Leadership

Alfred Slanetz, PhD, ME, Founder and CEO

Dr. Slanetz is the founder of the Company and has been President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company full time since its inception.  Prior to co-founding the Company, he served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Dr. Slanetz served as Vice President, Business Development of TRANSGENE in May 1996. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Manager, New Product Planning and Development at Genentech Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Slanetz was a Management Consultant for Arthur D. Little. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Immunobiology from Yale University.

Wayne Froland, PhD, Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Froland was most recently Executive Vice President of Technical Operations at Symic Bio.  Prior to Symic, Wayne was Associate Vice President at Merck & Co., Inc. where he was responsible for biopharmaceutical product development, commercialization and manufacturing strategy. He has previously worked at Calypte Biomedical, Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Aerovance. Dr. Froland is the co-inventor on three patents related to synthesis of therapeutic peptides and has authored 20 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of biochemistry and structural biology. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota Medical School and conducted post-doctoral research at the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.

Richard Brand, MBA, Chief Financial Officer

Helped raise $86 million as CFO for a private diagnostics company, Laboratory for Advanced Medicine, Inc.  Over 2 years, helped generate 2x return and best performing biotech IPO for most of 2017 as CFO.  Managed one-third of an institutional investment fund’s portfolio, helping it grow to $1 billion from $400 million.  Managed Robertson Stephens’s biotech private placement business to number two ranking.  MBA, University of Chicago and former Board member for the University’s and Booth School’s NYC Alumni Clubs.

Meg Marshall, MD, JD, Executive Director, Clinical Development

Dr. Marshall’s clinical development management expertise was a critical component to the successful development of Kite Pharma, Inc.  Over 20 years immunotherapy industry experience, including genetically engineered cell therapy.  Experience with clinical trials of all Phases and representing company’s clinical data and proposals in meetings with Health Authorities.  Background in preclinical immunology research and immunological assay development.  Former Senior Director, Clinical Research of Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma.  Senior Director, Clinical Development of Kite.  Filed IND for Yescarta, a first in class anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy.  Clinical Director, Oncology for Pfizer.  MD from University of California, San Diego.

Renier Brentjens, MD, Scientific and Clinical Advisor

Co-Founder JUNO Therapeutics.  Director, Cell Therapy Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MSK).  As a medical oncology fellow at MSK Cancer Center, Dr. Brentjens began the first studies that demonstrated the potential clinical application of autologous T cells genetically modified to target the CD19 antigen through the retroviral gene transfer of artificial T cell receptors (CARs).  Work in his lab expanded this technology to target additional tumor antigens.

Marc Better, PhD, Scientific, Manufacturing and Regulatory Advisor 

A biotechnology professional with more than 25 years’ experience in cell therapy and biologics CMC.  Dr. Better led process and analytical development, process characterization and process validation efforts resulting in the successful U.S. licensure of Yescarta, a first in class anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy.  SVP Product Sciences (process development & manufacturing) at Kite Pharma, Inc.  Executive Director, Process Science at Boehringer Ingelheim.  Executive Director, Process Development at Amgen.

Paul Abrams, MD, JD, Executive Director

Paul’s major motivation for his entire career has been to improve outcomes for patients, especially those with cancer. He is a board-certified oncologist who was trained at the National Cancer Institute, where he later became their Cancer Expert.  He has over 25 years’ experience as President & Chief Executive Officer, Board Member and Adviser of publicly-traded and private companies in biotechnology with a scientific and medical background in tumor immunology, translational medicine and clinical oncology.  Paul was Medical Director and later CEO and Director of NeoRx Corporation, a publicly-traded monoclonal antibody-focused oncology company, and President, CEO and Director of CEPTYR, Inc., a privately-held diabetes company. He also served as transitional CEO for Nexgen, a medical device company. He was Board Chair of Aptein, Inc., sold to Cambridge Antibody Technologies, then sold to Astra-Zeneca. He was elected to the Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Industry Association, and the Board of the E. Donnall Thomas Award Committee. He is inventor on 12 US Patents and editor of “The Biology of Lung Cancer” and “Radioimmunotherapy”.   He received his M.D. and J.D. from Yale University, graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned a Varsity Letter in Swimming (butterfly).

 

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