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Cell Medica Announces Senior Management Appointments

Published: Friday, March 08, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, March 07, 2013
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Key appointments to Cell Medica's senior executive team.

Cell Medica has announced key appointments to its senior executive team.

The strengthened management team will enable Cell Medica to broaden its product development activities, particularly in the US, and will support further international growth.

Dr. Kurt Gunter joins Cell Medica as Chief Medical Officer and will have a senior role in managing the clinical and regulatory aspects of the Company’s therapeutic products with a focus on the cancer immunotherapy program.

As Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Hammel will be responsible for Cell Medica’s global financial and business management systems to drive the continued growth of Cell Medica’s commercial operations in both Europe and the US.

Ross Durland, PhD, has joined as Senior Vice President Development with global responsibility for product development activities.

Ross will focus on the Company’s pipeline strategy while also assisting in setting up the manufacturing operations in the US.

The new members of the executive team will be based in Cell Medica’s recently established US office in Houston, Texas and will have global responsibility for their respective functions.

Also joining the Houston office are Cynthia Molina, Senior Director Regulatory Affairs and Shannon Inman, Director Clinical Operations, each with regional responsibility for the US.

Gregg Sando, CEO of Cell Medica, commented, “Expanding our management team with such experienced biotech professionals is a crucial step as we extend our operations to the US market. For Cell Medica, this represents an important growth milestone in our strategy to build an industry leader in cellular therapeutics on a global basis.”

Dr. Kurt Gunter, Chief Medical Officer
Kurt has devoted his career to the development of cell and gene therapies and brings significant commercial experience to Cell Medica from his previous positions at Hospira, ViaCell and Transkaryotic Therapies.

As current President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT), Kurt plays a worldwide leadership role in promoting the understanding of the clinical, regulatory, manufacturing and marketing requirements for the successful development of cell and gene therapies.

Prior to his biotech career, he worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Medical Officer and was appointed Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Cell and Gene Therapy within the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).

Jeff Hammel, Chief Financial Officer
Jeff joins Cell Medica with over 17 years of broad financial and operational experience in the healthcare industry. In his previous role as Chief Financial Officer for the largest operating division of Orthofix International NV, Jeff managed the global financial operations for a medical technology business with $300 million revenues across all major international markets.

Jeff played an active role in providing financial and analytical support to manage strategic and operational goals. He was also a key member of the integration team for a significant acquisition.

Prior to Orthofix, Jeff spent eight years at the head office of Eli Lilly & Company where his final position was US Controller for the $7.0 billion US pharmaceutical division.

Ross Durland, Senior Vice President Development
Ross has over 20 years of experience in the development of highly innovative therapeutic products and technologies. He gained significant experience with cell-based therapeutics while at Valentis (formerly GeneMedicine; The Woodlands, TX) where he rose to Senior Director Preclinical Development and led multi-site, multidisciplinary product development teams advancing two new gene therapy products from animal proof-of-concept to human clinical testing.

During his time at Valentis, Ross also participated in developing five additional clinical stage products, and led the company’s manufacturing and quality control functions in manufacturing products for preclinical and clinical testing.

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