PlantForm team expands
Five new staff members have joined the PlantForm team to help advance the company’s first biosimilar antibody drug candidate towards human clinical trials.
“The growth of our team is critical to our evolution from an R&D-focused company to a clinical-stage company,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO. “Our new staff members bring together the product development, compliance and additional research expertise necessary to take our next steps towards commercialization.”
The new team members are:
CEO joins biosimilar working group
- Dr. Craig Binnie, Vice-President, Drug Development. He will oversee GMP manufacturing of biosimilar trastuzumab for characterization studies and preclinical and clinical trials. He will also establish and lead PlantForm’s product development group, support regulatory submissions, and manage the advancement of additional biosimilar drug candidates. Binnie has more than 20 years experience in the design and management of clinical drug development programs. View news release.
- Esther Lo, Project Manager. Lo will manage all aspects of the biosimilar trastuzumab project. She brings more than 15 years of experience as a biotech research associate and project manager to the position.
- Dr. Tatiana Orlova, Quality Assurance Associate. Orlova will develop and implement the quality management system, including the policies and standard operating procedures that enable PlantForm to comply with industry regulations. She has a PhD in chemistry, a post-graduate diploma in quality assurance/regulatory affairs, and two decades of industry experience.
- Dr. Ildiko de Boer will identify the best growth conditions to improve plant cultivation procedures and optimize yield and consistency related to biosimilar trastuzumab production. A plant physiologist with a PhD from the University of Guelph, she is the recipient of a two-year NSERC Industrial post-doctoral fellowship.
- Molecular biologist Dr. Kiva Ferraro will use genetic engineering techniques to improve plant expression of trastuzuamb. Dr. Ferraro has a PhD from the University of Calgary. His position is supported with funding from Canada’s Mitacs Elevate program.
Dr. Stewart has been named a member of an international expert working group that will discuss the use of non-human primates during the development of biosimilar monoclonal antibody products.
The working group is convened by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and forms part of the UK Coalition Government’s pledge to reduce the number of animals in research. Members include scientists from pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies, contract research organizations and regulatory bodies.
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DARPA contract completed
PlantForm successfully concluded its contract with the U.S. Defense Advance Research Projects Agency in December. The contract involved R&D to produce an innovator version of butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), an antidote to nerve agent exposure, using the company’s plant-based manufacturing system.
BioTalk video profile
PlantForm is in a unique competitive position as the only company using very low-cost tobacco plants to produce biosimilar antibody drugs, says CEO Dr. Don Stewart in a BioTalk.ca
video feature on the company.
We’ll be at the BIO-Europe Spring biotechnology partnering conference in Turin, Italy. #BES14
PlantForm will pitch investors at MaRS HealthKick 2014, Canada’s largest healthcare venture showcase.
We’ll be in the Guelph Zone at OCE Discovery with our Innovation Guelph partners.
Connect with us at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, California. #BIO2014
Don Stewart, PhD
President & CEO
David Cayea, BA
Chief Operating Officer
Ron Hosking, CA
Chief Financial Officer
J. Christopher Hall, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer