Louis Lacasse, MBA (HEC)
President, GeneChem Management Inc.
President, Board of Directors, C3i Louis Lacasse has been President of GeneChem Management Inc. since 1997 and Managing Partner of AgeChem Financial Inc. since 2006. GeneChem and AgeChem manage three lifesciences venture capital funds which have invested in more than forty (40) companies in Canada, the United States and Europe. Prior to joining GeneChem, Louis Lacasse worked at the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec (CDPQ), where he held several positions between 1987-1997, including Vice-President of Sofinov, a private placement subsidiary of the CDPQ which focussed on biotechnology, information technology and industrial technology. Before joining the CDPQ, Louis Lacasse worked as a Financial Analyst with the National Bank of Canada, as Account Manager at the Bank of Montreal, and as Project Manager at the Centre de Développement Technologique. He has also owned a small retail company.
Louis Lacasse has been appointed to the Boards of Directors of many private and public companies including BioChem Pharma Inc., Axcan Pharma Inc., Targeted Genetics Inc., Methylgene Inc. and Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc. He currently sits on the Board of two (2) publicly traded companies, is the Chairman of two audit committees and the Chairman of one compensation committee.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales and an MBA from McGill University. Louis Lacasse will be appointed the Chairman of the Board for C3i. As such he will ensure leadership and business acumen. His venture capital and financial expertise will drive strong Board leadership.
Amal Khouri, MBA
Knight Therapeutics Inc.
Amal Khouri has been the Vice President, Business Development at Knight Therapeutics inc. since 2014. Prior to joining Knight Therapeutics, Amal Khouri worked at Novartis Pharma for over 7 years in multiple positions within the global business development and licensing team in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to her employment at Novartis, Amal Khouri worked in business development at Paladin Labs in roles with increasing responsibilities.
Amal Khouri holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Licensing Executive Society (LES) and the Canadian Healthcare Licensing Association (CHLA – Former Board member). Ms. Khouri will bring expertise in the area of business development and capital investment, in both Canadian and International arenas. Her pharmaceutical background represents a key asset for the funding of C3i operations.
Bernard Massie, Ph.D
General manager National Research Council Canada
Profoundly inspired by the biotechnology pioneers who developed recombinant DNA in 1973, and by its application in 1978 to produce human insulin, Dr. Bernard Massie joined NRC in 1985 with a conviction that molecular biology holds the power to unlock the mysteries of human health. He initially focused on delivering DNA inside cells to replace mutated genes with therapeutic genes, becoming one of the first researchers in Canada to tackle gene therapy. Sensing the enormous potential of biologics to treat cancer and chronic diseases, he applied his knowledge of viral vectors to biologics production. He has dedicated 30 years to developing bioprocesses needed to produce these revolutionary, targeted medicines, first as a research associate and progressing to roles such as group leader, R&D director, and leader of the Biologics and Biomanufacturing program. In December 2015, Dr. Bernard Massie was appointed General Manager (acting) of Human Health Therapeutics at NRC. Dr. Massie earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology from Université de Montréal, where he also completed his Ph.D. in microbiology. He has published over 138 peer-reviewed papers and has 12 issued patents.
Denis-Claude Roy, MD, FRCPC
Director of HMR Reseach Center
Dr. Roy is currently Director of the Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Research Center and Scientific Director of its cGMP Cell Therapy Center (CETC). He is a practicing hematologist at HMR. He is also Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal; Clinician-Scientist in the Hematology and Medical Oncology Program Dr. Roy is CEO of the Network of Centres of Excellence: CellCAN Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Network. He is Director of the Clinical Therapeutics Arm of the Canadian Stem Cell Network, Co-Director of the ThéCell FRSQ Network, and former board member of the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group and Executive Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada- CTG-Hematology. Dr Roy is a renowned researcher in the field of hematopoietic stem cell therapy with publications in Nature Medicine, Cell, Cancer Cell, NEJM, J Clin Investigation and Blood. His main area of research is translational research; and includes stem cell transplantation and graft engineering. He has developed a photodepletion strategy to selectively remove alloreactive T-lymphocytes from cell grafts to prevent the development or treat graft-versus-host disease. He participated to all steps of development of this strategy that is now in Phase II clinical trials for 2 different indications. Throughout his career he interacted closely with biotech and pharma. The combination of his laboratory and clinical expertise have led him to devise and chair more than 15 national and international Phase I-II clinical trials in stem cell transplantation. He is currently co-director of a Genome Qc-Genome Canada project aimed at eliminating leukemia cells using T lymphocytes directed agains minor histocompatibility antigens. He has been on numerous scientific review panels, including the Fonds de la recherche en Santé du Québec (president, clinician-scientists panel), Cancer Research Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and is currently sitting on the Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank and Canadian Institutes for Health Research scientific review panels.
Owing to his current activities within the clinical research field, Dr Roy draws from a wealth of experience in network development and homologation processes with Health Canada and various other regulatory agencies. Dr. Denis-Claude Roy obtained his Medical Degree from Université de Montréal and completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Hematology prior to completing a Tumor Immunology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University.
As the CSO of C3i Denis-Claude brings solid scientific acumen and his extensive knowledge of homologation processes to the table, which will prove invaluable for the successful implementation of clinical trials within the framework of the C3i program.
Isabelle Rivière, Ph.D. (Paris)
Director of the Cell Therapy and Cell Engineering Facility, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Isabelle Rivière joined the faculty at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in 1999. She is currently the Director of the Cell Therapy and Cell Engineering Facility where she investigates novel strategies for cell therapies and immunotherapies to increase or retarget the immune response against tumors and treat hematological disorders. Her laboratory has developed multiple processes for clinical-grade gamma-retroviral and lentiviral vector production as well as hematopoietic and T cell manufacturing.
Isabelle Rivière serves on the editorial board of Molecular Therapy: Methods and Clinical Development and on multiple committees of the Association of Academic Biologics Manufacturers (AABM), the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT).
Isabelle Rivière received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Paris. She initiated her graduate studies in the Interferon Research Group at the Institut Curie, Paris and completed her thesis work in the laboratory of Richard Mulligan, Ph.D. at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA. During this time, she developed the MFG/SFG-based gamma-retroviral vectors for in vivo long-term expression of transgenes in hematopoietic cells, which are currently used in multiple clinical trials for the treatment of hereditary blood disorders and cancer. She subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dan Littman, MD, Ph.D. at New York University, New York, NY. Her studies focused on the regulation of cytokines produce by T helper lymphocytes in vivo, based on a mouse model she developed to track IL-4 secreting T cells using homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. Dr. Riviere will help orient C3i in the booming area of cell manufacturing and genetic cell modifications. Her industry (Juno) and academia (MSKCC) experience as well as deep knowledge of the cancer immunotherapy international landscape are key assets for C3i.
Janet Dancey, MD FRCPC. (Ottawa)
Director, National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) Clinical Trials Group
Dr. Dancey is the Director of the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) Clinical Trials Group and Scientific Director, Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network and Professor, Department of Oncology, Queen’s University. Previously, she was Program Director for High Impact Clinical Trials, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), and Director, Clinical Translational Research at NCIC-CTG. She completed medical school at the University of Ottawa in 1988. She received certifications in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1992 and 1993. She has completed research fellowships at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) and at the Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France. In 1999, she became senior investigator in the Investigational Drug Branch of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the National Cancer Institute and rose to Associate Chief prior to returning to Canada. In her current position, Dr. Dancey is responsible for leading Canada’s largest adult cancer clinical trial cooperative group and developing the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance supported Clinical Trial program. Her clinical focus is on melanoma and gastrointestinal malignancies. Her research interests include novel trials to evaluate investigational drugs in rare tumour settings, to evaluate next-generation sequencing technologies in cancer patient management and trial methodology. Her renowned expertise in cancer clinical trials and her nationwide recognition will guide C3i clinical research orientations.
Lambert Busque, MD FRCPC
Chief of the Department of Hematology
Dr Busque is a practicing hematologist at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR), and serves as Chief of Molecular diagnostic and Chief of HMR’s Diagnostic Program of Medical biology being altogether responsible for 300 employees and managing a budget of 30 Million$/year. He sits on several Quebec government regulatory committees such as the Institut National d’Excellence en Santé et Services Sociaux (INESSS). He is the co-founder of the Quebec CML Registry and a founder and current president of the non-for-profit organization GQR-LCM/NMP (Groupe québécois de recherche en leucémie myéloide chronique et en néoplasies myéloprolifératives) where he successfully built a network comprising 20 oncology centers in the province of Quebec. Dr. Busque is a sought after as a key opinion leader (KOL), and his advice and expertise are critical to numerous pharmaceutical companies.
Dr Busque has over 20 years of biotechnology and clinical research experience. He founded and was the medical director at ProDNA diagnostics, a molecular diagnostics provider, which was later sold to Warnex (now known as Dynacare). He founded and was the President of HemaX Genome, a company focused on the identification of genes of medical interest localized on the X chromosome. HemaX genome was later acquired by Emerillon Therapeutics Inc. During these tenures, Dr Busque acquired experience in raising venture capital funds and in developing international collaborations.
Dr. Lambert Busque obtained his Medical Degree from the Université de Montréal in 1986 and completed residencies in internal medicine and hematology before completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard in molecular hematology. He has since continued on as an accomplished clinician-researcher and with a specific interest in translational hematology. He has published in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics, Blood and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.
As Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of C3i, Lambert will bring a unique blend of expertise inscience, business, management, clinic, reimbursement, network building, and raising public and private funding. These aspects are essential to the successful implementation of clinically relevant solutions for cancer immunotherapy within the C3i program.
Thomas Tradler, Ph.D. (Max-Planck-Institute)
Head of Business Development and Patent Management at Fraunhofer IZI; and CEO, Tutelacell, GmbH.
Thomas Tradler is Head of Business Development and Patent Management at Fraunhofer IZI, Germany and the Chief Executive Officer at Tutelacell GmbH. He is also currently a Managing Director at the Fraunhofer Project Centre for the Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) at McMaster University. Thomas Tradler has a scientific background in biochemistry. In 2001 and subsequent to an academic career at the Max-Planck Society and the University of Mainz, he started a career in the pharmaceutical industry. As a project leader at Jerini AG, he managed several pre-clinical and clinical drug development projects. In this role, Dr. Tradler was involved in the development and approval of Firazyr, a drug that realized annual sales of US$235 million in 2013. When Jerini was sold to Shire for €340 million in 2009, Dr. Tradler left the company and subsequently held managerial positions of increasing responsibility in intellectual property asset management for biopharmaceutical companies. In 2011, he joined the Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s largest society for applied research. In addition to realizing a global business in joint development and contract research in biomedicine, Dr. Tradler supported the establishment of several subsidiaries of international companies in Leipzig. Since 2011, he has been involved in establishing multiple collaborations with Canadian partners, culminating in the successful creation of the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) at McMaster University in 2014. The same year, he spun off a consulting company providing comprehensive services to companies aiming to start a business in Germany.
Thomas Tradler received his M.Sc. in Biology from the Martin-Luther-University Halle- Wittenberg and his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Research Unit Halle, Germany prior to completing MBA postgraduate studies at the University of Potsdam, Germany where he prepared a thesis on: “Comparative Analysis of the European and U.S. Cell Therapy Industry”.
Dr Tradler will contribute insights into linking commercial and academic involvement and interests into C3i.
Timothy Smith, Ph.D. (Queen’s)
CEO and Co-founder of Octane Inc.
Tim Smith is the CEO and co-founder of Octane, a medical technology company focused on bioreactors, bioprocesses and biomaterials for regenerative medicine. With 25 years in medical device commercialization, Tim Smith draws on a wealth of expertise in R&D, sales and marketing, business development and intellectual property management. Tim Smith works closely with the regenerative medicine companies within Octane’s network of partners, bringing senior management perspective on private and public company business strategy and financing.
In the mid-1990s, he became a founding member of the Millenium Biologix Group where he served as Vice-President and Director and was later named Chief Science and Technology Officer in 2005. He and his team worked in the orthopaedics field in collaboration with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency to study bone density loss in zero-gravity conditions. This venture eventually led to the development of bioreactors and the co-founding of Octane.
Tim Smith obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Biomedical) from Queen’s University in Canada in 1988, following a Master’s of Science degree from Queen’s University in 1985. In anticipation of a career in new medical technologies, he expanded his studies to include Business Management from the School of Business, Biomaterials Development from the Clinical Mechanics Group and Clinical Trial Design from the Department of Epidemiology. He is a member of Canada’s National Sector Team for Advanced Materials, a member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and a member of the American Society of Materials.
C3i will benefit greatly from Dr. Smith’s long-standing efforts in commercial biomedical engineering of cell products and medical devices.
Ad. E., Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP.
William Brock is a partner in the Litigation practice at Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP. His focus is on complex commercial, corporate and securities litigation, fraud and misappropriation claims (including Marevatype injunctions), shareholders’ rights disputes, unfair competition and defamation claims, communications and media issues, arbitration (both as counsel and arbitrator) and international disputes. He conducts litigation at both trial and appellate levels, including before the Supreme Court of Canada, and advises Canada’s leading companies. He is affiliated with the Québec Bar Disciplinary Committee, and in May 2009, he received the Lawyer Emeritus distinction from the Québec Bar Association, a prestigious designation reserved for individuals who are renowned for their professional excellence as well as their continued and outstanding contribution to the profession. William Brock is actively involved in the community and recognized as a major fundraiser for blood cancer research where he notably founded the Education and Research into Blood Cancers Fund at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont; he has raised more than 2 million dollars for the Maryse Bertrand and William Brock Chair in Applied Stem-Cell Transplant Research at the Université de Montréal and Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont.
He is also a founding member of the Generations Fund which provides food and support to Montreal citizens in need.
In 2010, he was the recipient of the Medal of Honour of the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal and in 2013, the recipient of the Israel Cancer Research Fund’s Community Fellowship Honorary Recipient Award. For his outstanding contribution to the community, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Mr Brock brings unparalleled expertise in commercial and corporate law, which is crucial to the establishment of C3i. In addition, he will carry the voice of the cancer patient into C3i activities.
Kathryn Hayashi is the Founding Chief Financial Officer of The Centre for Drug Research and Development and CDRD Ventures Inc. and has extensive experience in both non-for-profit organizations, public and private companies, startups and commercialization accelerator/incubators. As part of the founding team that started CDRD in 2007, she has worked to secure public and private sector funding in excess of $230M, and completed multiple commercial transactions including the creation of 6 spin out companies (including a significant M&A exit) to establish CDRD as a leader in pre-clinical translational research and commercialization.
Prior to CDRD, she was the Vice President of Finance at Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. (TSX:CHR) where she was instrumental in various equity financings as well as mergers and acquisitions of private companies with early stage therapeutics candidates.
Ms. Hayashi is a Director and Audit Committee Chair of the Center for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy at the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont and serves on the boards of CDRD spinoff companies including Sitka Biopharma and Zucara Therapeutics. Ms. Hayashi has over 25 years of industry experience in all areas of finance, operational and strategic planning, and governance and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia.