BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vita Therapeutics, a cell engineering company harnessing the power of genetics to develop cellular therapies to treat muscular dystrophies and solid tumors, today announced the hiring of Amy Wesa, PhD, as Senior Vice President of Preclinical and Translational Research, Alexandra (Xana) Capela, PhD, as Senior Vice President of Regulatory and IND Strategy, and Michael Kuo as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing. In addition, Brown Advisory Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer David M. Churchill is newly-appointed to the Vita Therapeutics Board of Directors.
“I am thrilled that we are continuing to attract top-tier executive talent like Amy, Xana and Michael to the Vita team as we build out our research, regulatory and manufacturing to achieve our ultimate goal of helping people who are in need of new medical treatments,” said Douglas Falk, MS, Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, I’m very pleased to welcome David to our Board. His leadership roles at Brown Advisory will serve our company well as he provides knowledge and perspective around our growing infrastructure.”
Dr. Wesa has 20 years of post-PhD experience in immuno-oncology and cell and gene therapy and has led research and development strategy for clinical translation from discovery to product development to Phase I clinical trials. Dr. Wesa is the former Vice President of Research and Development at Champions Oncology and has held leadership roles at Intrexon and Celsense She is a former faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds a PhD in Cancer Biology from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine.
Dr. Capela is a neurobiologist with more than 20 years of post-doctoral and industry experience in the development of cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative disorders, most recently as a preclinical and regulatory consultant. Previously, she served as a member of the management team of StemCells, Inc. for 15 years. Dr. Capela received her Doctorate in Biomedical Sciences from Albany Medical College/University of Oporto.
Mr. Kuo, MT (ASCP) has more than 24 years of experience in developing novel cell, gene and regenerative medicine therapies to support early-to-late-stage clinical trials. He previously served as MANA Therapeutics’ Senior Vice President of Technical Operations. Prior to joining MANA, Mr. Kuo was Vice President of Quality and Operations at MaxCyte where he was responsible for overseeing new product development of platform technologies, as well as providing CMC operational leadership to support MaxCyte’s first IND-sponsored human clinical trial in solid cancers. Mr. Kuo also served as Senior Director of Quality Assurance at Mesoblast and held various CMC leadership positions throughout his career. He has established and directed numerous GMP manufacturing, quality assurance, and analytical testing operations and provided oversight of clinical manufacturing, process development, translational scale up, technology transfer and analytical testing at major global contract manufacturing and development organizations and contract testing laboratories. Mr. Kuo received his BS degrees in Medical Technology and Microbiology as well as his Biomedical Regulatory Affairs Certification from the University of Washington.
Mr. Churchill is Partner, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Brown Advisory. With a focus on building world-class teams and a strong organizational culture, Mr. Churchill’s leadership extends into the community, where he serves on several nonprofit boards. Serving in various financial and operations leadership roles throughout his career, he thrives in growing entrepreneurial enterprises. His experience in finance, management and operations comes together at Brown Advisory where he oversees all non-investment areas. He joined Brown Advisory in 1997 and co-led the management buyout transaction of Brown Advisory from Bankers Trust.
About Vita Therapeutics
Vita Therapeutics is a biotechnology company generating state-of-the-art cellular therapeutics for the treatment of debilitating neuromuscular diseases and cancers. Vita Therapeutics uses induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to engineer specific cell types designed to replace those that are defective in patients. The Company is progressing its co-leading programs VTA-100 and VTA-300 for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) and multiple solid tumors with the goal of filing investigational drug applications with the US Food and Drug Administration in 2023. Long term, the Company is developing these proprietary cellular therapies following a dual development strategy beginning with autologous-derived cells before moving to a universal hypoimmunogenic cell line. Vita Therapeutics has completed Series A financing of $32 million and is currently working with numerous partners, including PanCella, Wyss Institute, and Johns Hopkins University, to advance clinical programs. Learn more about the company at www.Vitatx.com.