Amsterdam, the Netherlands – December 15, 2021 – LUMICKS, a leading next generation life science tools company, today announced key appointments to its Scientific Advisory Board, with both new members strategically selected to help support LUMICKS’ growth strategy. Board newcomer Dr. Sadik Kassim will specifically focus on supporting the company’s Cell Avidity business with a focus in the CAR-T market, while Dr. Michael Schnall-Levin will leverage his business experience to support LUMICKS’ research and development (R&D) structure and innovation processes.
Dr. Kassim is a scientist and executive with extensive experience in the biotechnology industry, and a revered expert in cell and gene therapy bioprocessing and translational research. He brings valuable insight in gene therapy, immunotherapy, oncology, CAR-T cell therapies, and T-cell therapies to the LUMICKS Board. Currently, he serves as Chief Technology Officer at Danaher, with a focus on new genomic medicines.
Most recently, he was Chief Technology Officer at Vor Biopharma where he built the technical operations team responsible for process development, analytical development, supply chain and manufacturing support of a CRISPR gene-edited HSPC product and oversaw the company’s CAR-T efforts. Prior to Vor, Sadik served as Executive Director at Kite Pharma and led the development of manufacturing processes for autologous CAR-T and TCR-based cell therapies. As the Chief Scientific Officer at Mustang Bio, Sadik managed the foundational build-out of the company’s preclinical and manufacturing activities. Earlier in his career, he was Associate Director, Analytical Development for Novartis’ Cell and Gene Therapies Unit and worked on research teams at both the National Cancer Institute and Johnson and Johnson. Sadik and his teams have contributed to the successful BLA and MAA applications for three of the commercially available CAR-T therapies: Kymriah®, Yescarta®, and Tecartus®. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tulane University, and earned his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Schnall-Levin is currently senior vice president R&D and founding scientist at 10x Genomics, with extensive experience in successfully scaling up the company and bringing new products to market. Previously, he served as Chief Product Officer at Medigram – a cloud-based mobile communication platform that connects healthcare professionals to reduce clinical efficiency and compliance risk. He conducted his postdoctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute, where he worked on developing novel applications of DNA sequencing technologies. He also served as both an employee and a consultant at Foundation Medicine, developing the early algorithms to accurately detect mutations in patient tumor samples. He received his bachelor of arts degree in Physics from Harvard College, and his PhD in Mathematics from MIT – where he was both a Hertz fellow and NDSEG fellow.
“Sadik has an incredibly good sense of where the cell therapy field is going, with unique insights regarding how we can further validate avidity to make it an indispensable metric for cell therapy development, quality control, and clinical application,” said LUMICKS CEO Olivier Heyning. “Michael has been an integral part of innovative startups in the life science space, most notable in 10x Genomics. He has a demonstrated history of scaling companies in smart and strategic ways, and LUMICKS is eager to leverage both his scientific and business background. We’re proud to welcome both of these exceptional industry professionals to the LUMICKS Scientific Advisory Board.”
Additional information about LUMICKS, including its management team, is available online at https://lumicks.com.
LUMICKS is a leading life science tools company that develops equipment for Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology. LUMICKS’ tools allow researchers to build the crucial and as yet unfinished bridge between structure and function at both a molecular and a cellular level. This is achieved by applying and measuring forces around biological interactions, enabling the detailed real-time analysis of underlying biological mechanisms. LUMICKS’ C-Trap® Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence & Label-free Microscopy, allows scientists to analyze complex biological processes in real-time. Similarly, the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their real-time interactions with target cells.
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