Excellos launches to advance cell and gene therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

January 26, 2022 -- Excellos, a cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organization, has announced its official corporate launch and closing of $15 million in funding from Telegraph Hill Partners.

Built on the foundation of the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB), Excellos supplies current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) cellular products and services, together with process development and manufacturing expertise, to scientists and clinicians working with cell and gene therapies. The company's collection network consists of nine SDBB centers in the San Diego area that see an average of over 70,000 diverse donors annually, as well as exclusive access to select, consented material from SDBB's public cord blood bank.

Excellos also has access to a nationwide collection network, giving it one of the largest cellular material procurement portfolios, the firm said. Connecting its collection network to cGMP and R&D facilities in San Diego, Excellos provides a full suite of end-to-end capabilities to facilitate the development and manufacture of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies. Excellos' experience includes working with therapeutic companies developing CAR-engineered T cells, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and providing isolated immune cells integral to the advancement of immunotherapies.

As part of its announcement, the company also revealed its founding leadership team. CEO David Wellis, PhD, previously served as CEO of SDBB for nine years. Wells has also held senior leadership roles at Illumina and GenVault Corporation. Chief Commercial Officer George Eastwood served as vice president of global sales and business development for HemaCare, which was acquired by Charles River Laboratories in 2020. Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) Rob Tressler, PhD, most recently served as CSO of SDBB, where he led the cell therapy, immunohematology, components manufacturing, and cord blood banking labs. Tressler previously was the head of preclinical oncology at Geron and vice president of R&D at Cellerant Therapeutics.

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