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Trovagene Inc. Appoints Bill Welch to be CEO

A month after abruptly firing two top executives, San Diego’s cancer test company Trovagene Inc. has appointed a new CEO.

The company recruited William (Bill) Welch to fill the role. He previously served as president and CEO of another San Diego diagnostic firm, Sequenom Inc. Welch began his career at Sequenom as senior vice president of diagnostics in January 2011 and became president and chief operating officer in June 2014. He also served in the CEO role from June 2014 to September 2015, according to a Trovagene news release.

“As the company transitions from a development company to a commercial company, Bill’s experience and leadership in commercializing diagnostic products, particularly in the personalized medicine space, will add materially to our ability to accomplish our strategic plan and goals,” said Trovagene’s chairman and interim CEO Thomas Adams in a statement.

Trovagene also announced that Chief Commercial Officer Matthew Posard has left the company. Posard was a top candidate for Trovagene’s CEO post, and Adams hinted during an investor call earlier this year that he was being considered for the role.

“It is with deep regret that Matt Posard has informed the board that he cannot continue as chief commercial officer of Trovagene,” Adams said. “We thank Matt for all he has done for the company and respect his decision and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Last month, Trovagene fired and sued two of its top executives — CEO Antonius Schuh and CFO Stephen Zaniboni — alleging breach of fiduciary duty.

Schuh and Zaniboni had allegedly failed to present a lucrative corporate opportunity to Trovagene, and instead took a precision medicine opportunity for their own personal benefit, according to a Trovagene statement.

The company filed a complaint against Schuh and Zaniboni in San Diego Superior Court for breach of fiduciary duty, among other things. The complaint asks that Schuh and Zaniboni be required to turn over their interests in these new therapeutics to Trovagene.

Schuh said he intends to file a wrongful termination suit against Trovagene, and expects that Zaniboni will join him in the lawsuit. He also challenged the validity of Trovagene’s claims.

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