LONDON and MONTREAL, June 1, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Focusing on its Manufacturing, Fortuna Fix (“Fortuna”), a private Regenerative Medicine company announced today the appointment of Mr Madhavan Balachandran to its board of directors, bringing Mr Balachandran’s extensive experience in chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) to Fortuna and reinforcing the company’s commitment to excellence in cell manufacturing. Mr. Balachandran retired in 2017 after spending 20 years at Amgen where he was Executive Vice President of Operations. As EVP Operations, he was responsible for Amgen’s manufacturing, quality, process development, supply chain, and engineering functions, managing a group of 5,800 employees.
“Joining the Board of Fortuna is a tremendous opportunity for me to be part of a company with a leading-edge technology in the field of neural cell therapeutics with a groundbreaking vision of developing personalized products to transform the CNS field. Cell therapies have the potential to truly change healthcare and make a significant and positive impact on the lives of patients,” said Mr. Balachandran.
Jan-Eric Ahlfors, CEO of Fortuna Fix Inc., welcomed Mr. Balachandran, saying, “The appointment of Mr. Balachandran to the Fortuna board brings broad CMC expertise to the company. As a company, we have prioritized fully automated manufacturing for production of our personalized directly reprogrammed neural precursor cells (“drNPCs”) as we recognize manufacturing as a significant hurdle most companies face in large-scale manufacturing of cellular therapies. We look forward to Mr. Balachandran’s expertise and guidance as we advance clinical development of our programs.”
On June 6, 2018, Jan-Eric Ahlfors will be presenting Fortuna’s automated manufacturing platform at the 4th Cell Therapy Conference organized by the International Alliance for Biological Standardization (IABS) and the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in Los Angeles.
With its fully automated manufacturing system, Fortuna aims to be the first to manufacture and bring to the clinic personalized neural precursor cells for treatment of diseases in the fields of neurodegeneration and neurotrauma. Manufacturing of autologous drNPCs is accomplished with a rapid, high throughput, and fully automated process, which does not involve engineering, animal components, or staged pluripotency. Patients suffering from neurotrauma or neurodegeneration will be able to get treatment with their own neural cells providing functional integration without immunosuppression or ethical issues (the technology uses no fetal, embryonic-like, or other ethically challenging processes).
About Fortuna Fix
Fortuna is a private regenerative medicine company with a patented direct cell reprogramming technology platform (drNPC™) and a proprietary bio-scaffolding technology (RMx™), for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma. The company has its lead programs in Spinal Cord Injury and Parkinson’s disease and on-going development efforts in Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Hearing Loss and ALS. The company has developed a proprietary, large-scale and fully automated manufacturing system for production of autologous drNPCs.
About the 4th Cell Therapy Conference – IABS and CIRM
The 2018 Cell Therapy conference will identify key unresolved issues that need to be addressed for the manufacture and testing of stem cell-based therapies and provide scientific consensus on selected aspects to inform the drafting of future national and international guidance. The meeting will bring together representatives from industry, academia, health services and regulatory bodies.
About Madhavan Balachandran
Mr. Balachandran joined Amgen in 1997 as Associate Director, Engineering. He became Director, Engineering in 1998, and, from 1999 to 2001, he held the position of Senior Director, Engineering and Operations Services before moving to the position of Vice President, Information Systems from 2001 to 2002. Thereafter, Mr. Balachandran was Vice President, Puerto Rico Operations from May 2002 to February 2007. From February 2007 to October 2007, Mr. Balachandran was Vice President, Site Operations, and, from October 2007 to August 2012, he held the position of Senior Vice President, Manufacturing. Until his retirement in 2017, Mr. Balachandran was Executive Vice President, Manufacturing. Prior to his tenure at Amgen, Mr. Balachandran held leadership positions at Copley Pharmaceuticals, now a part of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., and Burroughs Wellcome Company, a predecessor through mergers of GlaxoSmithKline plc. Mr. Balachandran holds a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from The State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from East Carolina University.
Dr. Masha Legris Stromme
Source: Fortuna Fix Ltd.