Are autologous iPSC-derived cell therapies ready to hit prime time? A conversation between Alex Morgan, Partner at Khosla Ventures, and a panel of distinguished experts in autologous iPSC cell therapies will address the breakthroughs in the space. What new advancements in autologous cell therapies are already available to make sure patients can best benefit given the rapid pace of scientific discovery and development in cell therapies? How can the industry learn from these solutions and apply them to deliver cell-based therapies at scale? Our panel of experts across venture capital, biotech, and clinical experience will discuss recent advances and future strategies around patient outcomes, patient safety, and manufacturability for this rapidly growing subset of cell therapies.
Naveen Krishnan is Senior Director Venture Investments of Leaps by Bayer, the investment arm of the global life sciences company Bayer, where he is responsible for developing investment cases and deal execution. He is also involved in sourcing, screening, and mentoring of companies with game-changing science. As an investor, Naveen serves on the board of Ada Health, Edifice Health, and Azitra. Prior to joining Leaps, he had several senior roles in biotechnology companies including most recently running operations, corporate development, and business development for Aspen Neuroscience, a cell and gene therapy company focused on using autologous iPSC-derived cell therapies for neurodegenerative conditions. Prior to that Naveen ran commercialization, clinical operations, clinical trials, analytics, product development, med tech/digital health, and logistics for a commercial-stage, public regenerative medicine company based in Salt Lake City. Naveen conducted basic science research at the intersection of chemical biology and neurodegenerative disease working at both the Broad Institute and the Center for Human Genetics Research at MGH. He began his career studying Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, received a medical degree from Dartmouth and trained in Plastic Surgery in Washington D.C. before leaving to build biotech companies.
Dr. Ole Isacson (MD-PhD) is Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School; and the founding and current director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital. Prof. Isacson’s laboratory elucidates biological processes, mechanisms and treatments of neuronal vulnerability in several neurodegenerative diseases, which has resulted in new biotechnologies for restorative treatments using molecular, gene therapy and cell replacement methods; including stem cell derived patient derived neurons. Prof. Isacson is faculty of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation Executive Scientific Advisory Board (2014-2016). Dr. Isacson received The Lindahl Investigator Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Prize for Brain Repair. Prof. Isacson was President of the International Cell Transplant Society (TTS), (2007-2008), and served as a US government FDA member at the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) (2014-2016); and the CSO of Pfizer’s Neuroscience Division (2016-2017). In 2020, Ole Isacson co-founded Oryon Cell Therapies Inc. with Nikola Kojic. Prof. Isacson is the author or co-author of ~ 400 scientific research articles and 3 books in his field, and the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (2010-2016). Prof. Isacson was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013.
Marinna Madrid is a co-founder at Cellino, a personalized regenerative medicine company developing an AI-guided laser editing platform for autologous cell-based therapies. She received her PhD and MA in Applied Physics from Harvard University, where she co-invented laser-based intracellular delivery techniques. She received her BSc in Biophysics from the University of California, Los Angeles, after transferring from Riverside Community College.
She is the recipient of the Harvard Graduate Prize Fellowship, the Catalyst Accelerator Grant from Harvard Medical School, and is on the Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 list for Healthcare. She has authored several peer-reviewed publications, including the first review publication on autologous iPSC-derived cell therapies.
She is also passionate about access to education and the role the community college system plays in providing upward mobility for historically disadvantaged groups.
Dr. Kapil Bharti obtained his Ph.D. from J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, graduating summa cum laude. His Ph.D. work involved research in the areas of molecular chaperones and epigenetics. He did his postdoc at the National Institutes of Health, where he published numerous papers in the areas of transcription regulation, pigment cell biology, and developmental biology of the eye. His lab at the National Eye Institute recently received approval for the first U.S. phase I/IIa trial to test autologous iPSC-derived RPE patch in AMD patients. Currently, he is co-developing a dual RPE/photoreceptor cell therapy with Opsis Therapeutics. He has given several keynote lectures, won several awards including being the first Earl Stadtman Tenure Track Investigator at NEI, NIH Director’s award, NEI Director’s Dr. Karl Kupfer Visionary award, and 12th Sayer Vision Research lecture at NEI for his revolutionary work on developing ocular cell-therapies. He serves on the advisory board of several companies and patient-advocacy groups. His current work as a Senior Investigator at NEI involves understanding mechanism of retinal degenerative diseases using induced pluripotent stem cell derived eye cells and tissues, and developing cell-based and drug-based therapies for such diseases.
James Shapiro was born in Leeds, England, son of a family doctor. He developed a longstanding interest in islet cell transplantation as a medical student. He has been on Faculty at the UofA since 1998, where he now holds the Canada Research Chair in Transplantation Surgery and Regenerative Medicine, and works as a busy liver transplant and cancer surgeon. He was the lead investigator on the famous “Edmonton Protocol” cell transplant treatment for diabetes. He was the first in Canada to start clinical trials with human stem cell-derived insulin secreting cells. His many awards include a Hunterian Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, a Gold Medals from the Governor General and from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Diabetes Canada. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Alex Morgan (Twitter: @genomicsdoc) is currently a Partner at Khosla Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm which invests broadly in technology from seed stage funding to later stage capital. Alex has a special focus in biotechnology, healthcare, data science, and AI/ML and serves on the boards of a number of Khosla Ventures portfolio companies. Alex has an MD and PhD in biomedical informatics from Stanford. As a scientist, he has published over 50 scientific publications, primarily at the intersection of computer science, biology, and healthcare, and has licensed IP to three separate companies. Prior to working in venture capital, Alex was involved with a number of startups, and worked as a senior artificial engineer for the MITRE Corporation.
Example Investments: Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies, Arpeggio Bio, Atrendex, BioAge, Bionaut, Cellino, Deep Genomics, DiscernDx, Docbot, Earli, Ellipsis, Faeth, Flow Neuroscience, Fountain Biotherapeutics, Hello Heart, Invoy, Karius, Kernel, Known Medicine, Loop Genomics, Menten AI, Mirvie, Nebula Genomics, Ochre Bio, Oncobox, Overture, Pardes Bio, Prellis, Probably Genetic, Rubedo, Q Bio, StimScience, STIMIT, Syllable Corporation, Vitro Labs