CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Codiak BioSciences Inc., today announced the first members of its core executive team: Ariel Jasie, Esq., chief business officer, Linda Bain, chief financial officer and Konstantin Konstantinov, Ph.D., senior vice president, manufacturing and process sciences.
Codiak, a world-leading company in the field of exosome biology, recently closed the first portion of a planned $80+ million Series A and B financing. ARCH Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, Fidelity Management and Research Company, the Alaska Permanent Fund and Alexandria Venture Investments are members of the funding syndicate. The company is establishing its headquarters in the Boston/Cambridge area and is expanding its research and development capabilities across its therapeutic and diagnostic programs.
"Ariel, Linda and Konstantin all bring critical expertise and leadership experience to Codiak as we build our leadership position in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic exosomes," said Doug Williams, Ph.D., president and CEO. "Ariel has deep experience building organizations through strategic deal-making; Linda brings extensive financial, operational, and capital markets experience; and Konstantin has pioneered disruptive innovation to improve biomanufacturing."
About the Team
Ariel Jasie joined Codiak from Celgene Corporation, where he led the Strategy and Operations Group in the Research and Early Development franchise. He previously served on the Celgene Business Development team, leading numerous deals including M&A, in-licensing, collaborations, strategic equity investments, seeding, syndicating and constructing "build to buys," and serving as Board Observer to certain collaboration partners/equity investments. Mr. Jasie initially joined Celgene as Corporate Counsel, focusing on transactional work and supporting Business Development, Technical Operations, Research, and Clinical Operations. Prior to Celgene, Mr. Jasie served as Commercial Counsel at Reliant Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by GSK in 2007. He received his B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Linda Bain joined Codiak from Avalanche Biotechnologies where, as chief financial officer, she led a successful IPO and follow-on financing. She previously served as vice president of finance, business operations and treasurer at bluebird bio, where her tenure included a Series D financing and IPO. Ms. Bain has held senior roles at Genzyme Corporation, including vice president of finance, global manufacturing and operations and vice president of finance of Genzyme Genetics, where she was a member of the team that divested the business unit to LabCorp for $925 million. Earlier in her career, she served in senior finance roles at Fidelity Investments and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche. Ms. Bain received her B.S in Accounting and Business Administration and an Honors Degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of the Free State, South Africa. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
Before joining Codiak, Konstantin Konstantinov was responsible for the late-stage bioprocess and technology development at Sanofi's Boston Hub, including all functions, from cell banking to fill/finish/lyophilization. Prior to Sanofi, Dr. Konstantinov worked for Bayer in Berkeley, Calif. for 14 years, advancing to the position of Head of Process Sciences. He has published 60 peer reviewed papers and has more than 15 patents and patent applications. During the last 23 years, Dr. Konstantinov has worked on the development and commercialization of various products, including monoclonal antibodies, blood factors and enzymes expressed in mammalian cells. Most recently, he has pioneered the development of an end-to-end integrated continuous biomanufacturing platform, which is becoming a strategic technological trend for the biomanufacturing industry worldwide. Dr. Konstantinov received his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from Osaka University, Japan, which was followed by a post-doctoral assignment at DuPont and the University of Delaware.
Exosomes are tiny membrane sacs, or vesicles, that are released by both healthy and cancerous cells. Substances from cell cytoplasm, including genomic DNA, various RNA species, proteins and lipids are encapsulated into exosomes and are shed into the extracellular environment. All fluids in the human body have been shown to contain exosomes, which can transfer the cytoplasmic ingredients to other cells either locally or at distant sites. The cytoplasmic payload within exosomes, once transferred to the recipient cells, can alter the biology of the recipient cells. Exosomes may be useful for diagnostic purposes since they contain genomic DNA for mutational analysis using a simple blood test. In addition, cancer-derived exosomes have specific markers that enable them to be isolated, purified and analyzed. Exosomes have been described as the package delivery system of the body because of their ability to be released from one cell and deliver their contents to distant cells. This property of exosomes may play an essential role in the formation of certain microenvironments in health and disease.
Codiak BioSciences is a venture-backed start-up dedicated to harnessing the power of exosomes as both therapeutics and diagnostics in cancer and other diseases. Codiak is building a world-class team and has generated, acquired and licensed foundational intellectual property to enable the development of products that capitalize on the unique biology of exosomes.
Daniel J. McIntyre
SOURCE Codiak BioSciences Inc.