Vigilant Biosciences, Inc., developer of the “rinse and spit” screening test for the early detection of oral cancer, today announced the appointment of David Barshis as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Barshis is an industry veteran with over 20 years of management experience in diagnostics, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. is a medical technology company enabling screening and early intervention to avoid the adverse outcomes associated with life threatening illness. The company’s initial product development initiatives are centered on head and neck cancer screening technologies using quick and straightforward sample collection and detection methodologies.
During his more than 20 years in the life sciences industry, Mr. Barshis has played integral roles in corporate governance, fundraising and new product commercialization. As Chief Operating Officer of Zila Pharmaceuticals, he was responsible for supporting a $40 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) capital raise to fund an acquisition and to launch ViziLite Plus, a breakthrough technology for the detection and diagnosis of oral cancers. He has also served as CEO for a biotechnology startup in the oncology therapeutics market, and has held senior management positions at Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Warner Lambert, and GSK/Wellcome Pharmaceuticals, where he built new businesses and spearheaded several successful Rx-to-OTC initiatives. He began his healthcare career at Procter & Gamble as a Brand Manager. Mr. Barshis holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
The VigilantBIO oral cancer screening technology measures early cancer markers via a saline solution that is swished in the mouth and collected in a tube. Collecting the teaspoon-sized sample takes about ten seconds and results are designed to be available in minutes. The patented technology, developed at the University of Miami is undergoing a National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012.
About 640,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year worldwide, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. In the United States, about 35,000 new cases each year result in about 6,800 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Oral cancer treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.