Joerg Ahlgrimm CEO of SK Pharmteco & Board Member
Joerg Ahlgrimm is the Chief Executive Officer of SK Pharmteco & Board Member at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. He is an Operations and Supply Chain Management Executive who has served in multi-billion dollar companies operating in biotech, vaccines, pharmaceutical and medical device markets. He is the former Head of Global Operations Pharma and Biotech at Lonza AG where he was responsible for 37 sites on four continents. Prior to Lonza, he headed the Manufacturing network of Baxter Bioscience/Baxalta with 17 plants, a significant CMO network and the largest plasma collection division of the company. His prior roles also included responsibility for Supply Chain for Baxter Bioscience. Joerg has a passion for saving lives which is his main motivator to work in healthcare. He enjoys leading teams to achieve unprecedented performance levels and to create a work environment where people bring their best. In 2014 he was awarded “Emerging Pharma Leader.”
Audrey Greenberg Co-Founder, Chief Business Officer
Audrey Greenberg is the Co-founder, Chief Business Officer and Board Member of The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Audrey’s area of expertise is in capital structure, business formation, acquisitions, strategic planning and tactical execution. Audrey’s deep industry experience includes biotechnology, real estate, pharma services, and financial services. Prior to starting The Center for Breakthrough Medicines, Audrey spent several years in investment banking, public accounting and private equity having worked at some of the largest asset managers in the world with AUM exceeding $100 billion. Audrey is passionate about supporting her community and serves on several non-profit boards including the King of Prussia Business District and is currently an Emissary for Select Greater Philadelphia, a division of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce responsible for attracting business to Greater Philadelphia. Audrey was recently selected by Philadelphia Magazine as one of the top trailblazers in Biotech and was featured on the cover of Main Line Today’s Power Women edition. Audrey has an MBA from The Wharton School and is a registered CPA in Illinois.
Matthew Farabaugh Chief Financial Officer
Matthew Farabaugh is the Chief Financial Officer of The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Matt has over 19 years of finance and business experience in clinical and basic research of immunology, oncology, cell and gene therapy, and infectious diseases. He was previously Finance Manager at WuXi Advanced Therapies where he was responsible for revenue and contract management of $100MM in US revenue for research, manufacturing, and testing portfolio related to cell and gene therapy products. Prior to this Matthew served as a member of the UPENN-Novartis Global Program Team under Dr. Carl June and was responsible for a $50MM annual clinical development plan focused on FDA approval of cutting-edge CAR T cell therapy Kymriah in pediatric patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He has a BS in Microbiology from Duquesne University, an MS in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania and finance training from the Wharton School of Business.
Avi Nandi Chief Technical Officer
Avi Nandi is the Head of Process Development at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. He has 15+ years of industry experience in Gene Therapy, Viral Vectors, and Vaccines with a MS in Biology and MBA (Oct ‘21) and has contributed to the regulatory approval of ZOLGENSMA in US and 10+ Rest of World markets. Avi supported a pipeline of 15+ gene therapy products in development from preclinical to Phase III development and led development and implementation of 4 gene therapy manufacturing processes across 4 GMP and 3 laboratory sites. He also has 10+ years experience in vaccine and viral vector development including, AAV, adenovirus, herpesvirus, alphavirus, lentivirus, and RNA, past experiences include: AveXis / Novartis Gene Therapies – Global Head of Technical Development Seqirus / CSL – Head of Virology and Cell Culture, Process and Product Development Lead Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics – Technical Development Scientist, R&D Microbial and Molecular Scientist Harvard Medical School – Viral Pathogenesis Scientist
Alan Moore Chief Strategy Officer
Alan Moore is Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Alan oversees new client development and on-boarding, building strategic partnerships and collaborations. He has 40 years of experience in the Life Sciences contract services field and most recently served as Vice President and Head of Strategic Alliances at WuXi Advanced Therapies. He was responsible for developing and maintaining strategic manufacturing relationships for autologous, allogeneic and gene-mediated cell and gene therapies, and strategic partnering in biologics services, Prior to that he served as Commercial Chief with primary responsibility for alignment of strategic partnering, business development efforts, and external collaborations. He oversaw the capital investment and capacity expansion for advanced therapies manufacturing at the Philadelphia Navy Yard campus. Prior to WuXi, he served as Executive VP and Chief Business Officer at Althea Technologies following his service at Genzyme where he held a Senior Regulatory Coordinator and VP of Biopharm Development Services position. His business unit manufactured early personalized therapies in conjunction with the NCI for phase III clinical trials of B cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Alan spent 16 years at Bioreliance moving from the lab to quality, and eventual management of the Biotech Services Division, and later serving as Director Business Development.
Dana Cipriano SVP of Testing Analytical Services, & Plasmids
Dana Cipriano is Vice President of Testing and Analytical Services The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Dana has over a 20-year career in biotechnology and cell and gene therapy with leadership roles in Laboratory Operations and Project Management, with focus on designing processes and testing programs to drive sustainable growth and profitability. She was most recently Senior Director of Testing Operations and Strategic Projects for WuXi Advanced Therapies where she directed testing operations for cell and gene therapy and biologics testing, including characterization, release, safety and viral clearance testing for clinical and commercial products. She also helped create the overall testing business strategy, drove tactical implementation plans and monitored key milestones to drive delivery of strategic objectives. Dana developed a fully-integrated program for development of a new corporate strategy centered on driving scalability in cell and gene therapy testing services, including design and construction of a new cGMP testing facility. Dana has a Masters in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University, a BachelorвЂ™s in Biology from Rutgers University, an Executive Education Certification from The Wharton School, and a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification.
Emily Moran SVP of Vector Manufacturing
Emily Moran is Vice President of Vector Manufacturing at Center for Breakthrough Medicines. She is an experienced leader in cell and gene therapy and biologics manufacturing with a focus on commercial readiness, industrialization, and manufacturing stabilization. She most recently served as Head of Viral Vector Manufacturing at Lonza in Houston Texas.While at Lonza, she facilitated the scale out and scale up of multiple clinical and commercial gene therapy programs as well as the expansion of the viral vector facility. Prior to Lonza, Emily worked in multiple areas of operations at Sanofi Pasteur. She is experienced in gene therapy and large scale biologics manufacturing, aseptic processing and filling, supply chain and demand planning, and quality auditing, all with a focus on operational excellence. Emily enjoys leading and developing large, high-performing teams and building patient and asset centricity. She has a B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College and an MBA in Project Management from New York Institute of Technology.
John Lee SVP of Cell Therapy Manufacturing
Dr. Lee is an accomplished CAR-T immunobiologist with over 20 years of cancer cell biology expertise spanning small and large molecules, as well as cell-based therapeutics. He possesses more than 15 years of clinical research and cell therapy experience including positions at The Wistar Institute, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Lee previously built the Cell Therapy Platform team at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The group led and supported end-to-end therapy discovery and development across nearly a dozen CAR-T programs, including the recently approved cilta-cel (Carvykti). During his subsequent tenure as Vice President, Head of Oncology Cell Therapy at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Lee’s team operated within a heavily matrixed organization to support an array of activities establishing multiple preclinical assets and several clinical-stage lete-cel programs targeting the NY-ESO cancer-testis antigen. Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D from the Brody School of Medicine, an MBA from Penn State University, and a Bachelors of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Sybil Danby SVP of Business Development and Strategy
Sybil Danby, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy. She joined The Center for Breakthrough Medicines with 15 years of industry experience across both technical and commercial roles. Most recently, Sybil was responsible for Business Development at Paragon Bioservices, which was acquired by Catalent Pharma Solutions in 2019 for $1.2 billion. In that role she interfaced with over 40 clients from top-tier gene therapy companies, negotiated large strategic contracts, and more than doubled the business every year for three years straight. Prior to joining Paragon, Sybil was part of the Single Use Technologies Business Unit at Pall, supporting upstream customers to adopt innovative single-use bioreactor technologies for the production of advanced therapies including AAV gene therapies, oncolytic viruses, and cell therapies. Sybil spent nine years at GSK, working in both the manufacturing and R&D organizations supporting the development, technology transfer, and manufacture of multiple clinical and commercial monoclonal antibody products. During her time at GSK, Sybil developed extensive expertise in the area of bioreactor scaling and cell culture process development, contributing to the development and characterization of upstream processes for multiple products. Sybil obtained her B.A. in Biology from the University of Rochester and her M.S. in Biology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Mandy Conver SVP of Business Development for Testing & Analytics
Mandy Conver has over two decades of diverse experience in the biotechnology and BioPharma industries, with a focus on commercial leadership and building multiple technical teams that are focused on cell and gene therapy clients. Mandy brings to the role extensive expertise in strategy formulation, team development, process management and commercial analytics, as well as in-depth knowledge of testing required for advanced therapies at all stages of development and manufacturing. Most recently, Mandy led the successful launch of QIAGEN's QIAcuity Digital PCR portfolio in North America where she oversaw market strategy and commercial activities, including creation of a specialized commercial team and customized training for a large matrix sales organization. Mandy also negotiated strategic alliances and heavily influenced portfolio evolution that led to QIAGEN achieving widespread adoption of the platform throughout the cell and gene therapy field. Prior to this, Mandy was a key contributor to Bio-Rad Laboratories's strategic focus in the BioPharma market, where she created a BioPharma-focused commercial team that spear-headed the company's early entry to the cell and gene therapy space. Mandy's efforts to build organizational knowledge of analytical method development and GMP compliance, as well as to enhance regulatory engagement for advanced therapies has had a profound impact on the company's success in this area which continues to be cited as a primary growth driver.
Jennifer Manning SVP of Global Strategic Partnerships
Jennifer Manning is the Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Partnerships at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Jennifer has over 25 years of bioprocessing and cell and gene therapy experience with specific expertise in commercial leadership, business development, strategy, and alliance management. Most recently, Jennifer built and led the Advanced Therapy Commercial Development Team at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies where she was responsible for the growth of their viral vector, recombinant vaccine and oncolytic virus businesses. In this role, Jennifer engaged with over 40 vaccine and gene therapy companies, negotiated strategic contracts, and more than doubled the business each year. Prior to Fujifilm, Jennifer advanced global capabilities for industry leading CDMOs including Lonza, DSM Biologics, Alcami Corporation and Patheon. Jennifer built and led the Sales Training Department at Human Genome Sciences where she helped successfully launch BENLYSTA and spent 14 years at Abbott (AbbVie) where she helped successfully launch HUMIRA for 5 indications. Jennifer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University and a Master of Public Administration, Health Policy and Management from New York University.
Cheryl Paes VP of Marketing
Cheryl Paes has over 20 years of experience in the pharma/biopharma industry with 15+ of those years in B2B marketing of platform and professional services. She has built marketing teams from the ground up and has led brand transformation initiatives for both small and large organizations, aligning messaging and marketing activities to the business strategy and commercial goals. Prior to CBM Cheryl successfully led the integration of the orthopedic IVD business into the core reconstructive implant portfolio; driving 20% growth of new customer acquisition in year one. Prior to Zimmer Biomet, she was Head of Marketing for the Life Sciences division at Thomson Reuters, charged with the launch of the new Clarivate Analytics Life Sciences brand while preserving and growing revenue through the M&A activity. Cheryl also was one of the founding team members of Integral Molecular, a Philadelphia start-up MAb discovery company, contributing initially in a technical capacity leading platform development and then transitioned to lead the marketing and commercial strategy for the organization. During her career Cheryl has successfully built and implemented content driven marketing strategies to drive growth for the business; launching 35+ new products, identifying new growth verticals, building brand awareness and driving lead gen campaigns (digital & non-digital) to support base business. Cheryl has a dual MS in Biochemistry from University of Mumbai & in Molecular Biology from Virginia Tech
Greg Hermetet Director of Business Development
Mike McCormick SVP of Quality and Compliance
Mike McCormick is the Vice President of Quality and Compliance at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. He has over 20 years experience specializing in Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Operations and Regulatory Affairs, within the biotechnology, cell and gene therapy, and pharmaceutical industries with a proven track record of success in maximizing performance, scaling quality commercial operations and streamlining quality systems, while maintaining the highest levels of compliance with global regulations over multi-site operations. Prior to joining, Mike spent seven years as the V.P of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at WuXi Advanced Therapies and held similar leadership roles supporting the commercial manufacturing of API's. While leading the Quality and Regulatory Programs for Cell and Gene Therapy, Viral Vector, and Commercial Lot Release for Biological Products, Mike successfully represented Site Operations and Quality programs during inspections from global regulatory agencies resulting in successful outcomes: GMP Certificates (EMA and TGA,(3)), Marketing Authorization Approval (MAA) in Japan (PMDA), Korean FDA Inspections (KFDA, (2)) and successful outcomes of multiple FDA inspections (3). The GMP programs inspected supported the following manufacturing products: Viral Vector Products (11), Gene Mediated Cell Therapy Products (8), and Cell Therapy Products (12). Mike has his MBA with an emphasis in Biotechnology and Health Industry from Penn State University and attended the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where his field of study was Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Eileen Brett VP of Program Leadership
Eileen Brett is the Vice President of Program Leadership at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Eileen has a 25+ year career in biotechnology including cell and gene therapy with Process Engineering and Program Leadership roles in Capital Projects, Supply Chain and R&D, with a focus on leading large cross-functional teams and building successful team leaders and portfolio processes to increase speed without compromising quality. Most recently she was the Head of CMC Leadership Biotherapeutics for Janssen R&D. Eileen built a high-performing team and delivered on a portfolio that grew 400% in 4 years spanning Pre-Clinical to Launch across Mabs, multi-specifics, conjugated Mabs, protein vaccines and cell and AAV gene therapies, and also chaired CMC Governance Council deciding and aligning on specific strategies pertaining to cell and gene therapy FIH, Phase III FPI, comparability and BLA resulting in specific CAR-T FIH’s, BLA’s and AAV FPI’s. Eileen also served as a Process Engineer then Project Manager, leading the facility and process design, build and start up of new biologics facilities, both pilot plants and commercial facilities. She earned an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University.
Amiel Gross, Esq. VP General Counsel
Amiel Gross, Esq. is General Counsel at Center for Breakthrough Medicines. Mr. Gross brings over 20 years of combined legal experience to CBM. He previously served as in-house corporate counsel for US subsidiaries of a large global company, and outside counsel at the law firms Dentons US LLP and Orrick LLP in New York. Mr. Gross earned his JD degree from the University of Texas School of Law where he attended on an NCAA academic scholarship. As an undergraduate at Southwestern University, Mr. Gross was an NCAA All-American collegiate baseball player, graduating with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa.
Jeet Sarkar VP of Information Technology
Jeet Sarkar is the Vice President of Information Technology, at The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. He has over 25 years of Technology experience specializing in managing and deploying Manufacturing, Supply Chain, ERP, Quality. R&D, PD, and Commercial systems for therapies involving biotechnology, plasma, autologous and allogenic cell and gene. Prior to CBM, Jeet has successfully led Tech Ops IT organization In Atara Bio, and the Manufacturing and PD IT at Kite Pharma. Prior to joining Kite, Jeet was the head of Takeda Biologics IT for all Biologics plants. Jeet also has the unique experience of managing Baxalta/Shire Quality CSV team for three years where he led Data Integrity and compliance excellence initiatives and defended compliance of IT systems during many agency inspections. Jeet has extensive experience of building and deploying digital technology roadmap for greenfield projects, the most significant one was for a $1.5 Billion facility in Covington Georgia. Jeet has led several data strategy initiatives and digital transformation initiatives by driving the adoption of latest data collection and management technologies leading to paperless compliant functions, and operational efficiency gains. Jeet has an MBA from University of California in Irvine, and a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Computer Sciences from National Institute of Technology in Bhopal, India.
Brian O’Neill Executive Chairman
Brian O'Neill is the Executive Chairman of the Board for The Center for Breakthrough Medicines and is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of MLP Ventures, a leading venture capital and real estate investment firm, and Recovery Centers of America. MLP Ventures creates companies that utilize real estate as an integral part of their business, as well as internet-based marketplaces. Under his leadership, MLP Ventures has developed millions of square feet of laboratory, office, industrial, retail and residential real estate throughout the Northeast. All of MLP companies and real estate recycle existing buildings, which often require environmental remediation. Mr. O'Neill has a track record of starting, scaling and operating healthcare organizations.
Joerg Ahlgrimm is the Chief Executive Officer of SK Pharmteco. He is an Operations and Supply Chain Management Executive who has served in multi-billion dollar companies operating in biotech, vaccines, pharmaceutical and medical device markets. He is the former Head of Global Operations Pharma and Biotech at Lonza AG where he was responsible for 37 sites on four continents. Prior to Lonza, he headed the Manufacturing network of Baxter Bioscience/Baxalta with 17 plants, a significant CMO network and the largest plasma collection division of the company. His prior roles also included responsibility for Supply Chain for Baxter Bioscience. Joerg has a passion for saving lives which is his main motivator to work in healthcare. He enjoys leading teams to achieve unprecedented performance levels and to create a work environment where people bring their best. In 2014 he was awarded “Emerging Pharma Leader.”
Yeontae Kim is the Executive Vice President and the Head of Bio Investment Center of SK Inc., a holding company for the South Korean conglomerate, SK Group. Since he joined SK Inc. in 2013, Yeontae has been actively investing in the biopharmaceutical industry, especially in the CDMO sector. He has successfully acquired BMS Swords site (Ireland) in 2017, AMPAC Fine Chemicals (US) in 2018 and established SK Pharmteco (US) in 2019, a CDMO subsidiary for SK Inc. From 2021, SK Inc.’s CDMO investment expanded to the CGT industry which led to the acquisition of Yposkesi (France) in 2021 and the investment in the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (US) in 2022. Yeontae has a Degree in Economics from University College London.
Rich Heany is the President of MLP Ventures and has over 25 years of experience in real estate acquisitions, development, leasing and deal structuring. He has completed the acquisition and leasing of millions of square feet of real estate throughout the United States. Rich has a Degree in Civil Engineering from Drexel University and an MBA in Finance from LaSalle University.
Eustace Mita is board member for The Center for Breakthrough Medicines and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Icona Resorts, which owns and manages hotel properties in Avalon, Diamond Beach and Cape May, New Jersey. Mr. Mita is also Chairman of Mita Management, a company with interests in automotive and real estate, and is the Chief Executive Officer of Achristavest, LLC, a developer of waterfront properties in New Jersey, Nantucket, Maryland, Utah and Pennsylvania. Prior to forming Mita Management and Achristavest, Mr. Mita was the President and Chief Executive Officer of HAC Group, one of the world’s largest auto dealer training and consulting groups, with operations in nineteen countries, including Europe and Asia. In 2000, under Mr. Mita’s leadership, HAC merged with Reynolds & Reynolds, which has approximately 5,000 employees and a network of 10,000 dealer customers worldwide.
James M. Wilson, MD, PhD Chief Scientific Advisor
James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, is a Professor in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he has led an effort to develop the field of gene therapy. His research career spanning over 40 years has focused on rare diseases and ways to treat them by gene therapy. Dr. Wilson has published over 600 papers and is named on over 200 patents worldwide. The Wilson lab identified a new type of vector based on novel isolates of adeno-associated viruses which have become best in class for gene therapy. More recently Dr. Wilson’s laboratory has focused on improved vectors for gene therapy and clinical applications of genome editing and mRNA
Marco Chacon, PhD Advisor
Dr. Marco Chacón is the Non-executive Chairman of the Board for The Center for Breakthrough Medicines and the Founder and former Chairman of Paragon Bioservices, Inc., a CDMO that specialized in process development and GMP manufacturing of viral vectors for gene therapy. In April of 2019 Paragon Bioservices, Inc. entered into a definitive agreement of sale for $1.2 billion with Catalent. Chacón is the Founder and President of IRAZÚ Bio-Holdings LLC., a company dedicated to developing indications that promote survival, prevent disease and improve quality of life for the elderly. The company is also developing technology in the fields of immuno-oncology and gene therapy. Formerly, Chacón served as Assistant Vice President of Industry Alliances at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland Foundation and was appointed in 2016 to the Life Sciences Advisory Board by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. Additionally, Dr. Chacón is the founding chair of The Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland Graduate School.
Tony Khoury is an advisor for The Center for Breakthrough Medicines. He is an experienced industry leader in life sciences, specifically, biologics and advanced therapies. As Executive Vice President a at Project Farma, Tony has spearheaded the firm’s growth in the biologics and most recently next generation medicines. Tony has extensive experience with small and large molecules including biologics, biosimilars, and cell and gene therapies. He has worked with small and large life science organizations including startups, academic centers, financial institutions and CMOs/CROs. He has led global programs greater than $350+ million in the following disciplines: project management, turnkey facility builds, automation, validation, engineering and serialization track and trace. Recently, Tony has pioneered the industrialization of advanced therapies including two FDA-approved cell and gene therapies. Tony has led the creation of Project Farma’s Advanced Therapy Manufacturing Playbook which has helped develop the largest cell and gene therapy manufacturing footprint in the world.