The Promises and Challenges of Allogeneic Cell Therapies: Likarda Konnect

Webinar: The Promises and Challenges of Allogeneic Cell Therapies

Wednesday, March 20 | 11am ET/8am PT | Online

Allogeneic cell therapies are the promise of the future, providing wider access to life saving procedures using scaled manufacturing procedures and thus lowering the cost of the treatment. 

However, many hurdles still stand in the way that can be categorized as Patient-Related Challenges and Cell or Therapy-Related Challenges.

We will cover both categories and provide insights into the ways different companies are working to overcome the current obstacles.

At this webinar, attendees can expect to hear about:

  • Overview of current status of allogeneic cell therapies
  • Review of patient-related challenges such as dosing, administration sites, lack of retention at the target site and immune rejection
  • Review of cell therapy-related challenges including the source of cells, the manipulation to the cells, manufacturing and scalability
  • Pricing of cell therapies making them inaccessible to the average patient.

Meet the Speakers

Francis Karanu PhD. Portrait

Francis Karanu, PhD

Likarda, Director of Cell Therapy Research and Development

With a Ph.D. in immunology and cell biology, Francis is Director of Cell Therapy R&D at Likarda, a biotech developing next generation cell therapies and cell delivery technologies. Francis is part of a team that is developing a cell-based solution for dogs with diabetes, which will be an injectable islet transplant that will eliminate the need for daily insulin injections for diabetic dogs.

Francis began his career as a veterinarian, but quickly turned to his passion, biomedical research. Prior to joining Likarda, he was with Johnson & Johnson and worked extensively in a stem cell and regenerative medicine venture developing beta-like, insulin producing cells from pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of diabetes in humans, including isolation and characterization procedures. Francis’s methods for purifying cells derived from pluripotent stem cells were granted patent US20110212067. He has been author or co-author of many peer reviewed publications and patents.

Francis studied veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and completed his graduate training at Washington State University before beginning postdoctoral work in the Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario where he worked on isolation and expansion strategies of human hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood and bone marrow.

Along with extensive experience in biotechnology/industry and academic research environments, Francis is very involved in diabetes care and management issues in underserved areas including Sub- Saharan Africa. He is active in Mariira Catholic Dispensary in Murang’a, Kenya where he volunteers his time and resources to provide medical supplies and equipment to support the organization’s mission. As an advisor on the Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association, he helps guide the grassroots group in tackling diabetes and high blood pressure through community education and support.

Adam Roose Portrait

Adam Roose

Adjuvant Partners

Adam currently serves as the EVP of Cell & Gene Commercial Strategy at Adjuvant Partners, a consultancy specializing in business development and strategic advisory services for the advanced therapies industry. At Adjuvant, Adam primarily works to assess a client’s strategic and commercial options, and to propose methodologies and partnering opportunities best suited to achieve their goals. From 2018 through mid 2020 Adam served as an adviser to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, focused on network development and addressing CMC-related industry wide challenges. He also has served as the Infrastructure Program Director at the Foundation for Cell & Gene Medicine and helped launch the Alliance for AI in Healthcare (AAIH) in 2019. Adam drove the business development and committee workstreams at the AAIH until the end of 2022. 

Prior to joining Adjuvant, Adam worked at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute under Dr. Doug Melton, focused on stem cell biology R&D. Following on his time at the HSCI, Adam led the tech transfer and bioprocess development efforts at Semma Therapeutics where he was a first-round hire and was instrumental in managing both scientific and alliance efforts. Adam received his BA from Bates College in History with a joint focus on Biology and engaged in continued education at the Harvard Extension School focusing on genetics, regenerative medicine, and commercialization. He currently resides in Boston, MA.

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