More 3D Printing Executive Transitions as Organovo CEO Keith Murphy Steps Down, to be Replaced by Taylor J. Crouch

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This year has been a tumultuous one in the 3D printing industry so far. January saw the resignation of MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom, who was replaced by Nadav Goshen, and only days later SLM Solutions CEO Markus Rechlin departed. Autodesk CEO Carl Bass stepped down in February, and now we’ve gotten word from Organovo that CEO Keith Murphy is resigning, effective April 21. Murphy, who plans to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, will be replaced by Taylor J. Crouch, the former CEO of investigative clinical research company eStudySite.

Murphy will retain his position as chairman of the board and will act as an advisor during and after the transition.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Keith for his many contributions to Organovo and the groundbreaking innovations he helped pioneer,” said lead director Kirk Malloy, PhD. “Keith saw the value in 3D bioprinting technology before the market existed, and had the vision to take it from its earliest stages in academic labs, and develop it into a global business with a robust commercial platform and strong IP portfolio. We support Keith’s decision to step down and agree this is the opportune time to bring Taylor on to lead Organovo in its next phase of commercial growth. We also appreciate his willingness to continue to serve the Company.”

Keith Murphy

Murphy co-founded Organovo in 2007 and has led the company to several historical achievements, including the development of their pride and joy, exVive 3D printed human liver tissue, which was followed by 3D printed kidney tissue. Prior to founding Organovo, Murphy worked in the biotech industry for more than two decades, including 10 years with Amgen.

“I am extremely proud of the progress we have made in the last ten years achieving our vision for Organovo,” Murphy said. “Our 3D bioprinted human tissues are a disruptive and game-changing technology. Founding Organovo and guiding us to our leadership position in 3D bioprinting has been a privilege, and I am extremely grateful to my Organovo colleagues who assisted in building this success, as well as all of our partners and customers. I am a true believer in our existing tissue research services, the potential of our therapeutic liver tissue, and the future opportunities enabled by our platform technology. The time is right to bring in a CEO with the relevant commercial experience to lead the company into its next stage. I have great confidence in Organovo’s continued growth and success, and I look forward to working with the board and Taylor over the coming months to ensure that this transition is seamless for all of our stakeholders.”

Crouch served as CEO of eStudysite from January 2009 to July 2016, and simultaneously held positions with the company’s sister organizations: he was the Executive Chairman of Meridien Research from December 2013 to September 2016, and acted as a Director of the National Research Institute from September 2011 to July 2016. He played a large part in building all three companies and leading them to success and acclaim in their respective areas of infectious disease, CNS disorders and metabolic disease. Before that, he worked as Senior Vice President of Operations/President International at Ligand Pharmaceuticals from 2005 to 2007.

Crouch’s earlier career included executive-level positions at Discovery Partners International (now Infinity Pharmaceuticals), Variagenics, Parexel, Pfizer and Schering-Plough (now Merck). He holds a BSE in chemical engineering from Princeton University and an MBA in international marketing and finance from the University of Chicago.

“I am excited and honored to succeed Keith as Organovo’s CEO,” Crouch said. “Keith is an exceptional leader who built Organovo into the strong global company it is today. I look forward to working with the seasoned management team and all my talented new colleagues to further advance 3D human tissue bioprinting technology, advance solutions that benefit patients and drive the commercialization and scale of our business.”

It’s been a promising year for Organovo so far, as they’ve already released a significant amount of recent data showing the effectiveness of their 3D printed liver and kidney tissue in pharmaceutical testing applications. Late last year, the company announced their plans to develop a fully functional, transplantable 3D printed human liver in the future. Will Crouch be the one to lead the company to that point? Time will tell, but Organovo is optimistic about the future of the company under his leadership.

“Taylor is uniquely positioned to lead our growing company into its next phase given his significant commercial and operations experience,” said Dr. Malloy. “We are confident that Taylor’s extensive skills and expertise in the biotechnology and life sciences industries align with Organovo’s strategy to capitalize fully on its growth opportunities. The board looks forward to working with Taylor and the management team to execute against our strategy and continuing to create meaningful value for stockholders.”

We’ll have more on Crouch’s appointment and the future of Organovo and the bioprinting industry soon, so stay tuned. Discuss in the Organovo forum at 3DPB.com.

 

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