Health Discovery Corporation (Health Discovery) has appointed John A. Norris as chief operating officer (COO) of the company. Norris is the former deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He will be responsible for business development, primarily creating new strategic partnerships, licenses and contracts to complement the company’s existing agreements with Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, Abbott Molecular, Pfizer Inc., Bruker Corporation and Clarient, Inc.
“We are extremely fortunate to have attracted someone of John Norris’ caliber,” said Stephen D. Barnhill, M.D., chairman and CEO of Health Discovery. “We expect that his extensive experience and vast relationships in the healthcare space will make a very meaningful contribution to our growth trajectory. John is a visionary leader who understands how the groundbreaking analytics that we have developed and patented could change the face of diagnostic testing for personalized medicine. His extensive knowledge of the business of healthcare around the world will help us accelerate the commercialization of Health Discovery’s new gene-based urine test for prostate cancer.
According to Norris, “Dr. Barnhill has assembled a world-class team of researchers, investigators and advisors who have pioneered a bold new approach to diagnostics that will vastly improve the speed and accuracy of testing in the realm of gene-based testing, as well as in digital pathology and digital radiology.” Health Discovery holds 72 critical patents that are central to the digital convergence of diagnostics, pathology and radiology. “I am very pleased to be part of this outstanding team,” Norris added.
“Our patented Support Vector Machine and Recursive Feature Elimination pattern recognition technologies have been independently validated by top researchers, academics and business professionals around the world and published in dozens of peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals and have broad applicability wherever highly accurate conclusions must be drawn from vast amounts of complex data,” Barnhill said.
Barnhill continued, “In addition, we expect that John will be a huge asset in promoting our gene-based test for clinically significant prostate cancer recently licensed for commercialization to Abbott, Quest Diagnostics, and Clarient. Right now, half a million men a year in the United States alone have painful, expensive but unnecessary biopsies for prostate cancer based solely on PSA findings, the current world standard for prostate cancer screening. The previously-announced results of our forthcoming urine-based test for prostate cancer could eliminate many of these unnecessary biopsies and unnecessary treatments such as radical prostate surgery stemming from false positive readings on the PSA test.”
Norris brings more than 20 years of healthcare industry and consulting expertise to Health Discovery. He has advised the senior management of numerous global businesses in the life sciences, healthcare, pharma, diagnostics and healthcare-IT industries, among them Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo, the AMA, The Adventist Healthcare System, The Caritas Christi Healthcare System, and Partners Health Care System. He also has extensive management experience including leading the team responsible for the billion dollar turn-around and sale of laser-eye-surgery pioneer Summit Technology. He received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester, his M.B.A. and J.D. from Cornell University and a Certificate in Government from Harvard University, where he also taught for twelve years. He is the founder and faculty-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Law & Medicine, a healthcare policy, law, and regulation journal.