The ability to detect rare human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in differentiated populations is critical for safeguarding the clinical translation of cell therapy, as these undifferentiated cells have the capacity to form teratomas in vivo.
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Dr. Fred Sweeney has extensive experience in the healthcare industry with senior leadership roles leading strategy and corporate development in both small and large organizations. He is currently serving as Chief Business Development Officer of MeMed Diagnostics, a leader in host response-based diagnostics solutions. Prior to joining MeMed, Dr. Sweeney served a dual role of Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Versant Ventures, a global venture capital firm, and Chief Business Officer of Northern Biologics, a developer of first-in-class immuno-oncology products. Prior to this, he served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Head of Strategic Financing at bioMérieux, a world leader in in-vitro diagnostic, where he led all aspects of the company strategic investments and partnerships. Before joining bioMérieux, Dr. Sweeney was Head of Business Development and Strategy at T2 Biosystems. During his tenure with the company, T2 Biosystems grew from a small venture-backed start-up to a revenue-stage, Nasdaq-listed company that received FDA approval for blood tests that identify sepsis-causing pathogens without the wait for blood culture.
Dr. Brent Zanke is an expert on matters of biomarkers, molecular pathology, innovation policy, and health-care delivery systems. He is a graduate of the Universities of Manitoba (MD, 1983) and Toronto (PhD, 1993) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada with speciality in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Passionate about business and innovation, Brent Zanke has initiated, led, and secured funding for three life sciences start-up companies. As the founder and Director of Arctic Medical Laboratories (CLIA, CAP, CLEP, FDA), he also understands the path to reimbursement of molecular diagnostics and devices.
Dr. Shana Kelley is a professor in the Departments of Pharmaceutical Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. She has published over 250 scientific papers cited over 20,000 times. Kelley is a recognized expert in developing and leading start-ups, turning academic research into products that are successful outside the laboratory. She has raised significant capital for her ventures and is well-acquainted with the life cycle of venture-backed startup companies in the life sciences sector.
David O’Neill brings extensive experience in Pharma, Biotech and seed stage investing to his role as President of FACIT. Dr. O’Neill has a wealth of networks and transaction experience through various business development roles at AstraZeneca, Ambit Biosciences (Daiichi Sankyo), Kinomescan (Discoverx/Eurofins), Fluorinov Pharma (Trillium Therapeutics). He also held operational roles including non-clinical safety, IND submission and Project Leader during clinical development of Quizartinib.
He has provided interim executive management to FACIT spin outs Turnstone Biologics, Propellon and Novera Therapeutics. In addition to serving on the Board of Triphase, he is also a Board Observer for Turnstone. Dr. O’Neill holds a PhD from Western University from the Faculty of Health Sciences with an emphasis on heat shock protein biology.