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About Cellics Therapeutics

Advancing Transformative Therapies for Serious Diseases

Harnessing the power of cell membranes in specialized nanoparticle-based therapeutics.

Cellics Therapeutics leverages the multifaceted Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP) technology to develop nano-therapeutics and drive breakthrough drug delivery for mRNA, siRNA, proteins and small molecules. Cellics’ two dynamic nanoplatforms, Cellular Nanosponges and the Cellular Nanoparticle drug delivery technology, harness the power of cell membranes to craft specialized nanoparticle-based therapeutics. Derived from a variety of wild-type or engineered human cells, the CNP technology has the potential to address a broad range of diseases. Cellics is a privately held San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company founded by UC San Diego Professor Liangfang Zhang.

Leadership

Our team includes life sciences industry veterans with deep expertise across a number of disciplines who are committed to developing novel therapeutics.

Robert Langer, Sc.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Sadik Esener, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Omid Farokhzad, M.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Victor Nizet, M.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Collaborations

Cellics seeks to collaborate with industry leaders to advance the development of the CNP technology to provide potentially better patient outcomes.

Professor Liangfang Zhang’s group at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) invented the CNP platform technology, from which Cellics aims to advance therapeutics and innovative drug delivery solutions. Cellics and UCSD have a close collaboration to further develop core platform technologies.

Cellics and CARB-X have a strategic partnership of up to $15 Million to develop a novel macrophage nanosponge for treating sepsis. CARB-X will be supporting Cellics through preclinical and Phase 1 studies to further clinical development and obtain regulatory approval.

A Revolutionary Approach to Treatment and Drug Delivery

Cellics’ dynamic nanoplatforms leverage the power of cell membranes to craft specialized nanoparticles. Derived from a variety of wild type or engineered human cells, the cellular nanoparticle technology has the potential to improve therapeutic effectiveness and overcome drug delivery challenges.

Paul Daruwala

President & CEO

Paul Daruwala has been President, CEO and Director of Cellics since October 2022. Previously he was COO and CCO of Cidara Therapeutics, from 2014 -2022. During his tenure, Cidara completed a successful IPO, advanced its founding preclinical program, rezafungin, to NDA filing, transitioned from a small molecule company to a biologics focused one, advanced its immunotherapeutic Cloudbreak platform from basic research into Phase 1, and established foundational partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Prior to Cidara, over his 30 years in the biopharma field, Paul held executive roles in US and Global franchise leadership, business development and new product planning across Bristol Myers Squibb, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co. Daruwala has a depth and breadth of therapeutic experience across infectious disease, liver, GI, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, hematology, pain and arthritis and earned his degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky.

Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board, Founder

Dr. Zhang is Joan and Irwin Jacobs Chancellor Professor of Nanoengineering and Bioengineering and Director of Chemical Engineering Program at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He invented the cell membrane-coated nanoparticle technology, namely Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP), for drug delivery and biological neutralization. The CNP platform technology invented and developed by Dr. Zhang formed the fundamental platform for the launch of Cellics Therapetuics. Dr. Zhang has published 260 peer-reviewed articles in highly regarded journals and was among the Clarivate Analytics list of “Highly Cited Researcher” during 2017-2022. He is an inventor of 125 patents and patent applications worldwide. He has received numerous mainstream recognitions, including the Victor K. LaMer Award (2009) and Unilever Award (2012) from the American Chemical Society, MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Innovator Award (2013), Allan P. Colburn Award (2014) from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 Award (2016), U.S. Department of State ASPIRE Award (2017), and Kabiller Young Investigator Award (2017). Professionally, Dr. Zhang was elected to the Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2015, and the Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018. He was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2020. Dr. Zhang holds B.E. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in China. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC) in 2006, followed by a postdoctoral training at MIT. He joined the faculty at UCSD as Assistant Professor in July 2008 and was promoted to Full Professor in July 2014.

Lili Xie, Ph.D.

Co-Founder

Dr. Xie co-founded Cellics Therapeutics with Dr. Liangfang Zhang in 2014 and has been overseeing finance, accounting, and business operations since Cellics started operation in 2016. Dr. Xie also co-founded Arytha Biosciences, LLC, with Dr. Zhang in 2012 and has been the manager of Arytha ever since. Arytha is the incubator and holding company of Cellics Therapeutics and Cello Therapeutics. Dr. Xie has a strong background in economics, finance, accounting, and business operations from her 15+ years of experience in industry and academia. Prior to Cellics, she was CFO with Pharmaco-Kinesis Corporation, which is now Cognos Therapeutics, Inc. She also consulted for multiple companies while she was a visiting professor at the Rady School of Management and Department of Economics at the University of California San Diego. She had been an educator for students pursuing Ph.D., MBA, or CFA in business schools and also a monetary policy researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank. Dr. Xie received her Ph.D. degree in Economics and M.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her B.S. degree with honors in International Finance from Peking University.

Robert Langer, Sc.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Langer is the David H. Kock Institute Professor at MIT. Dr. Langer has written over 1,570 articles. He also has over 1,400 patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history. He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995 - 2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002. Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards. He is one of 7 individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He also received the 2002 Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize, the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society, the 2013 Wolf Prize in Chemistry and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is the also the only engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award; 82 recipients of this award have subsequently received a Nobel Prize. Dr. Langer is one of the very few individuals ever elected to the National Academy of Medicine (1989), the National Academy of Engineering (1992), the National Academy of Sciences (1992), and the National Academy of Inventors (2012). Dr. Langer received his B.S. from Cornell University and his Sc.D. from MIT, both in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Langer has received 39 honorary doctorates.

Sadik Esener, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Esener is the director of the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research center and Wendt Family Endowed Chair in Early Cancer Detection at the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Prior to joining OHSU, Dr. Esener served in several leadership roles at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He served as the director and principal investigator of the NanoTumor Cancer, a Nanotechnology Center of Excellence funded by the National Cancer Institute. He has also held leadership roles with the Center for Heterogeneously Integrated Photonics Systems (CHIPS) as well as the Opto-Electronic Stacked Processors (OESP) and the Fast Read-out Optical Data Storage Industrial Consortium, which were both funded by DARPA. His research group at UCSD has made many pioneering contributions to the fields of optical interconnects, spatial light modulation, optical data storage, bio-optoelectronics as applied to gene chips, cell sorting and manipulation, and heterogeneous integration of photonics, electronics and biological components. More recently his work has focused on the synthesis and application of nanoparticles delivery of biologics for cancer therapies, brain mapping and in vivo imaging. He has published more than 375 journal and conferences articles and made more than 250 presentations in international scientific meetings, 60 of which were invited. He holds 23 issued patents. He has authored several book chapters and organized and chaired scientific international conferences. Dr. Esener co-founded and served on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards of several companies, including Nanogen Inc., Call/Recall Inc., Ziva Inc., Optical Micro Machines, and Genoptix and Devacell. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from UCSD (1987) and he is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.

Omid Farokhzad, M.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Farokhzad is a Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a physician-scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He established and directs the Center for Nanomedicine at BWH. He is a faculty member of the Brigham Research Institute Cancer Research Center and the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Farokhzad’s research is focused on the development of therapeutic nanoparticle technologies; most notably, he pioneered the high throughput combinatorial development and screening of multifunctional nanoparticles for medical applications. Dr. Farokhzad has authored more than 160 papers and holds more than 200 issued/pending patents worldwide. The technologies that Dr. Farokhzad has developed with collaborators at HMS and MIT formed the basis for the launch of four biotechnology companies: BIND Therapeutics (clinical stage public company acquired by Pfizer), Selecta Biosciences (clinical stage public company), Tarveda Therapeutics (clinical stage private company) and Seer (clinical stage public company). These companies are translating the aforementioned academic innovations toward commercialization and societal impact. Dr. Farokhzad has served in various capacities on the Executive team, Board of Directors, and the Scientific Advisory Board of these companies. He was a recipient of the 2013 RUSNANOPRIZE, one of the largest international nanotechnology prizes, for the development and industrialization of nanoparticle technologies for medical applications. In 2014, he received the Golden Door Award from the International Institute of New England. In 2015, he was named as one of The Worldview 100 by Scientific American. In 2016, he was among the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his scientific, societal and economic contributions to America as an immigrant. Dr. Farokhzad was elected to the College of the Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 2012 and was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2018. Dr. Farokhzad completed his post-graduate clinical and post-doctoral research trainings, respectively, at the BWH/HMS and MIT. He received his M.D. and M.A. from Boston University School of Medicine.

Victor Nizet, M.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Nizet is Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Basic Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Chief of the Division of Host-Microbe Systems and Therapeutics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Nizet is a graduate of Reed College, received his medical training at Stanford University School of Medicine, completed a Residency and Chief Residency in Pediatrics at Harvard University's Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and a then a Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington’s Children's Hospital in Seattle. Dr. Nizet leads a large basic and translational research laboratory focused on discovering virulence factors of invasive bacterial pathogens, elucidating mechanisms of host innate immunity, and novel approaches to infectious disease therapy. He is also spearheading the for the UCSD Collaborative to Halt Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes (CHARM) which debuted in Fall 2019. Dr. Nizet has authored over 500 peer-reviewed publications and collaborated with several biotechnology interests in developing new antibiotic and immune-based therapies against drug-resistant pathogens. Dr. Nizet's work has been recognized by the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, American Lung Association Career Investigator Award, American Asthma Foundation Senior Investigator Award, E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics, NIH Merit Award, ISI Highly Cited Researcher, and the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates Award for Faculty Excellence in Research in Science and Engineering. Dr. Nizet was elected to the Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2021 and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2022.