Forging a Breakthrough Platform for In Vivo Cell and Gene Therapy

Interius is developing new ways to engineer cells inside the human body, right where they live

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Targeted gene delivery

Right Cell, Right Payload, Right Disease

Interius BioTherapeutics is an early-stage biotechnology company expanding the potential of cell and gene therapy by developing next generation delivery technology based on inventions from the laboratory of Dr. Saar Gill at the University of Pennsylvania.

Based on innovations conceived at Interius, we can now rethink how genetic medicine can be used to create transformational therapies for our patients.

Phil Johnson, CEO

SCIENCE

Core Technologies Enable In Situ Re‑engineering of Cellular Functions

Our lead programs are initially focused on treating hematologic malignancies by leveraging the Interius platform to generate chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells directly in vivo. Our unique therapeutic approach bypasses the need for ex vivo cell manipulations and the potentially toxic pre-conditioning chemotherapy required for standard CAR T-cell treatments.

We are also developing applications beyond immuno-oncology that address diseases not amenable to current gene therapy modalities.

TEAM

Leveraging the Experience of Leading Minds

Leadership

Phil Johnson, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Phil Johnson, MD
Chief Executive Officer

Prior to assuming his current role at Interius, Phil was the founding CSO, President, and Interim CEO of Limelight Bio from 2016 – 2020. For the three preceding decades, he led large research enterprises at two of the world’s premier academic pediatric hospitals while receiving multiple national honors including election to the American Pediatric Society and being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Phil received undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina and then completed pediatrics residency and infectious diseases fellowship training at Vanderbilt University and the National Institutes of Health. He is considered an international leader in viral vector technology and human gene transfer.

 

Dora Mitchell, PhD
Senior Vice President, Operations & Chief of Staff
Dora Mitchell, PhD
Senior Vice President, Operations & Chief of Staff

Before joining Interius, Dora served as Vice President of Business Development and Vice President of Operations of Carisma Therapeutics, where she was on the founding team. Prior to the launch of Carisma, Dora managed a portfolio of 60 startup companies at PCI Ventures at the University of Pennsylvania as Director of the UPstart Company Incubator, often acting as “entrepreneur-in-residence” for companies in the life sciences portfolio. She has held roles spanning pre-clinical, early clinical, management and board positions in young companies including NellOne Therapeutics, Cognizance Biomarkers (acquired), CytoVas, LignaMed, Linnaeus Therapeutics Inc., Quantitative Radiology Solutions and Ophidion, Inc.

Dora fell in love with early-stage companies while a member of the Health and Life Sciences team at Battelle Ventures, LP, an early-stage life science and technology venture capital fund. She serves as founding investment committee member of Nassau Street Ventures. Dora holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

Tim Culp, PhD
Vice President, Research and Development
Tim Culp, PhD
Vice President, Research and Development

Tim joins Interius following a distinguished 14-year career with Merck Research Laboratories where he supported vaccine and oncolytic virus program development as a Senior Principal Scientist.  His experience includes leadership of both early and late-stage development teams responsible for all CMC deliverables needed for clinical programs.  Tim enjoys working closely with both scientists and process engineers on research and development teams to help overcome technical obstacles and enable team success. His background includes extensive experience working with regulatory agencies to advance novel live virus candidates.

Tim was awarded a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine for his research on human papillomaviruses.  He subsequently completed post-doctoral studies at Penn State developing chimeric papillomavirus vaccines.  Tim holds a B.S. in Biology/Secondary Education from Christian Heritage College and had a 15-year high school teaching career prior to his graduate studies.

Jessica Imrie, MBA
Vice President, Portfolio and Program Development
Jessica Imrie, MBA
Vice President, Portfolio and Program Development

Jessica has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical development and over eight years of experience working in cell and gene therapies.

 

She started her career working for Ernst & Young consulting to hospital networks within New Zealand and in 2002 joined GlaxoSmithKline, where she worked across discovery and development functions in strategic and operational roles.  In 2012, Jessica joined the GSK Rare Diseases Team and worked cross-functionally to help deliver ground-breaking cell and gene therapy treatments for multiple immunodeficiency and leukodystrophies.  In 2016, she led the European launch of the first autologous ex-vivo gene therapy (Strimvelis) for children born with ADA Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) and through 2018 Jessica led the rare growth strategy plans for cell and gene therapy treatments worldwide for GSK. Jessica also brings small biotech gene therapy experience to Interius, having led the development of two programs towards IND submission at Limelight Bio.

Jessica received her MBA in healthcare and pharmaceuticals from Drexel University, Philadelphia and her undergraduate degree in Strategic Management and Industrial Psychology at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

James Richardson, PhD
Senior Director, Analytical Development
James Richardson, PhD
Senior Director, Analytical Development

Jim leads analytical development at Interius, cutting across all scientific efforts at the company. Trained as a virologist, Jim has over 25 years of experience developing viral products for the prevention and treatment of disease. Jim comes to Interius from Altimmune, where he was Director of Scientific Affairs.

Previously, Jim led the cell and gene therapy standards development efforts at US Pharmacopeia. In previous roles at Advanced BioScience Laboratories and Foundation Fighting Blindness, he led translational science activities for the development of vaccines and biologics to prevent and treat infectious and retinal diseases.  Jim has also held positions responsible for performing viral clearance and adventitious agent testing at Viromed Biosafety as well as AAV vector development and characterization at Genovo/Targeted Genetics.

Jim received his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Cornell University, his Master of Science in Microbiology from Colorado State University, and his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Bruce Schnepp, PhD
Senior Director, Discovery
Bruce Schnepp, PhD
Senior Director, Discovery

Bruce brings over 20 years of experience developing viral vector technologies with an emphasis in adeno-associated virus vectors. Prior to Interius he served as Senior Director, Technology Development at Kriya Therapeutics, where he was responsible for vector design and assay development.  Previously, Bruce held key scientific roles at Limelight Bio, where he led a team of scientists developing both AAV-mediated and non-viral therapeutics for genetic diseases, and with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was involved in the preclinical design and development of the first-in-human study that used a recombinant AAV vector to deliver a gene for a monoclonal antibody to block HIV infection.

Bruce received his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from The Ohio State University and completed his postdoctoral work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Purdue University.

Scott J. Dooley, PhD
Director, Intellectual Capital
Scott J. Dooley, PhD
Director, Intellectual Capital

Scott is focused on planning new programs and deriving value from our company’s ongoing work through IP generation and capture.  Scott is a genetic engineer with over a decade of experience in the fields of genetics and gene therapy. Throughout his career he has integrated computer and biological sciences to design and implement creative gene therapy strategies. Prior to joining Interius he worked at Spirovant Sciences, and previously at Limelight Bio developing lentivirus and AAV platforms for the treatment of diseases with unmet needs.

Scott received his BA degree in Genetics from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, with a concentration in Gene Therapy, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Govindarajan Dhanasekaran, BVSc, PhD
Director, Process Development
Govindarajan Dhanasekaran, BVSc, PhD
Director, Process Development

Govi leads the Process Development efforts of Interius BioTherapeutics. A virologist with over 15 years of experience in lentivirus and other virus vector/vaccine discovery and process development, Govi most recently was heading the Lentivirus Process Development at Janssen, playing a critical role in regulatory submissions for ex vivo CAR-T programs. Prior to that, Govi spent approximately 10 years at Merck Research Laboratories working on a variety of viral vaccine programs. His role in these programs ranged from early discovery, vaccine generation and analytical characterization to process development and large-scale manufacture for clinical supply. Govi’s expertise includes large-scale virus vector and vaccine production, process development, scale-up, and technology transfer. He is well experienced in virus engineering, recombinant virus generation, infectious clone technology and reverse genetics of several families of viruses (positive and negative sense RNA viruses and retroviruses) as well as GLP/GMP operations and regulatory submission authorship.

Govi received his Veterinary medicine degree from Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, India and doctoral degree in the field of Molecular Virology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Subsequently, he completed his post-doctoral studies at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.

Patricia Greeley, SHRM
Director, Human Resources
Patricia Greeley, SHRM
Director, Human Resources

Tricia leads human resources at Interius combining her passion for science and people. She started her career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Research Scientist. Following her time at the bench, she held various roles in R&D and Marketing prior to moving into Human Resources.

 

Tricia’s 20-year corporate experience spans large, midsize and small pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Otsuka, Valeant, Biovail, Celgene and has included working closely with both scientific and corporate divisions, delivering on projects spanning from recruitment to post-merger integrations, all with a keen ability to understand and connect people, processes and technology.

 

Tricia holds a BS degree in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University and a MPS degree in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University. She is a graduate of the Institute for Professional Coaches and is a Six-sigma green belt.

Babu Medi, BPharm, PhD
Director, Drug Product Development
Babu Medi, BPharm, PhD
Director, Drug Product Development

Babu is an experienced pharmaceutical scientist with more than 16 years of biotech and pharmaceutical development experience across multiple modalities including monoclonal antibodies, recombinant protein vaccines, live virus vaccines, and cell therapies. He is well recognized in the drug product development area with several publications and patent applications. Babu is passionate and excited to be involved in developing cell & gene therapies to address unmet medical needs and to improve accessibility for patients.

Prior to joining Interius, Babu was Director of Formulation and Drug Product Development at Allogene Therapeutics, playing critical roles in multiple allogeneic CAR T cell therapy programs’ advancement from bench to clinic, tech transfer for drug product manufacturing, IND filings and pivotal process development, and process characterization for the lead program.  Previously, Babu spent 10 years within the Vaccine Drug Product Development group at Merck & Co. leading formulation and drug product process development for multiple novel vaccine candidates including liquid, lyophilized and adjuvanted formulations. Babu led development teams, tech transfer, clinical drug product manufacturing campaigns for multiple products and modalities spanning early to late-stage development. Prior to Merck, he worked on novel formulations and delivery systems for vaccines and biologics at DelSite Biotechnologies.

Babu received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Andhra University, India and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. He is a Registered Pharmacist in the states of Texas and Pennsylvania.

Founders

Bruce Peacock
Founder
Bruce Peacock
Founder

During his more than 35 year career in biotechnology, Bruce Peacock has held numerous senior leadership positions, including President and Chief Executive Officer of Adolor Corporation, Alba Therapeutics and Orthovita, Inc., and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Business Officer of Ophthotech. For over 10 years, he served as Venture Partner with SV Life Sciences Health Investors. Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cephalon Inc. and prior to this, he was CFO at Centocor, Inc. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Ocular Therapeutics, PanOptica and Windtree Therapeutics. Bruce is committed to nurturing young biotechnology companies in Philadelphia: he was instrumental in the growth of Carisma Therapeutics, focused on novel cell therapies for cancer, and of Aro BioTherapeutics, developing targeted genetic medicines. Bruce holds a BA in Business Administration from Villanova University.

Saar Gill, MD | PhD
Founder, SAB Chair
Saar Gill, MD | PhD
Founder, SAB Chair

Saar is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he specializes in the treatment of patients with leukemia and in bone marrow transplantation. He has led clinical trials of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell trials for chronic and acute leukemias. His research laboratory focuses on the interface between adoptive cellular therapy and genetic engineering. Saar is a foremost innovator in the cell and gene therapy space as evidenced by his being one of the most prolific patent inventors in the field globally as well as his creation of two biotherapeutics companies: Carisma Therapeutics, developing macrophage-based cellular therapeutics, and Interius BioTherapeutics, focused on specific in vivo delivery of gene therapies.

Saar obtained his medical degree and PhD in immunology from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cellular therapy at Stanford University.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lonnie Moulder
Board Chairman
Lonnie Moulder
Board Chairman

Lonnie serves as our Chair and is the Managing Member of Tellus BioVentures, LLC, an early-stage life sciences investment fund. Prior to establishing Tellus BioVentures, he cofounded TESARO (a Boston based oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company) and served as CEO until its acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline in January 2019. Mr. Moulder previously served as President and CEO of Abraxis BioScience. Prior to Abraxis he served as Vice Chairman of Eisai Corporation of North America following Eisai’s acquisition of MGI PHARMA, where he served as President and CEO. This followed him serving as a member of the founding management team of a venture-stage biotech company. Mr. Moulder began as a clinical pharmacist followed by a 17-year career at predecessor companies of Sanofi, beginning with Marion Laboratories.

Mr. Moulder is a Temple University Trustee and Chair of the Trustee Committee for Research. He is a Council Member for both the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mr. Moulder is Executive Chair of Zenas BioPharma, serves on the Board of Directors for Zai Lab, Helsinn Group and Trevena and also the Tellus BioVentures portfolio companies: Aegle Therapeutics, Dianthus Therapeutics and TamuroBio. He received a Pharmacy degree from Temple University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Phil Johnson, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Phil Johnson, MD
Chief Executive Officer

Prior to assuming his current roles at Interius, Phil was the founding CSO, President, and Interim CEO of Limelight Bio from 2016 – 2020. For the three preceding decades, he led large research enterprises at two of the world’s premier academic pediatric hospitals while receiving multiple national honors including election to the American Pediatric Society and being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Phil received undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina and then completed pediatrics residency and infectious diseases fellowship training at Vanderbilt University and the National Institutes of Health. He is considered an international leader in viral vector technology and human gene transfer.

Benjamin Lund
Director
Benjamin Lund
Director

Ben rejoined Bain Capital in 2018 as a Principal in Life Sciences. He initially joined Bain Capital in 2012 as an Associate on the North America Private Equity team, focused on Healthcare.

From 2014 to 2017, Ben was a Vice President at Paulson & Co., focused on public and private equity investments in Healthcare. From 2017 to 2018, he was a Partner at Soleus Capital, an investment firm focused on public and private equity investments in Life Sciences. Prior to initially joining Bain Capital, Mr. Lund was an Analyst in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Goldman Sachs.

Ben graduated with Phi Beta Kappa distinction from Princeton University with an AB in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience.

Tomas Kiselak
Director
Tomas Kiselak
Director

Tomas is currently managing member at Fairmount Funds Management LLC, a healthcare investment fund he co-founded in April 2016. Prior to Fairmount, Mr. Kiselak served as a managing director at RA Capital Management LLC, based in Boston. Tomas also serves on the board of directors of Zenas BioPharma , Dianthus Therapeutics, and Viridian Therapeutics. He received his BA in Neuroscience and Economics from Amherst College.

CAREERS

Join Us on Our Fantastic Voyage

We are looking for passionate folks who want to make a difference in the world. Talent matters, but so does decorum and compassion. Come join us and become an Interian.

 

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