Cellares Appoints John Tomtishen as Vice President of Operations
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cellares Corporation, a life sciences technology company pioneering a revolutionary automated approach to cell therapy manufacturing, today announced the appointment of John Tomtishen as Vice President of Operations. Mr. Tomtishen has more than 10 years of experience within cell and gene therapies, biologics, and vaccines, and has held diverse roles in business operations, CMC/technical operations, engineering and facilities, and supply chain operations.
In his new role at Cellares, Mr. Tomtishen will be responsible for supporting partnership activities and facilitating accelerated market adoption of Cellares’ Cell Shuttle technology.
“John’s deep experience manufacturing multiple cell therapies will ensure seamless integration of our technology into our customers’ manufacturing processes, today and in the future — in particular as we begin to revolutionize manufacturing of these life-saving medicines,” said Fabian Gerlinghaus, Chief Executive Officer, Cellares. “We are delighted to welcome John to the team.”
Most recently, Mr. Tomtishen served as the Site Managing Director of Legend Biotech’s corporate headquarters in Somerset, NJ, where he oversaw CMC technical operations for Legend’s cell and gene therapy products. While at Legend, he built a high-performing organization with best-in-class, end-to-end manufacturing and supply chain capabilities to support the clinical development and BLA filing of Ciltacabtagene autoleucel (Cilta-cel) in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Mr. Tomtishen owned and managed technical operations for Novartis’ cell and gene therapy products, from late-stage clinical development through commercial lifecycle management. During his time at Novartis, he had an integral role in the filing and approval of the first CAR-T BLA (Kymriah™- tisagenlecleucel).
“This is a very exciting time to join Cellares, as the company is refining its Cell Shuttle platform. Cellares is moving with impressive velocity to overcome major hurdles for cell therapy manufacturing, and I’m looking forward to being part of the team that is ushering in a paradigm-shifting solution to scale these types of therapies,” said Mr. Tomtishen.
Cellares also announced two additional key hires: Joy Duemke as Senior Director of Global Marketing, and Tim Lai as Director of Facilities. Ms. Duemke joined the company as Senior Director of Global Marketing, following 15 years of experience in marketing technologies, services, software, and products. She came to Cellares from Terumo Blood & Cell Technologies, where she led clinical upstream marketing in immunotherapies for the therapeutics division, and downstream marketing for all divisions, including cell therapy technologies and apheresis collections. Ms. Duemke brings experience across the entire “vein-to-vein” process, from cellular collections through administration of cell therapies to patients.
Mr. Lai has more than 12 years of experience in GMP facilities asset life cycle management in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Cellares, he held various roles in engineering, maintenance, utilities, and facilities operations in Genentech and Boehringer Ingelheim.
About The Cell Shuttle
The Cell Shuttle is an automated and closed end-to-end manufacturing solution that is flexible and scalable, enabling customers to run the exact processes specified for their cell therapy. Compared with currently available cell therapy manufacturing methods, this next-generation platform enables a three-fold reduction in process failure rates and is capable of producing 10+ patient doses in parallel, which increases manufacturing scalability by an order of magnitude. This will reduce the per-patient manufacturing cost by up to 70 percent for most processes.
About Cellares Corporation
Cellares is creating the future of cell therapy manufacturing and accelerating access to life-saving cell therapies. The company is developing a one-of-a-kind solution to overcome the limitations associated with manufacturing cell therapies that are more affordable and widely available to patients in need. With Cellares’s proprietary platform—the Cell Shuttle—biopharma companies, academic research centers and CDMOs will no longer have to compromise by either choosing a manufacturing platform that is semi-automated but lacks workflow flexibility, or one that provides customization but not the end-to-end automation needed to manufacture at scale. The company is headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif. For more information visit www.cellares.com.
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