Seasoned biotech entrepreneur and CEO will support Stemson’s efforts to develop the first iPSC-derived cell therapy to treat hair loss
SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#stemson—Stemson Therapeutics Corp., a private biotechnology company developing an iPSC-derived autologous cell therapy to regenerate healthy hair follicles, announced today that Paul Laikind, serial entrepreneur and former CEO of cell therapy company ViaCyte, has joined the Stemson Board of Directors. Paul brings significant company building and therapeutics development experience to the Stemson Board.
“We welcome Paul as an important addition to our board of directors,” said Matt Posard, Stemson’s executive chairman of the board. “With more than 35 years of experience founding and leading therapeutics development companies from preclinical to clinical stage development and from start-up through IPO, Paul will provide valuable guidance to accelerate Stemson’s progress.”
“I am delighted and honored to join Stemson’s Board of Directors,” said Paul. “Stemson’s unique combination of novel technologies to bioengineer hair follicles not only has the potential to help millions of people suffering from hair loss, but can more broadly advance the capabilities for cell therapy development across the industry. I look forward to working with the team and supporting their journey.”
Paul Laikind, PhD, was CEO of ViaCyte from 2012 until 2020, where he lead the development of the first stem cell-derived cell therapies designed to replace pancreatic beta cells for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. Paul led the company from the preclinical stage through the introduction of two product candidates into clinical trials before retiring at the end of 2020. A third product that Viacyte developed in collaboration with CRISPR Tx recently also entered clinical development.
Dr. Laikind served as Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President of the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute from 2009 – 2011, focusing on enhancing the translational capabilities of the institute. From 1999 – 2009, Paul was cofounder and CEO of Metabasis Therapeutics, which concentrated on therapeutics development for metabolic and liver diseases. He took Metabasis from founding through IPO, and from preclinical to clinical stage development, with five products in the clinic. From 1986 – 1999, Paul cofounded and served as Vice President of Corporate Development at Gensia Pharmaceuticals where they developed small molecule therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular, neurological and inflammatory diseases. During that time, he cofounded and served as an advisor to Viagene from 1988 – 1994, the first commercially focused gene therapy company developing proprietary gene delivery technology to treat HIV, cancer and inherited disorders. Gensia, Viagene and Metabasis each completed successful initial public offerings and were eventually acquired for combined proceeds of over $3.5 billion.
Throughout his career, Dr. Laikind has played a leadership role in the evolving biotechnology industry. He serves or has served on the board of industry organizations including BIO, BIOCOM, CONNECT, and Alliance for Regenerative Medicine.
Paul earned his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and is a veteran of the US Navy.
“We are very lucky to have Paul join us. The next stage of Stemson’s development is to advance our first product toward human clinical trials,” stated Geoff Hamilton, cofounder and CEO of Stemson Therapeutics. “Paul’s tremendous business leadership experience and industry relationships, as well as his involvement developing similar technologies to Stemson’s while at ViaCyte, will help us guide the company toward that goal.”
About Stemson Therapeutics
Stemson Therapeutics is a pre-clinical stage cell therapy company founded in 2018 with a mission to cure hair loss by leveraging the regenerative power of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Based on the breakthrough innovation by Stemson Therapeutics co-founder, Dr. Alexey Terskikh, Stemson uses iPSC to regenerate the critical cells required to grow hair and which are damaged or depleted in patients suffering from hair loss. The iPSC-derived cells are used to grow de novo hair follicles, offering a new supply of hair to treat people suffering from various forms of Alopecia. Today, there are no available treatments capable of growing new hair follicles. Stemson’s world class team of scientists, advisors and collaborators are passionate about delivering a scientifically based, clinically tested cure for hair loss to the millions of hair loss sufferers who seek help for their hair loss condition. Stemson Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.stemson.com.