Platelet BioGenesis Appoints Biotech Industry Veteran Sam Rasty, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer
New leader to rapidly build team and capabilities to scale unique stem cell-derived platelet manufacturing platform, advance core program to the clinic, and establish proof of concept for platelet-based therapeutics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Platelet BioGenesis (PBG), the leader in stem cell-derived, on-demand human platelets (PLTs+™) and platelet-based therapeutics, announced today the hiring of Sam Rasty, Ph.D., as President and CEO. Dr. Rasty was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of Homology Medicines, Inc. (Nasdaq: FIXX), a genetic medicines company, where he played a key role in transforming Homology from a private startup to an established public company. He will help drive the strategic direction and strong tactical execution of PBG during a period of growth and expansion, as the company rapidly advances toward its first IND. Dr. Rasty will assume the role effective July 15, 2019.
“After 20 years of working with innovative biotech companies, I have been fortunate to see the advancement of many impactful technological innovations that have led to life-altering therapies for patients,” said Dr. Rasty. “As the only company that can manufacture functional human platelets, Platelet BioGenesis has a unique chance to change the future of medicine. Co-founders Sven Karlsson and Jonathan Thon, Ph.D., have done an impressive job growing the company from an idea to a leader in novel cell therapies. I’m looking forward to working with them and the entire PBG team to drive the company to its next stage of growth and into the clinic.”
Before joining Homology Medicines, Dr. Rasty held leadership positions at biopharma industry stalwarts including Shire Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Vice President and Head of New Products, GlaxoSmithKline, where he was Director of Portfolio Management and Global Commercial Strategy, and Endo Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Director of Corporate Development. Dr. Rasty received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Louisiana State University, where he focused on transcriptional regulation of lentiviruses. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular genetics and biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He also holds an MBA from Villanova University.
As part of Dr. Rasty’s appointment, current CEO and co-founder Dr. Jonathan Thon will continue as Chief Scientific Officer, in which he will focus on building next generation applications of PBG’s innovative PLT+ Platform.
"We are thrilled to have Sam join our team," said Dr. Thon. "Platelet BioGenesis was founded on a principal of strong technical leadership and in a very short period, we have achieved scientific and manufacturing breakthroughs our field thought impossible only a few years ago. Sam represents an exciting next step in this growth. His steady leadership and operating experience, including most recently at Homology Medicines, will continue this trajectory and provide an excellent foundation for his incoming role at PBG."
In addition to providing a solution for the constant demand for platelets, currently only available from donors, PBG is seeking to extend the healing power of platelets in areas such as cancer treatment. These “designer platelets” synthesized from stem cells can inherently work to deliver anticancer therapies directly to the site of a malignancy and maximize the efficacy of the treatment.
About Platelet BioGenesis
Platelet BioGenesis is a venture-backed, development stage biotech company creating the world’s first donor-independent source of platelets to address the chronic platelet shortage that affects patients worldwide. The company has developed and patented a scalable cGMP-compliant process to generate platelets from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Platelet BioGenesis is also developing designer platelets (PLTs+™), a new class of therapeutics to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The company was spun out of Harvard University and has received venture funding from Qiming Venture Partners USA and other investors and attained grant funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. Learn more at plateletbiogenesis.com and follow us on Twitter @plateletbio.
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Source: Platelet BioGenesis