We met the Biotech with the First & Only US Approved Blood Test for Colorectal Cancer

14/04/2016 - 6 minutes

Colorectal cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the US, but Epigenomics could dramatically improve this sad figure.

A problem Berlin-based Epigenomics want to solve and just got a significant milestone: an FDA approval for commercialisation. I met with Thomas Taapken, the CEO of the company, in his office in Berlin, a nice historical building with 4 meters ceiling and close to the city-center.

Epigenomics was started in 1998 from PhDs at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics here in Berlin. The goal? To build a platform for research on epigenetics, and then commercialize the products. The company IPOed in 2004 on the Frankfurt Stock Market, one of the last German Biotechs to IPO.

By 2006-2007, the company counted 120 employees and 35 research programs. But then the original founders left and instead Epigenomics started on fewer programs, restricted to the diagnostic space only.

Taapken joined in 2011 to restructure the company and bring a clear focus towards the US.

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