BERKELEY, Calif. & SYDNEY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Indee. Inc. (“Indee Labs America”) and Indee. Pty. Ltd. (“Indee Labs Australia”) known collectively as “Indee Labs” announced, today, the formation of a Strategic Advisory Board (“SAB”). The SAB includes six globally-recognised experts in the discovery, development and commercialisation of deep technology startups involving both microfluidic devices and cell therapies such chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (“CAR-T”).
The formation of the SAB will strengthen the existing scientific leadership of Indee Labs and will add the clinical expertise of its newest advisor, Dr. Kenneth Micklethwaite. The SAB now brings decades of experience in driving microfluidic and cell therapy research, development and commercialisation.
“We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Micklethwaite. Dr. Micklethwaite is Deputy Director of Sydney Cellular Therapies Laboratory and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Biologicals at Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration,” said Ryan Pawell – Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Indee Labs America.
“Kenneth’s unique expertise with open source CAR-T will be most valuable at this critical time as the United States Food and Drug Administration expects more than 200 Investigational New Drug submissions for gene and cell therapies per year by 2020 and 10 to 20 new approvals annually by 2025.”
To date, Indee Labs team has made many remarkable discoveries for the field of gene and cell therapies, which will be further developed under the leadership of the SAB:
- Pioneering its intracellular delivery technology, microfluidic vortex shedding (“µVS”), as a patented alternative to non-viral cell transfection that is both scalable and gentle on cells.
- High yield, rapid transfection of mRNA to human primary T-cells with negligible perturbation, peer-reviewed by Nature Publishing Group.
- More recently, the efficient delivery of plasmid DNA to human primary T-cells.
- Developing an open source or out-licensable, non-viral platform for CAR-T requiring genomic integration in collaboration with Dr. Micklethwaite.
The Strategic Advisory Board is comprised of the following members:
Heidi Hagen, MSc MBA is Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Vineti — the essential software solution to drive and scale personalized therapeutic innovation. Heidi is a seasoned Biotechnology and Operations executive. She has successfully built organizations and programs within both established and start up environments, commercialized innovative operations, designed and built commercial manufacturing facilities, and streamlined complicated logistics and production systems. She successfully delivered the first operation that manufactures and distributes live autologous cellular products within an 18 hour time window to oncology patients in the American and European commercial markets at Dendreon and was previously Chief Operation Officer at Sotio.
Dr. Geoff Facer, PhD is the Vice President at Levitas Bio. Levitas Bio is advancing science and human health by providing researchers with a new and powerful method of cellular analysis based on a proprietary Magnetic Levitation Technology. Geoff is an R&D leader with broad hands-on experience in all stages of the product development cycle and has driven multiple startups to acquisition. Geoff is also responsible for orchestrating the single largest patent filing of all time filing of all time based on a bioMEMS device — 354 patent applications in 1 day with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Professor David Gottlieb is the Professor of Haematology at the University of Sydney. He has been actively involved in clinical stem cell transplantation for over 25 years and is currently a senior physician on the Westmead Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit and the Medical Director of the Sydney Cellular Therapies Laboratory. His research interests are in the field of cell and gene therapy especially in the manipulation of the immune system post-transplant to reduce opportunistic infection and recurrence of malignant disease. He is currently directing a number of clinical studies of donor-derived and third party antigen specific T-cells given to rapidly reconstitute immunity in the post-stem cell transplant setting.
Dr. Kenneth Micklethwaite, MBBS, PhD is Chair of the Advisory Committee on Biologicals for Australia’s Therapeutics Goods Administration. Ken is also the Research Group Leader for Cancer Research at the Westmead Institute and is a haematologist and blood and marrow stem cell transplant physician at Westmead Hospital. He is Deputy Director of the Sydney Cellular Therapies Laboratory, assisting in running the largest stem cell transplant and clinical cell and gene therapy facilities in New South Wales, Australia (as part of the Sydney Cell and Gene Therapy group at Westmead), with an active research interest in immune therapy of infections and cancer.
Hamish Hawthorn is Chief Operating Officer at UpGuard, which helps security, risk and vendor management teams take control of cyber risk and move faster with confidence. Hamish has been immersed in the world of startups and deep technology commercialisation for over 2 decades. His experience spans the biomedical and biotechnology sectors, through to hardware and software industries. He has been deeply involved in the development of the Australian and American startup ecosystems. Hamish is particularly focussed on the development of capability in the founders of deep technology ventures and co-founded Sydney Angels.
Ben Wright is Chief Innovation Officer of Cicada Innovations — Australia’s home of deep technology startups. Cicada Innovations unlocks the power to create the industries of the future addressing some of the most pressing global issues that face our world today. Ben is an execution focused professional with 2 decades of experience in research and development, regulatory, clinical trials, operations, finance and commercialisation within both private and public deep technology businesses.
About Indee Labs
Indee Labs is developing scalable hardware for intracellular delivery using microfluidic vortex shedding (µVS). The Indee Labs team has already demonstrated revolutionary improvements over existing intracellular delivery methods including scalability, high yield (i.e. recovery, viability and efficiency), negligible T-cell perturbation along with rapid processing of research-, clinical- and commercial-scale samples with a simple workflow and a small footprint. These promising early results have led to various forms of seed-stage support in both Australia (i.e. Australian National Fabrication Facility, Defense Science and Technology, NSW Health, Cicada Innovations, Jobs for NSW, AusTrade San Francisco Landing Pad, AusIndustry, Main Sequence Ventures, MTP Connect BioMedTech Horizons, Australian Research Council IDEAL Hub and NSW Health Medical Device Fund) and the United States (i.e. Obama’s White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Air Force Research Laboratory, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, QB3, IndieBio/SOSV, Y Combinator, Social Capital, Founders Funds’ FF Science, and Axial). Indee Labs would like to hear from biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies discovering, developing and commercialising gene-modified cell therapies like CAR-T. More information is available at indeelabs.com.
Indee Labs America
Founder, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
+1 949 500 6965
Indee Labs Australia
Dr. Warren McKenzie, PhD, CMatP, FRSN
Director & Chief Executive Officer
+61 400 059 509