Ori Biotech expands its footprint and invests in high-level expertise

It has invested in world-class expertise, personnel and facilities, with the aim of a rapid transition to the launch of its innovative cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing platform.

The developer has strengthened its management team with several new appointments, including three directors, to support the growth and push the commercialization of its platform, as well as the expansion of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), by appointing CGT experts, Isabelle Riviere and Jason Bock.

It also opened a new factory in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, and will open a new technology center in Cambridge, UK.

New employees

The company explained how it recruited new people into teams across digital infrastructure, data analytics, software, manufacturing and quality.

Kale Feeder and Lindsey Clarke joined Ori as directors of business development. Feeter was previously at Cytiva and Thermo Fisher while Clarke joins Bio-Techne, having previously been at Miltenyi Biotec. In addition, Quentin Vicard has been appointed director of product management – ​​he was previously at Sartorius. Brian Macauley has been recruited as Cloud Platform Manager and Claire Horlock has joined the team as Principal Scientist, coming from Autolus.

Regarding additions to SAB, Ori said Isabelle Rivière brings 25 years of CGT experience, including from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where she is currently director of the Cell Therapy and Engineering Laboratory. cellular. She is also a co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, a board member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), and a former board member of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM). Jason Bock, CEO of the new Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center (CTMC), a joint venture between MD Anderson and National Resilience, also adds 20 years of biotechnology experience developing and bringing therapies to market.

Commenting on these new SAB recruits and members, Jason C Foster, CEO of Ori Biotech, told BioPharma-Reporter: “As recent data show, there is an urgent need to improve access to cell and gene therapies, less than 2% of eligible patients worldwide with access to commercial cell therapies and 20% of patients selected for treatment still die in waiting for their processing to be manufactured. It is imperative that we address these access issues quickly and that there is no time to waste.

“The new members of our team reinforce our strengths in all areas, including biology, engineering, data science, manufacturing, supply chain and commerce. Generally, it took more than 10 years for manufacturing platforms like Ori to come to market, we hope to bring the first generation of our platform to market in early 2024, less than five years after our first funding round in 2019.”

LEAP program

The CEO says the company’s Lightspeed Early Access Program (LEAP) is an important step towards commercial launch. “This is a very exciting time as we have several partners directly interacting with our beta platform and testing it with their protocols. We have announced two partners in the past, Achilles Therapeutics and Minaris Regenerative Medicine, and will announce more partners in the very near future.

“Our Technical Operations team are working on-site at partner facilities in the UK and US, supporting ongoing work to incorporate feedback and improvements into the final commercial version of the platform. LEAP Members will also soon be testing Ori’s fully integrated technology stack, including partner apps, which will be a key aspect of building programs that can scale to fully meet business demand, which is currently not possible.

New installations

The company’s US facility in Princeton, NJ is operational and already in use. “The lab team uses the space for LEAP partner work as well as partner technology integrations,” said Foster.

David Smith, vice president of technical operations, leads the team based at Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs.

The new technology center in Cambridge, UK will be used for engineering, R&D, including mechanics, electronics, software, data science, multiphysics and robotics. Led by Stuart Milne, CTO, this site will aim to enable a dedicated team of engineers and scientists to develop Ori’s next generation prototypes, mechanical, electrical and software business and digital platforms.

The company said teams at both sites are working closely with the science team embedded at the London Biosciences Innovation Center’s Ori facility.