News & Events

Beyond Compensation: How to Keep Your Best Employees

Toft Group has had an exciting start to the new year, as two impressive people have joined our talented team: Michele Mantynen as Director of Marketing Communications and Sarah Cueto as Executive Search Consultant. These stellar additions to Toft Group will move us forward in placing highly specialized leadership and technical roles in companies at the intersection of biotech and high tech.

At Toft Group, we know –  from daily experience speaking with impressive executive level candidates –  that once you have gone to the effort to identify, hire and train the perfect candidate, you want to make certain they will stay with you while you reach your goals. We have identified a number of methods to guarantee happy, engaged employees in the article “Beyond Compensation: How to Keep Your Best Employees.”
If you are ready to start a search for a new position or expand your organization, please contact our award-winning team.
Sincerely,

Robin Toft, President & CEO
Toft Group

Access the full Newsletter here

Beyond Compensation: How to Keep Your Best Employees

You’ve gone to the effort and expense to hire top performers for your company– how do you make sure they will stay with you? According to The Wall Street Journal, a high employee turnover rate can lead to costs of up to two times an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. High turnover rates can also lower a company’s knowledge base and decrease performance and morale among the employees who remain.

How do you make sure your top performers stay? Offering attractive compensation and benefits is always a good start, but there are many other strategies for keeping your valuable employees with you.
  • Make sure your match is a strong one from the start.Hiring the right people is the single best way to reduce employee turnover. “Using an expert search firm can give you the ability to identify exactly the right candidates. Not only will these potential employees have the skills you require, they will also fit well with your company culture,” says Mark Soufleris, Senior Vice President of Toft Group. “The stronger the match, the more likely the employee will remain with your company.”
  • Effectively communicate your mission. Understanding and feeling connected to the organization’s goals keeps employees mentally and emotionally tied to your company.
  • Ensure psychological safety. Google conducted a study on team performance and the conclusion was that the highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety, the belief that you won’t be punished for making a mistake. According to The Harvard Business Review, studies show that psychological safety allows for risk-taking, speaking your mind and creativity. Creating a sense of psychological safety within your company can lead to higher levels of engagement, increased motivation to tackle difficult problems, stronger performance, and overall better job satisfaction.
  • Check in with your current employees. In addition to conducting exit interviews to learn why employees leave, consider asking long-term employees why they stay. Ask them: why did you come to work here, why have you stayed, what do you think of management, what would you improve? Use the answers to strengthen employee-retention strategies.
  • Recognize accomplishments. Feeling appreciated is crucial for most satisfied employees. You can do this in the moment with a thank-you email in which you copy the employee’s supervisor, or more formally with public recognition and appreciation in department or all-company meetings. The simple act of letting employees know you’ve noticed, understood and appreciated their work might be the most effective way to ensure they will be with you all the way to your goals.
Toft Group works with clients to source talent and develop a growth culture that fosters innovation. For more information, or to start your next search, contact us

Robin Toft, CEO and Founder of Toft Group, Named 2017 Business Woman of the Year by San Diego Business Journal

Executive search firm Toft Group today announced that its CEO, president and founder, Robin Toft, has been selected as a 2017 Business Woman of the Year in the small business category by the San Diego Business Journal (SDBJ).

The annual Business Women of the Year program recognizes women business leaders who are making a difference in their workplaces and communities. Nominees were evaluated based on their innovation, entrepreneurship, professional accomplishment and community leadership.

“San Diego is home to many smart, highly successful and community focused small business owners, who happen to be women, so it is truly an honor to be selected for this award,” said Ms. Toft. “I’m incredibly proud of our team at Toft Group whose dedication is critical to the success of the company, and I want to thank each of them for their tireless work that has enabled Toft Group’s incredible growth and success.”

Toft Group, a global executive search firm fully devoted to life sciences, has an extensive track record of quickly filling highly specialized leadership roles while ensuring a strong cultural fit. Searches are completed efficiently and effectively, translating to time and cost savings for clients. Notably, nearly 60 percent of placed candidates are identified within two weeks of search initiation — results which are made possible by the company’s commitment to dedicated timelines, strong referral network and highly experienced search consultants.

In addition to Toft Group’s proven ability to help companies build strong, successful teams, Ms. Toft is committed to giving back to the San Diego community. She served on four non-profit boards in 2016, including the Go Red for Women movement of the American Heart Association, the Cancer Foundation at Scripps Mercy Hospital, the leadership organization LEAD San Diego, and the Clearity Foundation, which helps women with ovarian cancer obtain molecular profiling of their tumors and access to clinical trials. Additionally, in 2017, Ms. Toft formed the Women Executive Career Advancement Network (WE CAN) to enable leading executive women to mentor, bond, and inspire each other in their life sciences careers. She has also been a top fundraiser and dedicated walker in the San Diego Susan G. Komen 3-Day / 60 mile walk to support breast cancer research and early detection every year since Toft Group opened in San Diego in 2010.

About Toft Group

Toft Group is a global executive search firm fully devoted to life sciences and healthcare, with a focus on innovation-driven companies at the intersection of biotech and high tech. Toft Group’s targeted, accurate searches translate into exceptional return-on-investment for clients nationwide, and the team’s extensive networks enable the presentation of more highly qualified and diverse candidates than clients would otherwise see. The firm’s extensive track record has shown its ability to quickly fill highly specialized leadership roles where talent is limited. The company has offices in the three major U.S. biotech hubs: San Diego, San Francisco and Boston. Visit thetoftgroup.com to learn more.

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Media Contact

Monica May

Canale Communications

(619) 849-5383

monica@canalecomm.com

2018 New Workplace Trends

Most economic indicators show a positive view of the U.S. economy in 2018 – which means good things for both clients and candidates. Yet there are several areas that remain a challenge when it comes to finding the right talent for the right positions. To prepare ahead of time, here are some of the key trends we expect in the new year:

  1. Greater Candidate Confidence in the Job Market

Earlier this year the “official” unemployment rate reached the lowest it’s been in 16 years, and has consistently remained low. The healthcare industry is also predicted to be one of the fastest growing industries in 2018.

With more jobs being added to the market, candidate confidence in their ability to find a quality job is at an all-time high. As more leverage shifts to candidates, job seekers are becoming more selective and less willing to settle for a job that does not meet their requirements.

Even those who are currently employed are increasingly likely to be looking at other opportunities. High performers are being constantly approached with enticing offers, and companies need to be sure they are doing everything they can to keep their best people happy.

  1. Increased Competition for Specialized Talent

The industry shift from broad-based R&D to more innovative research for niche products and services requires candidates to have increasingly diverse and specialized skillsets.

For companies striving to innovate and deliver the next breakthrough in technology, there are a limited amount of highly specialized candidates in the talent pool. This, combined with high retirement rates of executive “baby boomers”, has companies scrambling to fill key roles with less experienced candidates, many of whom are less qualified but seeking career development.

  1. Improved Hiring Experience

Given the trends in employee confidence and talent competition, wise employers will adjust their strategy for attracting new candidates. We expect a greater focus on employer branding, the candidate experience, and corporate reputation.

We also anticipate many companies to significantly improve their hiring process. The biotech & pharma industries have one of the longest interview processes times. Data shows employers lose a significant number of good candidates due to a slow-moving hiring processes.

We expect companies to make a big push to streamline their application and interview processes, enabling them to move more quickly to offer when they find the right candidate for the position.

  1. Flexibility & Work Life Balance on the Rise

In the past two decades, the volume of employees who have worked at least partially by telecommuting has quadrupled, and now stands at 37%.

Flexibility and work/life balance is one of the most desirable benefits among both women and Millennials – two relatively more available candidate pools. With such a high demand, employers are increasingly providing options to attract and retain high performers from these candidate pools.

  1. More Performance- based Goals

With greater flexibility and more remote work, we expect a similar rise in performance-based, goal driven cultures. Management is transitioning from “micro-managing” employees onsite, to a more performance-driven approach. In the future, an even greater percentage of compensation will be tied to achieving goals and corporate objectives.

  1. Greater Focus on Diversity & Inclusion

No longer is diversity and inclusion just a buzz topic. Diversity enhances innovation, and companies with balanced executive teams outperform those with less diverse teams. 1, 2, 3 Given the talent crisis, the under-utilized and available talent pools of the future are the historically under-utilized pools of gender diverse, ethnically diverse, and millennials.

Data shows that companies who have diverse leadership teams have an advantage in performance, and in recruiting. As more companies continue to realize powerful results, we anticipate even greater commitment, support, resources, and mentoring programs to further enhance diversity in the workplace. That being said, it will still require effort from women and minorities already in leadership roles to help others get the advancement opportunities they deserve.

With these efforts, we believe there is no better time than now for women and minorities to land incredible executive-level roles.

  1. Succession Planning Focus

Nearly half of CEOs have indicated an increased focus on developing a pipeline of future leaders was one of the most important components to keep their company competitive.

Smart companies are leveraging their seasoned executives to pass on the skills needed to their future successors prior to retirement. We expect to see more succession planning focus, employee mentoring programs, and training to become a greater priority to effectively prepare the next generation of leadership.

The landscape for 2018 will continue to evolve as we head into the new year. Toft Group remains committed to enhancing our clients’ return on investment by quickly identifying the right candidate for each important role on the executive leadership team and Board of Directors. We believe the future is bright, and progressive companies will realize impressive growth opportunities. To start your next executive search in biotech and healthcare high tech, contact us.

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Sources

  1. Archer, Seth. Companies with Women in Leadership Roles Crush the Competition. Business Insider. June 17, 2016.
  2. Rock, David, et al. Why Diverse Teams are Smarter. HBR.org. Nov. 4, 2016.
  3. What Makes a High-Performing Team? The Answer May Surprise You. MIT Sloan Executive Education. Mar 22, 2017

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for Veracyte, Inc. (NYSE: VCYT) in South San Francisco, CA

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Ms. Jessica Meng as Vice President of Marketing at Veracyte, Inc., in South San Francisco, CA. She has spent the past 13 years in progressive roles within Genentech, formerly serving as the Marketing Director for Avastin where she led strategy and revenue growth. She holds an MBA in Marketing & Strategic Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

About Veracyte

Veracyte (Nasdaq: VCYT) is pioneering the field of molecular cytology, focusing on genomic solutions that resolve diagnostic ambiguity and enable physicians to make more informed treatment decisions at an early stage in patient care. By improving preoperative diagnostic accuracy, the company aims to help patients avoid unnecessary invasive procedures while reducing healthcare costs. Veracyte’s first commercial solution, the Afirma® Thyroid FNA Analysis, centers on the proprietary Afirma Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) to resolve ambiguity in diagnosis and is becoming a new standard of care in thyroid nodule assessment. Since launching its Afirma solution in 2011, Veracyte estimates it has helped approximately 10,000 patients with thyroid nodules avoid unnecessary surgery, reducing healthcare costs by millions of dollars. Afirma is recommended in leading practice guidelines and is covered for more than 135 million lives in the United States, including through Medicare and most commercial insurance plans. Veracyte intends to expand its molecular cytology franchise to other clinical areas, beginning with difficult-to-diagnose lung diseases. The company is in late product development for a genomic test to resolve preoperative ambiguity in lung nodules that are suspicious for cancer. Veracyte is also developing a second product in pulmonology, targeting interstitial lung diseases that include idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for LabCorp (NYSE: LH) in Burlington, NC

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Ms. Karen Walsh as Executive Director, Health Systems, Northeast at LabCorp in New Jersey. She has served in progressive roles with Virtua Health over the past 35 years, most recently serving as the Assistant Vice President at Virtua Corporate Laboratory where she managed strategic planning, operations and finance for corporate labs. She holds a Master’s in Human Services and Health Care Administration Specialization from Capella University in Minneapolis.

About LabCorp

Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (NYSE: LH), an S&P 500 company, is the world’s leading healthcare diagnostics company, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostic solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster and develops technology-enabled solutions to change the way care is provided. With net revenue in excess of $8.5 billion in 2015, LabCorp’s 50,000 employees serve clients in 60 countries.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for LabCorp (NYSE: LH) in Burlington, NC

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Ms. Mary Martorana as Strategic Director, Health Systems at LabCorp in Burlington, NC. She offers 30+ years of healthcare industry experience, most recently serving as Laboratory Manager for Meridian Health supporting 3 hospitals. She earned a Master’s in Biology from Montclair State University.

About LabCorp

Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (NYSE: LH), an S&P 500 company, is the world’s leading healthcare diagnostics company, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostic solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster and develops technology-enabled solutions to change the way care is provided. With net revenue in excess of $8.5 billion in 2015, LabCorp’s 50,000 employees serve clients in 60 countries.

“Diverse Candidates Can Win If They Can Get the Interview.”

Robin Toft Joins an Executive Panel at the 2017 Biotech Investor Forum in San Francisco to Tackle Diversity & Inclusion

 

Companies with more diverse leadership have shown to have greater performance and long-term success. However, many organizations struggle to develop leadership teams where women and minorities hold executive level positions.

Robin Toft joined other industry leaders from Halozyme, Canaan Partners, Daré Bioscience, and Global Blood Therapeutics for the #BIF17 Business Panel: “Practical Approaches for Improving Leadership Diversity” to confront the issues preventing diversity in the C-suite. Read the recap to learn how to make change happen in any organization.

View Recap

Learn to Lead with a Growth Mindset from Toft Group Executive Search

I hope 2017 to date has been action packed for you personally, and that your company is hitting its growth goals. At Toft Group we realize that having a Growth Mindset is of huge importance to continuously improving who we are and how we do business. Our Team is committed to showing up that way for our customers, and wanted to share an amazing resource we have discovered with you in this issue. We invite you to read our feature article “Learn to Lead with a Growth Mindset from Toft Group Executive Search.

Additionally, we’re proud to announce a new look for Toft Group! Our refreshed brand reflects the growing capabilities and strengthened partnerships we have with executive leaders to deliver on what matters most: shaping the future of healthcare at the intersection of Biotech and High Tech. Please check out our new website at www.thetoftgroup.com.

Every day, we challenge ourselves to solve fundamental industry issues in new ways. We’re thinking ahead to help our clients navigate the complex world where High Tech meets Biotech.

In today’s environment with the current talent crisis, we’re also taking the lead when it comes to accessing the workforces of the future (gender diverse, ethnically diverse, and millennials), which will absolutely require achieving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Finally, we’d love to hear about your growth goals – Please contact us to get started.

Sincerely,

Robin Toft

President & Chief Engagement Officer, Toft Group Executive Search

Access the full Newsletter here

Learn to Lead with a Growth Mindset from Toft Group Executive Search

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

How do you view yourself? What are your talents and strengths? What are your weaknesses?

This isn’t meant for preparing for an interview, so feel free to be honest with yourself. This is important because our self-perception is what ultimately forms a “mindset” of not only who we are, but who we can become.

Maybe you believe you’re intelligent, a math whiz or simply not good with numbers. The point is, do you believe you can change? Do you think you’re capable of (and willing to) develop new skills and talents even if they are in completely different areas?

A Fixed Mindset would say no. We are simply born with what we have. It’s in our DNA.

A Growth Mindset probably wouldn’t have even asked the question. Individuals with a Growth Mindset are already in a constant process of learning new things and embracing new challenges with the philosophy that we are never really done refining who we are.

As Dr. Eve Grodnitzky, Growth Mindset Psychologist, Author & Educator puts it, “A Fixed Mindset arises from the belief intelligence and skills are based on inherent traits which you may have or not have. It does not believe traits can be developed beyond who we currently are. A Growth Mindset on the other hand, sees everyone and everything as a learning process where we are constantly developing.”

She points out key differences between a Fixed and Growth Mindset include the following:

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
Resists change Highly adaptable
Avoids challenges Embraces challenges
Struggles with feedback Welcomes feedback
Exerts only the amount of effort needed Works hard. Tries new things
Gives up easily Keeps trying
Always needs to be right Can admit weaknesses and when they are wrong
Defensive if challenged Open to hearing others
Highly-risk averse Takes calculated risks
Failing means “I’m not good enough” Does not see things as “failures” but as opportunities to learn and improve
Resents, competes or compares self with others Learns from and is inspired by others

Individuals with a Fixed Mindset certainly can limit their own personal and professional growth. However, Fixed Mindsets (particularly within HR, management and at the executive leadership level) create an entire culture that struggles to evolve, innovate, or grow.

Apply a Fixed Mindset to an entire company and we see an organization struggle to embrace diversity and gender equality; a place where new ideas or ways of doing things are quickly shot down or never explored further. We see employees who fear making a mistake, and work environments that becomes more about politics than collaboration. And at the end of the day, individuals end up becoming complacent with status quo, disengage or move on to other companies. Corporate growth becomes stagnant, and ultimately leadership is replaced.

In turn, a Growth Mindset company benefits from:

  • Ongoing learning and development.
  • New ideas and processes focused on continuous improvement.
  • Collaborative relationships with team members.
  • Employees who are interested in their work, see their potential future, feel valued and take ownership in their roles.
  • Corporate Growth and innovation despite ongoing challenges and intense competition in the market.

Most of us have a combination of both mindsets with varying ranges, with Fixed being the dominate Mindset for the majority of the population. However, regardless of where you stand, you can always change. There are several key aspects that contribute to formulating our mindset which are within our control.  This includes behavioral triggers and habits, as well as the people you surround yourself with. Our language, including our thoughts, how we talk about ourselves, and the feedback we receive from others are also major contributors.

Perhaps the greatest determinant of whether we maintain more of a Fixed or a Growth Mindset has to do with our perspective of failure. As Dr. Grodnitzky puts it, “De-stigmatizing what failure is and creating environments that allow for appropriate risk and failure will drastically improve our ability to shift our perspective.”

So, where can executives begin to promote and instill a Growth Mindset?

1)     Self Reflection

The perception you have of yourself has an incredible impact on how you live your life and approach your career. Understand where you may have a fixed mentality with some simple questions:

  • Where do you feel unqualified or “not good enough” in your current job or a job you aspire to be in?
  • How are your thoughts limiting you?
  • How often are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?
  • Are you open to feedback?
  • Where might you have a fear of failing? Do you regret past failures or do you focus on what you’ve learned?

2)    In the Hiring Process

“HR managers can often fall into a Fixed Mindset and not even know it, by tending to prefer natural talent over someone who can work hard to get up to speed quickly,” comments CEO of Toft Group, Robin Toft. “As executive recruiters, we help our HR clients discern what skills are required based on what we see in the industry, and what can be learned on the job with the right person.”

Toft adds that “hiring managers can differentiate a Growth Mindset candidate in the interview based on their:

  • Energy: They get excited with new challenges and are eager to gain experience.
  • Sense of Humility: They’re willing to admit mistakes, “failures”, and weaknesses. “If there is something they don’t have experience with, their ‘go-to’ is their willingness to learn or rely on other people,” comments Toft.
  • “Desire to Give and Receive Feedback: They are open or even seek ongoing coaching and mentorship. Their management style also includes regular feedback and one-on-one meetings.”

Dr. Grodnitzky also recommends asking a mix of key questions that are based on either Growth or Fixed Mindsets.

Sample Growth Mindset questions include “Tell me about a time when…”

  1. …you were inspired to learn something new recently.
  2. …you took on a significant challenge recently.
  3. …you failed at something recently.

Sample Fixed Mindset questions include “Tell me about a time when…”

  1. …you felt like the smartest person in the room recently.
  2. …you chose not to do something challenging recently.
  3. …you gave up on something recently.

Click here to download Dr. Grodnitzky’s Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Mindset.

She points out that the interviewer should ask these questions in as “neutral” a fashion as possible. Candidates will typically have both Growth and Fixed Mindset tendencies, but it’s important to listen for whether one dominates the other.

3)     Management

Not only is continuous feedback important as part of Growth Mindset management, but how you provide feedback is also critical.

Feedback does not always need to be on an individual basis. You can conduct debriefs with your team that allow for collective team feedback, input and evaluation of people and processes.

Finally, one of the best ways to inspire a Growth Mindset, is to help employees see their potential. Advise employees on different areas for growth and provide various opportunities for development. Point out where they may be limiting themselves with their own beliefs or actions.

Conclusion

A Growth Mindset company starts with your own mindset. When trying to determine where you can evolve as a company, understand how you and your employees are learning as individuals. Your breakthrough could simply be a shift in perspective.

Toft Group works with clients to source talent and develop a growth culture that fosters innovation. For more information, or to start your next search, contact us.

About Dr. Eve Grodnitzky

Dr. Grodnitzky is an executive educator, professional speaker and author of Click: The Art + Science of Getting from Impasse to Insight. Much of her work with clients focuses on the development of a “Growth Mindset.” Click here for more info.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for Avacta Life Sciences (LON: AVCT)

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Dr. Matthew Vincent as Vice President Business Development focused on the North American market. Dr. Vincent is a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in multiple areas of biotechnology and life science. He joins Avacta from Arisaph Pharmaceuticals where he led corporate development and therapeutic innovation strategy delivering around $100m in license revenues in the past three years. Prior to Arisaph, Matthew was Director of Business Development at Ocata Therapeutics where he had responsibility for all commercial affairs including product licensing and divestment, asset acquisition and complex commercial negotiations as well as the eventual acquisition of Ocata by Astellas Pharmaceuticals. Matthew’s experience also includes developing therapeutic product profiles for regenerative medicine and immuno-oncology, pricing/reimbursement and regulatory strategy. From his previous work as a lawyer and patent attorney, he has experience in worldwide patent portfolio strategy and IP diligence, regulatory affairs strategy, private and public financing and patent litigation.

About Avacta Life Sciences

Avacta Group plc is dedicated to providing life scientists with high quality, powerful tools to enable them to work faster and smarter in accelerating our understanding of biology and disease, and to help them apply these advances to diagnosis and treatment.

Avacta came to the AIM market in 2006 to provide instrumentation, consumables and reagents for life science researchers. The Group’s activities are now focused on Affimer® technology, an engineered alternative to antibodies, which it is commercializing through Avacta Life Sciences.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for Therapeutics, Inc., in San Diego, CA

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Mr. David Spencer as Head of Business Development at Therapeutics, Inc., in San Diego, CA. He brings 25 years of experience spanning scientific research, business development, and pharmaceutical sales. He formerly served as Manager of Business Development at Robarts Clinical Trials we he supported translation science, clinical R&D, sales and business development efforts for this recognized leader in clinical trial research. He earned a Master’s in Biology/Immunology at Case Western Reserve University as well as an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Banking & Finance.

About Therapeutics, Inc.

Therapeutics, Inc. designs, creates, and executes development programs for FDA registration of topical, oral and injectable dermatology drugs, biologics and devices. In addition to designing and managing Phase 1-4 dermatology studies, we maximize clients’ commercial success by supporting management of competitive technologies, regulatory strategy and compliance, market dynamics, competitive intelligence, reimbursement, product life cycle, and more.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for FIND in Geneva, Switzerland

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Dr. Ranga Sampath as Chief Scientific Officer at FIND in Geneva, Switzerland.  Dr. Sampath comes to FIND after co-founding the Ibis division of Abbott where he served as the Volwiler Sr. Residential Fellow & Senior Director for 8 years, and where he lead Ibis’ PCR/ESI-MS technology and application development for infectious disease diagnostics. He has 40 United States issued patents and has published over 90 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Sampath earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Rice University.

About FIND

FIND was established in 2003 as a global non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and delivery of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and Buruli ulcer, as well as for fighting antimicrobial resistance and supporting outbreak preparedness. Over the last decade, FIND has partnered in the delivery of 20 new diagnostic tools, including ten for tuberculosis, and created an enabling environment for numerous others through the provision of specimen banks, reagent development and better market visibility. FIND also supports better access to new diagnostics through price negotiations, implementation, quality assurance and lab strengthening work. FIND has over 100 partners globally, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries and national disease control programmes, commercial partners, bilateral and multilateral organizations, especially WHO, and clinical trial sites.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for aTyr Pharma in San Diego, CA

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Dr. Sanna Rosengren as Director of Immunology at aTyr Pharma in San Diego, CA. Dr. Rosengren specializes in autoimmune and inflammatory disease, previously leading the cancer immunology program for testing of novel immunomodulatory biologicals in preclinical tumor models at Halozyme Therapeutics. She holds a PhD in Physiology from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

About aTyr Pharma

aTyr Pharma is engaged in the discovery and clinical development of innovative medicines for patients using its knowledge of Physiocrine biology, a newly discovered set of immunological and physiological pathways. To date, aTyr has generated three innovative therapeutic programs with three different biologic modalities based on its knowledge of the Resokine pathway to treat patients suffering from severe, rare immune-mediated diseases, as well as various cancers. The Resolaris and iMod.Fc programs are agonists of the Resokine pathway designed to temper immune system engagement in diseases characterized by excessive immune cell involvement. aTyr’s third program, ORCA, represents a novel, proprietary pathway in immuno-oncology that utilizes antibody approaches to block the Resokine pathway and ‘release multiple brakes’ on the immune system in the tumor cell environment. aTyr has built an intellectual property estate, to protect its pipeline, comprising over 220 issued patents or allowed patent applications that are owned or exclusively licensed, including over 300 potential Physiocrine-based protein compositions.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for Irvine Scientific in Santa Ana, CA

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Mr. Paul Altamirano as Director of Manufacturing Operations at Irvine Scientific in Santa Ana, CA. Previously, Mr. Altamirano served as Director of Manufacturing and Operations at Nanosys where he oversaw Supply Chain, Quality, Engineering and EHS functions since 2009. He holds an MBA from the University of Houston.

About Irvine Scientific

Irvine Scientific was established in 1970 to produce serum products for the cell culture market. From those beginnings, Irvine Scientific emerged and grew to become a respected innovator of cell culture products. Over the years, Irvine Scientific has evolved its products, services, and operations to become multi-disciplined, international in scope, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the area of cell culture media.

Toft Group Completes Vice President of Sales Search for OncoCyte Corporation (NYSE: OCX) in Alameda, CA

OncoCyte Corporation (NYSE: OCX), a developer of novel, non-invasive tests for the early detection of cancer, today announced that Michael G. Vicari has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President of Sales. Mr. Vicari will report directly to William Annett, President and Chief Executive Officer. He will be responsible for the development and successful implementation of the Company’s domestic and international sales strategies, with an initial focus on the expected fourth quarter U.S. launch of DetermaVu™, the Company’s liquid biopsy lung cancer diagnostic.

“Our commitment to building out and executing our sales strategy reflects our plan to make DetermaVu™ the first test of its kind to reach the medical market, and we expect the U.S. commercial launch in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Mr. Annett. “Michael’s experience building and leading sales organizations at major diagnostic companies, and proven success in driving significant revenues, will be invaluable as we launch DetermaVu™ and drive adoption by physicians.”

Robin Toft, President and CEO of Toft Group said: “We are thrilled to have worked with the senior leadership of OncoCyte, and congratulate Mike on his new role. We have every confidence that he will make an exceptional contribution to the company’s continued success.”

Mr. Vicari brings 35 years of successful sales and marketing leadership within the healthcare industry, including the launch of several important diagnostic products. Before joining OncoCyte, he was with Eurofins Scientific as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Clinical Diagnostics business where he established two separate sales and marketing organizations for EGL (rare genetic testing) & NTD (prenatal testing) while leading all commercial functions.

Prior to Eurofins, he was Vice President of Sales for Sequenom, Inc., leading sales and strategy for nearly five years.  While at Sequenom, Mr. Vicari led the successful launch of their revolutionary women’s health test, NIPT MaterniT21, and launching of the Universal Carrier Screen, NIPT VisibiliT, and drove overall Sequenom sales from $0 to over $150 million per year. Prior to Sequenom, Mr. Vicari was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Oncology/HIV at Monogram Biosciences before it was acquired by LabCorp. In this role, he led sales, marketing and clinical training and also managed the launch of HerMark for breast cancer. Mr. Vicari has served in senior commercial leadership roles at Genentech, Corixa Oncology, and MedImmune.

“OncoCyte is approaching an exciting inflection point as it prepares for the anticipated launch of DetermaVu™, and I’m thrilled that I will be spearheading the launch and commercial rollout of this important product,” commented Mr. Vicari. “DetermaVu™ has the potential to change the paradigm in lung cancer diagnostics, thereby saving lives and lowering treatment costs for millions of patients by helping to identify lung cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage, and reducing the need for potentially dangerous and expensive invasive biopsies. I look forward to working tirelessly with the entire team to make DetermaVu™ a commercial success.”

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group Executive Search is “Changing the Future, One Relationship at a Time” and we take pride in the fact that our work helps our clients accelerate getting novel products to market. We are a global retained executive search firm that is 100% dedicated to life sciences & healthcare industries.  Our customers include biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies. With offices in San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston, we assist a wide range of local, national and international companies – from venture backed start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.

About OncoCyte Corporation

OncoCyte is focused on the development and commercialization of novel, non-invasive blood and urine (“liquid biopsy”) diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancer to improve health outcomes through earlier diagnoses, to reduce the cost of care through the avoidance of more costly diagnostic procedures, including invasive biopsy and cystoscopic procedures, and to improve the quality of life for cancer patients. While current biopsy tests use invasive surgical procedures to provide tissue samples in order to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant, OncoCyte is developing a next generation of diagnostic tests that will be based on liquid biopsies using blood or urine samples. OncoCyte’s pipeline products are intended to be confirmatory diagnostics for detecting lung, breast and bladder cancer. OncoCyte’s diagnostic tests are being developed using proprietary sets of genetic and protein markers that differentially express in specific types of cancer.