specialists in the pharma industry and one expert in energy utilities - have been tasked with helping the specialist in DNA marking technologies to grow its business beyond its established presence in electronics, textiles and asset marking.

The two pharma hires are Gunther Faber, former vice president, Sub-Saharan Africa, for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Bob Miglani who serves as senior director, external medical affairs for Pfizer.

APDN says the opportunity for its DNA marking technologies in pharma is "huge … as it is an industry that is impacted by a high rate of diversion and a high rate of counterfeiting."

The technology is fully in compliance with the FDA's requirements for both packaging and on-dose authentication, said APDN's chief executive James Hayward.

"In markets like Africa it is not uncommon for a patient to go to their provider to get a day's dose, one dose at a time, so being able to authenticate doses can be very, very important," he added.

Meanwhile, Bob Catell - the chairman of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium and Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook - will guide APDN's activities in protecting the infrastructure of railways and power authorities across the globe. He will also serve as chairman of the strategic advisory board (SAB).

The SAB will be expanded in future with additional figures who will "provide insights and guidance to our strategic plans and help shape the direction of our company," said Hayward.

The announcement of the SAB members came as APDN reported its fiscal first quarter financial results, with revenues of $1.32m which represented a 7 per cent increase on the same period of the prior year but a two-thirds decline on the prior quarter.

APDN said the slow quarter was mainly a result of the seasonality of cotton ginning in the US, which peaks between September and December. An increase in revenues from the manufacture of DNA for the diagnostics market was offset by a reduction in revenue for DNA marking of military electronics.

The goal for 2016 "is to obtain larger contracts with larger customers and with longer terms," said Hayward, who noted the company is also working on commercialising its DNA markers in high-volume electronics, plastics and other industrial materials and in high-speed inkjet printing.

In the textiles area, new customers include luxury apparel clients in Europe, denim manufacturers, sportswear companies and boutique and large retailers of premium cotton products.

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