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nanostringDr. J. Wayne Cowens, the chief medical officer at Seattle-based NanoString Technologies, has died at the age of 67.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our friend and colleague. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” said NanoString CEO Brad Gray in a press release. “Dr. Cowens was instrumental in building our diagnostic development capabilities, and his legacy includes the FDA-cleared Prosigna Breast Cancer Assay, a substantial body of peer-reviewed literature, and a strong team with deep experience in medical affairs, regulatory and clinical development.”

Dr. Cowens joined the company in 2011 from Genomic Health, and before that worked in senior roles at Chiron and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. A medical oncologist, Cowens authored more than 70 scientific abstracts and papers. He received a H.A.B. in Classical Languages and Mathematics from Xavier University, a M.S. in Mathematics from Northwestern University and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University.


At the time of his hiring at NanoString, Gray described Cowens as “a pioneer in the field of molecular diagnostics.”

NanoString is publicly traded with a market value of $203 million. The company said it has established a new internal team of leaders to assist with product development, regulatory affairs and medical affairs as they search for a new chief medical officer.

We’ve reached out to the company for additional information, and we’ll update this post as we hear more.


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