Catalent has appointed professor Dr David Schaffer to the advisory board of the company's biologics business. Schaffer has played an integral advisory role on the gene therapy industry, as Catalent has moved into gene therapy services through the company's May 2019 US$1.2 billion acquisition of Paragon Bioservices, a viral vector CDMO partner for gene therapies.
"We welcome David to the advisory board and look forward to his insights and guidance at this exciting time in the company's evolution as we embrace the new technology of gene therapy into the services we offer," said Mike Riley, Vice President and General Manager of Catalent Biologics. "David's depth of knowledge and expertise in this area will complement our team, especially advising on the new viral vector development and manufacturing technologies we have gained through our acquisition of Paragon Bioservices."
The biologics advisory board was originally founded in 2015 to bring together scientific thought leaders and biotechnology industry veterans to strengthen and support Catalent's growth in the rapidly evolving field. Professor Schaffer joins the current board's members, Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, Barry Buckland, PhD, Michael Buckley, PhD, Daniel R. Marshak, PhD, Edward R. Robinson, and Matthew Stober.
Professor Schaffer serves as Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center, in addition to holding a position as a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, bioengineering, and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his bachelor's at Stanford University, before undertaking his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute. His research at Berkeley applies engineering principles to enhance gene therapy and stem cell approaches to treat human disease.
He is the co-founder of three companies: 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Inc., which uses a novel technology platform to engineer optimised, proprietary adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy; Ignite Immunotherapies, Inc., which is developing novel oncolytic virus technologies as cancer therapies in partnership with Pfizer; and Valitor, Inc., which is developing a novel protein-polymer conjugation technology to develop greatly enhanced protein biologics for a range of disease targets.