DUBLIN, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Avectas, a cell engineering company that has pioneered SOLUPORE®, a transformative non-viral cell engineering technology, to enable efficient and safe genetic modification of the next generation of cell therapies, announced today that Daniel Castro has been appointed as Chief Business Officer. In the newly created US-based role, Mr. Castro will lead Avectas' corporate strategy and business development, reporting to Michael Maguire PhD, Avectas' CEO.
Mr. Castro brings more than 25 years of healthcare and pharmaceutical industry experience, with a focus on commercialization strategy, business development and licensing. He joins Avectas from Mass General Brigham ("MGB"), a not-for-profit, integrated health care system and teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, MGB is the largest hospital-based research program in the United States with an annual research budget of $1.7 billion. As Managing Director of Licensing, Mr. Castro led a 30-person business development team responsible for the commercialization of innovations developed by MGB clinicians and research investigators.
Prior to MGB, Mr. Castro spent more than 10 years within the biotech and large pharmaceutical industry, including roles at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Amgen, Inc.), Agenus, Inc. and Sanofi S.A. Mr. Castro earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis, and holds a Master's in Business Administration from Boston College.
In welcoming Mr. Castro to the Avectas team, Dr. Maguire, CEO of Avectas, said: "In this newly created role, Daniel will use his business development expertise to drive the commercialization of our SOLUPORE® platform technology through partnerships. His extensive track record in commercial strategy, intellectual property management and business deal-making brings significant expertise to Avectas' leadership team."
Avectas' business strategy is to partner its SOLUPORE® technology with companies developing the next generation of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies. Through the seamless integration of SOLUPORE® into cell manufacturing workflows, Avectas is committed to supporting the development and scale-up of the next wave of breakthrough cell therapies - enabling its partners to bring optimized gene-modified cell therapies to patients.
"I am joining Avectas at an exciting time as SOLUPORE® moves from development to commercialization," said Mr. Castro. "The strength of the SOLUPORE® data demonstrates its significant potential and creates numerous strategic business opportunities."
Avectas has previously established therapeutic development partnerships with ONK Therapeutics and Vycellix. In addition, Avectas has several R&D collaborations to support its technology innovation, including partnerships with CCRM, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, University of California, Davis, Karolinska Institute and University College London.
Daniel will be representing Avectas alongside CEO, Michael Maguire, PhD and Executive Chair, Mary Martin, PhD at Biotech Showcase 2021.
Avectas is a cell engineering company that has pioneered - SOLUPORE® - a proprietary simple, highly effective automated non-viral cell engineering system to enable efficient and safe genetic modification, accelerating the manufacture of cells for the next generation of immuno-oncology therapies.
The company is partnering its cGMP aligned SOLUPORE® clinical-grade system with cell therapy companies to address emerging cell delivery challenges associated with multiple cell modifications and engineering of limited or fragile cells. Additionally, it will provide regulatory support to partners. Avectas is a private, international company with research facilities in Dublin, Ireland and Toronto, Canada, and an office in Cambridge MA, USA. It has over 30 employees and is led by a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical executives supported by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board of cancer cell therapy experts.