We are a patient-centric, clinical stage, allogeneic T regulatory cell therapy biotechnology team focused on treating Rare Inflammatory Diseases.
Cellenkos was founded in 2016 with the licensing of a proprietary umbilical cord blood T-Regulatory (Tregs) cell therapy platform from MD Anderson Cancer Center and funded by Golden Meditech Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-based integrated healthcare enterprise.
Because they are derived from umbilical cord blood, Cellenkos’ Tregs are naïve, bonafide suppressor cells that resolve inflammation through multiple direct and indirect interactions.
Cellenkos is dedicated to the development and commercialization of allogeneic, off-the-shelf cell based products for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders. Cellenkos’ Tregs have the potential to treat a diverse array of medical issues.
Simrit Parmar, MD
Dr. Simrit Parmar is a Tenured Associate Professor in the department of Lymphoma & Myeloma as well as Experimental Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. She received her hematology/oncology fellowship training at Northwestern University and completed a bone marrow transplant fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Parmar developed a cord blood-derived regulatory T cell therapy platform in her research laboratories at MD Anderson Cancer Center. This T cell technology has now been licensed to Cellenkos. Dr. Parmar has published her findings in peer reviewed journals, and her research has been translated into a pilot study of 3rd party cord blood regulatory T cells for the prevention of graft versus host disease (GVHD). Her research has been funded by peer reviewed grants, including from the National Institute of Health (NIH) as well as the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Dr. Parmar was also the proud recipient of the inaugural R. Lee Clark Fellowship award in 2014. Additionally, she is actively involved with the global academic program as well as the MD Anderson Cancer Network program. Dr. Parmar is one of the founding members of the Asia Pacific Hematology Consortium, which focuses on advancing the field of hematology/oncology through continued education, collaboration and fostering innovations. She also chaired the radiation injury treatment network (RITN) committee at MD Anderson Cancer Center and served on the board of the Global Affairs Committee for the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).
CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Mr. Leong joined Cellenkos in 2016 and has been with Golden Meditech Holdings Limited (“GMT”) since 2006. During August 2007 to November 2014, Mr. Leong also served as chief financial controller of the largest Chinese medicine retail chain in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, as well as leading a consumer products retail chain listed on the NASDAQ. Mr. Leong was appointed as Deputy Chief Financial Officer of GMT in 2015 and as Director in 2019, and is currently overseeing the operations, finances and corporate projects of GMT. Prior to joining GMT, Mr. Leong worked with several leading international accounting firms. He graduated from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in 1994. Mr. Leong is a fellowship member of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Sadeghi joined Cellenkos in 2017 and quickly rose from the position of Senior Director to Vice President, to Executive Vice President and head of Manufacturing. She has finally settled into the role of Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Sadeghi has been critical to the growth of the company and is responsible for the successful completion and operations of the company’s cGMP manufacturing facility as well as the successful grant of the company`s FDA IND approvals. Ms Sadeghi has led a successful career in clinical research and drug development and brings with her 25+ years of experience, regulatory and quality management, and executive leadership. Prior to joining Cellenkos, Inc., Ms. Sadeghi served as Director of Clinical Operations at Bio-Path Holdings, Inc., Assistant Director of Cord Blood Bank Regulatory and Quality Assurance at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and GMP Administrator at Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT).
Scientific Advisory Board
Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, D.Phil
Dr. Mukherjee is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University and a Staff Physician at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cance, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, The Laws of Medicine The Gene: An Intimate History, and The Song of the Cell. Dr. Mukherjee’s laboratory seeks to understand the biology of blood development, taking a special interest in malignant and premalignant blood diseases with a goal of developing novel therapeutic strategies. Dr. Mukherjee trained as a hematologist and oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard Medical School and was on the staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Mukherjee obtained a DPhil in immunology from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and an MD from Harvard Medical School.
Arthur Slutsky, MD, M.A.Sc., B.A.Sc.
Dr. Arthur Slutsky is Vice President (Research), St. Michael`s Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto. He is a pulmonary and critical care physician whose research interests include acute respiratory failure, non-conventional ventilation, classic respiratory mechanics, and the primary role mechanical ventilation plays in the development of subsequent lung injury and multiple organ failure. His basic research in mechanisms of ventilator-induced lung injury have been translated into lung-protective ventilation strategies, leading to decreased mortality of patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Dr Slutsky has published more than500 peer-reviewed publications and over75 book chapters. Dr. Slutsky received a B.A.Sc. (cum laude), 1970, Engineering Science; M.A.Sc., Industrial Engineering, 1972, University of Toronto, and M.D. from McMaster University, 1976. Dr. Slutsky was an Assistant Professor Medicine, Harvard University, from 1980-84. He returned to the University of Toronto in 1984, where he is Professor of Medicine, Surgery, and Biomedical Engineering.
Patrick Hanley, PhD
Dr Patrick Hanley is an Associate Professor at George Washington University and Chief & Director of the cellular therapy program at Children’s National Hospital where he is responsible for the translation, development, manufacturing and testing of novel cell therapies for cancer and infection. Trained as an Immunologist, Dr. Hanley has an extensive background and interest in cellular therapy. For the past 15 years Dr. Hanley has investigated and helped to translate the following into more than 25 clinical trials: Cord Blood and peripheral blood-derived virus-specific T cells for the prophylaxis and treatment of viral infections after transplant. Tumor-specific T cells using both endogenous receptors (targeting Glioblastoma Multiforme) as well as chimeric antigen receptors (CARs, targeting CD19-positive malignancies). A GMP-compliant method of manufacturing mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) using the Quantum cell expansion system for patients after stroke, graft-versus-host disease, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dr. Hanley serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT), where he is also the Vice President, North America. He is also the Commissioning editor of the journal Cytotherapy and serves on the editorial board of the journals Molecular Therapy: Methods and Clinical Development.
Investors and Partners
In 2021, Cellenkos closed a $15 million Series A financing led by BVCF Management Ltd ("BVCF"). Proceeds from this financing were used to further the company’s development of the Treg cell therapy platform to address high, unmet needs in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. BioVeda China Fund (BVCF) has been dedicated to creating and developing innovative global Chinese Life Sciences companies to benefit the health and wealth of the World since 2005. BVCF has attracted global institutional financial and strategic investors to achieve this goal. BVCF is the first US dollar fund that focused on life sciences and healthcare in China. In the past 16 years, BVCF has invested in nearly 50 companies, has US $722 million under management; the company has offered co-investment opportunities with a combined value of over US $1 billion. BVCF’s investments span across China and the U.S., covering a wide spectrum of highly promising subfields including healthcare services, innovative biologics, in-vitro diagnostics (molecular diagnostics), high-value medical devices and consumables, and medical big data and mobile medicine. BVCF has a complementary team of seasoned life science investors with global insight and local expertise.
In 2016, Golden Meditech Holdings Limited , a Hong Kong-based integrated healthcare enterprise, and The University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center ("MD Anderson") created Cellenkos, Inc. ("Cellenkos"), a start-up enterprise focused on umbilical cord blood derived T-regulatory ("T-reg") cellular therapies. Golden Meditech Holdings is an integrated-healthcare enterprise engaged in the manufacture of medical devices and related accessories, medical insurance administration services, and hospital management services and operation. Its major segments include Hospital business segment; Medical devices segment; Medical insurance administration segment; Cells and tissues storage and genetic testing services segment, and Chinese herbal medicines segment. The company is based in Hong Kong, China and was founded in 2001.
Incyte is a Wilmington, Delaware-based, global biopharmaceutical company focused on finding solutions for serious unmet medical needs through the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics. In December 2020, Incyte (NASDAQ: INCY) and Cellenkos entered into a development collaboration to investigate the combination of ruxolitinib (Jakafi®) and CK0804, Cellenkos’ cryopreserved CXCR4 enriched, allogeneic, umbilical cord blood-derived T-regulatory cells, in patients with myelofibrosis (MF). In addition, Incyte has an exclusive option to acquire sole rights to develop and commercialize CK0804, and genetically-modified variants of CK0804, in benign and malignant hematology indications. For additional information on Incyte, please visit Incyte.com and follow @Incyte.
In June 2021, Cellenkos selected Cryoport, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYRX) ("Cryoport" or "the Company"), a global leader in temperature-controlled supply chain solutions for the life sciences industry, to provide a staged, on-demand, logistics solution for COVID-19 therapy shipments for patients in need. Cryoport, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYRX) is redefining temperature-controlled supply chain support for the life sciences industry by continually broadening its platform of solutions and services, serving the Biopharma, Animal Health, and Reproductive Medicine markets. Through its family of companies, Cryoport Systems, MVE Biological Solutions, CRYOPDP and CRYOGENE, Cryoport provides strategic solutions that support the growing needs of these markets.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For the past 25 years, MD Anderson has ranked as one of the nation's top two cancer centers in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" survey. It receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
MD Anderson Cancer Center and Cellenkos collaboration will support the T-REG Program.
ASD: AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
AD: ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
MS: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
IBD: INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
GVDH: GRAFT VS HOST DISEASE
AA: APLASTIC ANEMIA
SLE: SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSIS
RA: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
T1D: TYPE 1 DIABETES
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