May 4, 2023
Seattle, WA, May 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Outpace Bio, a company using protein design and cell engineering to create advanced cell therapies, today announced two key leadership appointments. Aaron Foster, PhD, has joined as Chief Scientific Officer and Eric Soller, PhD, has joined as Chief Business Officer. The appointments bolster Outpace’s mission to develop technologies that overcome the barriers standing in the way of effective and safe cell therapies for cancer.
“We launched Outpace to unleash the full power of cell therapies by combining the groundbreaking fields of de novo protein design and cell engineering, and I'm thrilled that Aaron and Eric have joined us on this mission,” said Marc Lajoie, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Outpace. “Their expertise in advancing engineered cell therapies from discovery to the clinic, as well as the business of scaling innovative cell therapy platform technologies, will greatly accelerate our efforts to develop curative cell therapies that transform the lives of cancer patients.”
As Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Foster brings more than 30 years of drug discovery experience to Outpace and a record of leading research teams in the translation of advanced engineered immune cell therapies from discovery into the clinic. Prior to joining Outpace, Dr. Foster was Vice President of T Cell Therapeutics at Sana Biotechnology where he oversaw the development of allogeneic and in vivo gene delivery platforms and also led non-clinical and IND-enabling research for T cell therapy pipeline programs. Prior to Sana, he served as Senior Vice President, Head of Research at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals where he oversaw the company’s research strategy and led discovery and product development for CAR T and CAR NK cell therapies. Prior to joining Bellicum, Dr. Foster was an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, where he led a research group investigating adoptive T cell therapies, cancer vaccines, and nanotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Dr. Foster received his PhD from the University of Sydney and conducted postdoctoral work at both the University of Sydney and Baylor College of Medicine. He is the author of 53 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on 12 patent families.
“Cell therapies have shown tremendous benefits for blood cancers, but similar results for solid tumors have lagged behind” said Dr. Foster. “With the innovative technologies emerging at Outpace, I believe we are on the verge of a new era in cell therapy where complex and difficult-to-treat cancers can finally be addressed”.
As Chief Business Officer, Dr. Soller brings to Outpace nearly twenty years of scientific expertise, company building and transactions leadership in the biotechnology sector. Prior to joining Outpace, Dr. Soller was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Versant Ventures where he co-founded BlueRock Therapeutics, a company with $225 million in initial financing. Dr. Soller led BlueRocks’s corporate development and strategy efforts to create an industry-leading engineered cell therapy platform, including proprietary iPSC technology, gene engineering, and cell differentiation capabilities as well as a pipeline of innovative cell therapies across neurology, cardiology and immunology. He forged partnerships with leading biotechnology companies, scientists, and academic institutions in the process, and these efforts culminated in the company’s 2019 acquisition by Bayer Pharmaceuticals as the foundation for their cell therapy efforts for a potential value of $1 billion, two and a half years after launch. Dr. Soller also worked as a Junior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he advised both large and early-stage biotechnology companies on a range of strategic and operational topics. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering with a biomedical focus from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
“We now have the technological ability to create cell-based therapies with curative potential, but an innovative business model will be needed to see this effort through,” commented Dr. Soller. “We will be scaling a unique strategic collaboration model with world-leading biotech and pharma companies.”
About Outpace Bio
Outpace is creating cell therapies with curative potential through protein design and cellular engineering. With an initial focus on solid tumors, Outpace is developing technologies that overcome the barriers to efficacy and safety by programming cells to make the right decisions inside patients. Outpace’s suite of technologies drive persistent activity of the cell therapy (OutLast™), recruit a productive immune response in the tumor microenvironment (OutSmart™), and achieve the potency (OutSpacers™), specificity (Co-LOCKR™), and safety (EGFRopt™) necessary to unlock diverse cancer indications. Outpace’s internal and partnered pipeline approach is optimized for rapid clinical validation of its technologies across diverse cell types and manufacturing processes. Outpace is based in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, visit outpacebio.com or email email@example.com and follow on Twitter and Instagram @OutpaceBio.