Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dr. Alex Hafez, CEO of EquiSeq, left his position in October 2021 to head a new company, Circular Genomics. Circular Genomics uses technology that Dr. Hafez developed in his dissertation research under the direction of Dr. Nikolaus Mellios. On November 30, Circular Genomics closed a $4.5 million investment round that included local venture capital firms Tramway Ventures and Cottonwood Technology Fund, as well as out-of-state venture capital firms and private investors.
Circular Genomics is developing diagnostic tests for psychiatric disorders using circular RNA. Circular RNA is a recently discovered form of RNA that can serve as a biomarker in diagnostic tests. The company’s first target is depression, a disorder that affects tens of millions of Americans every year.
Dr. Hafez served as EquiSeq’s CEO from February 2018 through October 2021. Under his direction, EquiSeq added new genetic tests to its Myopathy Panel, signed a licensing deal with Generatio GmbH – Center for Animal Genetics, and filed an additional patent application. The company also increased its research efforts by establishing collaborations with university researchers around the world.
Dr. Paul Szauter, EquiSeq’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer, assumed the position of Acting CEO during a search for a successor. Hafez remains on EquiSeq’s board, where he has a role in shaping the company’s scientific and business strategy.