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50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2019

An Interview with Jack Stover, Interpace Diagnostics CEO: ‘Our Unique Molecular Diagnostic Tests Enable Healthcare Providers to Avoid Unnecessary Surgeries and Better Assess the Risk of Cancer Progression in Patients’

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“We are a leader in our industry and in the specific markets we serve; our products are novel and innovative and are supported by the most advanced technologies.”

Conventional methods do not provide a full, comprehensive view of a patient’s likelihood of progression to cancer. Today, nearly 80% of surgeries for thyroid and pancreatic cancer are unnecessary; testing following surgery shows that in these cases the tumors are actually benign even though the initial assessment found them to be malignant. Molecular testing has evolved significantly over the past several years and represents an opportunity to identify cancer at its earliest stages. Many molecular markers are well known to prognose which cancers will be most aggressive and require more substantial treatment. Moving forward both diagnostic and therapeutic companies are looking to develop companion diagnostics to ensure the right patients receive the right treatment at the right time.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present Interpace Diagnostics.

Interpace is focused on developing and commercializing molecular diagnostic tests principally focused on early detection of high potential progressors to cancer and leveraging the latest technology and personalized medicine for patient diagnosis and management. The company operates in the molecular diagnostics segment. It offers molecular tests, such as PancraGen, which is a pancreatic cyst molecular test that can aid in pancreatic cyst diagnosis and pancreatic cancer risk assessment utilizing its PathFinder platform; ThyGeNEXT, which assesses thyroid nodules for risk of malignancy, and ThyraMIR,

which assesses thyroid nodules’ risk of malignancy utilizing a micro RNA classifier assay. Through its molecular diagnostics business, Interpace provides diagnostic options for detecting genetic and other molecular alterations that are associated with gastrointestinal and endocrine cancers, which are focused on early detection of cancer.

The company was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Jack Stover, Interpace Diagnostics CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up?

Interpace Diagnostics was set up to deliver diagnostic insights to physicians to help them in making treatment decisions. The company has grown significantly since its founding, largely through the development and commercialization of new products and product extensions.

How successful was your first product roll out? Share the experience.

Our first product roll-out was ThyGenX, our molecular test for indeterminate thyroid nodules. The test was intended to assist endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons in making a decision whether or not to perform thyroid surgery on a patient with an indeterminate nodule. We rolled out the project in late 2014 by hiring a brand new commercial team with strong experience in molecular testing. We also engaged a scientific advisory board to help ensure we were using the voice of the customer in making strategic decisions. In addition, the company invested in clinical studies that validated the analytical and clinical validity of the test. Finally, we worked closely with patient advocacy groups to ensure we had the patient’s perspective represented in our product development strategies.

A company’s behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products. How do you interpret this saying?

Our mission as a company is to resolve diagnostic uncertainty i.e. help physicians to understand what the best course of action is–performing surgeries to monitoring a patient’s condition over time. Each of our employees understands that behind every sample we process is a patient who is waiting to find out whether or not they have cancer. This is a collective behavior that embodies who we are as a company.

Is your company a leader or follower?

We are a leader in our industry and in the specific markets we serve; our products are novel and have not been replicated in the market. While there are competitors, we have taken the lead in areas like thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, and lung cancer. Our customers have come to expect innovation from us as we have been delivering on that request since our inception.

Is it true that striving for both ethics and success in a business is a tough feat?

No! We have been able to successfully achieve both. Our industry is highly regulated by various government agencies. These organizations ensure we are performing according to the highest of standards. Between these external forces and our own company cultural norms and values, we run a very ethical business. We believe that running an ethical business has been one of the reasons for our strong performance and success. Our clients expect us to perform every test for every patient in an ethical manner; if we didn’t do so, we would not have achieved the level of success we have today.

If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

Following are the factors that aid us outshine competition:

Our Employees: They are our biggest asset; they take care of our customers and represent the company directly.

Our Key Opinion Leaders: They have been instrumental in helping us develop our product pipeline and launch the products that are most helpful in the market.

Our Commercial Organization:
Our field sales team has had tremendous success in working closely with our customers and prospective clients to drive impressive growth in the business.

Product Development: Developing new products and expanding existing ones to ensure product life cycle management results in innovative offerings for our customers.

Our Customers: The clients are our biggest advocates and they share their experiences with our products with one another.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?

We have delivered consistently on the expectations we have set out for ourselves. We have experienced tremendous growth over the past three years consistent with the goals we have communicated publicly.

Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?

We are driving the company to have $100M in revenue through a combination of organic growth and potential acquisitions like the one we just completed with Cancer Genetics. We believe we will become more and more a data company, leveraging the informatics that has been generated by the tens of thousands of molecular tests and results we have accumulated over the past five years.

Jack Stover: An Aspiring Entrepreneur

Jack Stover serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Interpace Diagnostics. He was previously on the board of directors of PDI, Inc., the parent company of Interpace Diagnostics when it was founded as a new business unit in 2014. Prior to joining Interpace, Mr. Stover held numerous senior-level executive positions in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

“We leverage the latest technology in personalized medicine to provide beneficial molecular diagnostic tests and pathology services for evaluating the existence or risk of developing cancer.”