Cambridge, Mass. – December 9, 2019 – ElevateBio, a Cambridge-based cell and gene therapy holding company, today announced that Melissa K. Carpenter, Ph.D., has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Scientific Officer of Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Carpenter will be responsible for expanding ElevateBio’s portfolio of companies by identifying and forming partnerships with leading academia and industry partners developing stem cell-based regenerative therapies. She has been involved with human pluripotent stem cell research since the field was established and brings invaluable experience to the team.
“Melissa is a pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine and stem cell research with a widely recognized track record as an innovator in the advancement of novel cell therapy programs,” said Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ElevateBio and President, ElevateBio BaseCamp.“I’ve known and worked with Melissa for years and we are honored to welcome her to the ElevateBio team. We are confident her scientific leadership and ability to translate stem cell discovery research into therapeutic products will enable us to accelerate the innovative science being conducted by our portfolio companies.”
“During my career in pluripotent stem cell research, I’ve witnessed both the progress and challenges of making the promise of cell therapy a reality for patients,” said Dr. Carpenter. “By joining ElevateBio, my hope is to combine my deep relationships and knowledge of cell therapy development with the impressive manufacturing capabilities of ElevateBio BaseCamp to help scientific innovators and partners pave a path to commercial success for these critical medicines.”
Dr. Carpenter brings more than 25 years of academic and industry experience in the development of cell therapies using human adult and pluripotent stem cells. Prior to joining ElevateBio, Dr. Carpenter managed her own consulting firm, helping numerous academic teams and companies to navigate and find success in the field. Before this, Dr. Carpenter was Vice President, Research and Development at NovoCell Inc. (now Viacyte, Inc), where she was responsible for translating stem cell research programs to preclinical development, as well as developing the regulatory strategy for the delivery of an encapsulated human embryonic stem cell-derived product into diabetes patients.
Dr. Carpenter also held the position of Principal Investigator and Scientist at the Robarts Research Institute and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, where her lab focused on the epigenetic status of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells and the signaling mechanisms involved in self-renewal. She was Director of Stem Cell Biology at Geron, Corp. (assets acquired by Asterias) where she was responsible for managing discovery research and preclinical programs aimed at developing therapies for Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, cardiac disease, liver disease and diabetes. Prior to that position, she worked at CytoTherapeutics, Inc. (now StemCells, Inc), deriving human neural stem cells and successfully developing the media formulation used for scale-up of these cells.
Dr. Carpenter has been named inventor on 34 issued U.S. patents and has over 50 peer reviewed publications in the stem cell field. She received her Ph.D. from the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology at University of California, Irvine and received her B.Sc. in Psychology from University of Oregon.
ElevateBio, LLC, is a Cambridge-based cell and gene therapy holding company, established to create and operate a broad portfolio of cell and gene therapy companies with leading academic researchers, medical centers and entrepreneurs. ElevateBio builds single- and multi-product companies by providing scientific founders with fully integrated bench-to-bedside capabilities including world-class scientists, manufacturing facilities, drug developers and commercial expertise. ElevateBio BaseCamp, a company-owned Cell and Gene Therapy Center of Innovation, will serve as the R&D, process development and manufacturing hub across the entire ElevateBio portfolio while also supporting selected strategic partners.
ElevateBio’s lead investors are MPM Capital and F2 Ventures. Investors also include EcoR1 Capital, Redmile Group, and Samsara BioCapital.