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Sunday, May 26, 2024

ViroCell Announces New Board Appointments

ViroCell Biologics (“ViroCell”), founded by the UK’s most prolific academic viral vector manufacturing team, today announces the appointment of J. David Enloe, Jr. to its Board of Directors and Martin Pule, MD, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board, both leaders in their respective fields.

ViroCell, an innovation-driven Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (“CDMO”), is addressing the global viral vector supply demand imbalance that constrains the manufacture of novel cell and gene therapies. ViroCell focusses exclusively on the design and GMP manufacture of viral vectors and gene modified cells for clinical trials. ViroCell aims to be the global viral vector supplier of choice during the translational phase of development of novel cell and gene therapies.

The appointment of J. David Enloe, Jr. to the Board of Directors adds nearly three decades of executive leadership in the CDMO and biotechnology industries, including first-mover experience in the GMP manufacture of viral vectors. David is currently President and CEO of Recro Pharma, a CDMO focusing on novel formulation development and clinical through commercial scale manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. He was President and CEO of Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, a global, fully integrated CDMO; prior to that David was the Head of Lonza’s Viral Therapeutics Business Unit, which grew out of the acquisition of Vivante GMP Solutions, a gene therapy CDMO that he founded and where he was President and CEO.  David also has nearly fifteen years of experience on the CDMO client side, having been the first employee and Senior Vice President of Operations of Introgen Therapeutics, Inc., one of the first gene therapy development companies in the world, where David oversaw the creation of the first commercial scale viral vector facility in the United States.

The appointment of Dr. Martin Pule to the Scientific Advisory Board brings deep insight and experience in the genetic engineering of T cells for cancer treatment, with a particular focus on Chimeric Antigen Receptors (“CARs” or “CAR T cells”).  Dr. Pule is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Haematology at University College London’s Cancer Institute and Honorary Consultant in Haematology at University College Hospital, where his research is primarily focused on the genetic engineering of T cells for cancer treatment.  Dr. Pule is cited as the second most prolific inventor of CAR T cells and the most prolific inventor in 2019 and 2020 respectively, by the European Patent Office.

Dr. Pule entered the T-cell engineering field in 2001 as a Fulbright Scholar at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.  There he was the first to describe third generation forms of CARs and actioned one of the world’s first clinical studies of CARs which showed efficacy in a solid cancer. He has over 50 patent families filed and has published extensively in peer-reviewed medical journals, counting well over 10,000 citations to date.  Dr. Pule established and is Director of the UCL Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) programme and is Founder and Chief Scientist Officer of Autolus Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AUTL), a market leader in T-cell programming technologies.

John W Hadden II, CEO at ViroCell, commented:
“This is an exciting time for ViroCell as we scale the organization to meet the explosive demand from clients for viral vectors for clinical trials. We are thrilled that David and Martin have joined the team. David’s proven track record in leading rapidly growing, market leading CDMOs will provide strategic guidance, helping ViroCell to achieve market leading status. Martin’s prolific track record of innovation in CAR T cell therapy will inform ViroCell’s rigorous investment program to develop better vectors for both ex vivo and in vivo clinical applications, to increase efficiency, lower cost and ultimately broaden the use of genetically modified human cells. We are delighted to have their unique insights and look forward to their contributions to ViroCell’s success.”

Dr. Martin Pule, Scientific Advisory Board member at ViroCell, commented:
“I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Farzin Farzaneh, now ViroCell’s Chief Scientific Officer, for more than a decade. To-date, he has been the go-to person for vector manufacture for clinical trials in Europe. I am delighted that resources and management have coalesced around his prolific track record to not only expand CDMO manufacturing capacity, which is acutely needed, but more importantly to advance novel mechanisms and platforms to genetically modify cells for therapeutic use.”

David Enloe, Board of Directors member at ViroCell, commented:
“I am delighted to join ViroCell’s Board of Directors as it allows me to reignite my passion for cell and gene therapy in the setting of a dynamic and rapidly growing CDMO. John and Farzin have built an amazing team in record time, confirming to me that this is the team to back to build the next market leading specialty CDMO.”

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