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Cellics Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Paul Daruwala as President and CEO

By September 12, 2022January 24th, 2024No Comments

Cellics Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP) platform technology for drug development and delivery, announced today that the company has appointed Paul Daruwala as the company’s president and chief executive officer, effective on October 1st, 2022. With 30 years of experience in biotech drug development, Daruwala brings a depth of vision, as well as start-up and operational experience to Cellics.

“With our Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP) platform at a stage of growth inflection, it is time to bring on an experienced biotech leader with a track record of building successful companies,” said Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D., founder of Cellics. “Paul’s passion for building great teams and leading the transition from research into the clinic, will perfectly complement the scientific expertise of the Cellics founding team, and help us both advance our portfolio and drive business development for the CNP platform technology.”

Daruwala added, “I’m honored for the opportunity to be part of the Cellics team to help build on the successes and trajectory that Dr. Zhang and team have established. Cellics’ CNP platform technology is at the forefront of drug development and drug delivery and at the cusp of significant growth. The advancement of CNPs to make the delivery of biologics and small molecules more efficient is pioneering.”

Prior to joining Cellics, Daruwala was most recently chief operating officer at Cidara Therapeutics. During his eight-year tenure, he helped take the company public, raise capital, grow the team, advance its founding preclinical program to NDA filing, transition from a small molecule company to a biologics focused one, advance its immunotherapeutic platform from basic research into Phase 1, and establish multiple foundational partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Through this time, Daruwala contributed to a broad range of functions, including strategy, technical operations, CMC for small molecules and drug-Fc conjugates, medical affairs and operations, business development, corporate communications, and commercial launch preparations. Daruwala also focused on building and retaining a high-quality team, contributing to Cidara being named a San Diego Top Place to Work for the last five consecutive years. Prior to Cidara, Paul held executive roles in new product development, commercialization, and business development 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. Daruwala has a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky.

About Cellics Therapeutics

Cellics Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company founded by UC San Diego Professor Liangfang Zhang based on his award-winning Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP) platform technology. Cellics’ goal is to broadly apply the CNP drug development and delivery platform to better treat and prevent serious diseases with high unmet medical needs.  Cellics is headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit

About Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP) Drug Delivery Platform and Cellular Nanosponge Technology

Cellics’ proprietary core technology, the Cellular Nanoparticle (CNP) Platform Technology, was developed by Dr. Liangfang Zhang, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Chancellor Professor at UC San Diego and the scientific founder of Cellics. This technology strips cell membranes from wild-type or engineered human cells, creates nanoparticles and uses them as therapeutic products, drug delivery vehicles, or vaccines. By leveraging different cell membranes and functional proteins that can be expressed on the cell membranes, the CNP technology can achieve specific therapeutic or vaccination results and drug delivery goals. Loading other drugs into its nanoparticle core, the CNP technology can be used to significantly improve targeted delivery and intracellular delivery, extend circulation half-life, and increase overall delivery efficiency for small molecules or biologics drugs. For mRNA delivery, CNPs coated with engineered cell membranes have been shown to significantly increase endosomal escape efficiency and overall delivery efficiency of mRNA molecules. Without any drug loading in its nanoparticle core, and using cell membranes as drug substance, the CNP technology can create Cellular Nanosponges, which leverage surface protein receptors on the cell membranes to absorb and neutralize toxins, inflammatory cytokines and viruses that attack human cells. Red Blood Cell Nanosponge (CTI-005) received IND allowance in 2022. The Macrophage Nanosponge program is being developed for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Macrophage Nanosponge for the treatment of bacterial sepsis (CTI-111) is currently supported by the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) for up to $15 million.  The company’s focus is on the development and delivery of drugs and vaccines with better efficiency and safety profiles that can address inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and difficult-to-treat infectious diseases.


Cellics Therapeutics, Inc.
Lili Xie