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Sapphiros : a Next-Generation Diagnostics Platform, Announces Executive Appointments

07/28/2021 | 04:17pm EDT

Sapphiros, a KKR-backed platform building the next generation of diagnostic technologies, today announced the appointment of Mark Gladwell as Chief Operating Officer and Dr. Niall Armes as Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Gladwell and Dr. Armes will work alongside Sapphiros Executive Chairman Namal Nawana to provide strategic and operational support to the platform’s growing portfolio of innovative, high-growth diagnostics capabilities. The appointment of Dr. Armes is effective immediately, and Mr. Gladwell will join the company on August 23rd.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark and Niall to Sapphiros as we advance our mission to support the next generation of diagnostics by focusing on innovative, patient-centric technologies,” said Mr. Nawana. “Mark brings over two decades of experience managing global operations and delivering transformative value at various leading health care organizations, and Niall’s achievements as a scientist and entrepreneur have revolutionized the diagnostics industry. Their unique experiences and perspectives will further enable Sapphiros to identify and add value to the world’s most innovative diagnostic technologies.”

Mr. Gladwell most recently served as President of Global Operations and Global Business Services at global medical technology business Smith+Nephew, where he was responsible for overseeing global manufacturing, supply chain, procurement, engineering, new product transfers, operational excellence, business services, facilities, sustainability and all operational strategy programs. Prior to Smith+Nephew, he was Senior Vice President of Global Operations at QIAGEN N.V., a provider of sample and assay technologies for molecular diagnostics, applied testing, academic and pharmaceutical research. Earlier in his career, Mr. Gladwell held progressively senior operations roles at global organizations, including Alere Inc., Johnson & Johnson, AGFA Medical Imaging and DuPont de Nemours, Inc.

Mr. Gladwell said, “Sapphiros is addressing a critical patient need by supporting the development of innovative solutions that expand and democratize access to diagnostics. I am delighted to work alongside Namal, Niall and the talented Sapphiros team more broadly to build our portfolio and help to accelerate the growth of some of the world’s most promising diagnostics businesses.”

Dr. Armes is a renowned molecular biologist and protein biochemist and the inventor of the Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RPA) isothermal DNA amplification technology. He is the author on over 33 issued U.S. patents and foreign equivalents and is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Biocrucible, a British molecular diagnostics company pioneering a new amplification chemistry for faster, cheaper and more accurate point-of care diagnostics. Dr. Armes previously founded TwistDx Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in RPA-based molecular testing and technology, where he served as CEO for over 15 years. Before founding TwistDx, Dr. Armes was a scientist with the National Institute for Medical Research (now part of The Francis Crick Institute).

“I am eager to join the Sapphiros team to support the vision and passion of world-leading entrepreneurs working to develop and deliver the next generation of diagnostic technologies,” said Dr. Armes. “I plan to bring a rigorous and analytical perspective to identify and support high-potential companies that can expand access to diagnostics and improve patient health.”

Sapphiros was recently launched by Mr. Nawana and KKR, a leading global investment firm, to invest in and provide operational support to innovative diagnostics companies. In connection with its launch, Sapphiros acquired Biocrucible, a British molecular diagnostics company applying novel isothermal amplification methods to disposable and point-of-care diagnostic technologies, and also acquired a substantial equity stake in GrapheneDx, a consumer diagnostics company that has developed a revolutionary graphene sensor-based technology for at-home and near-patient testing of a broad range of analytes.

About Sapphiros

Sapphiros is a platform to support the next generation of diagnostics, aiming to bridge the gap between present and future by focusing on innovative, patient-centric technologies. Sapphiros invests in growth-stage diagnostic companies, led by exceptional entrepreneurs, and empowers them with the full strength of the platform’s resources, capital, and expertise to accelerate and enhance growth and impact. To learn more about the company, please visit www.sapphiros.com

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

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