Serial Entrepreneurs of the Biohealth Capital Region
A strong group of entrepreneurs ready and willing to innovate, fund and lead new bioscience companies is essential to the creation and sustainability of top-tier biohealth clusters.
It is often referenced that the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) lacks a deep enough pool of qualified executive talent that is needed to sustain a larger cluster with more early-stage biotech startups. In fact, Ken Mills, CEO of REGENXBIO shared his feelings towards this void in leadership talent in a recent BBJ article, stating, “People who have experienced some success in the industry need to stay here and be the foundation for investing in new opportunities in biotech.”
Though the pool may not be as deep as that of San Francisco or Boston; the region has a host of “serial” entrepreneurs that have played invaluable roles in shaping what is now, according to the publication GEN, the 4th ranked biocluster in the United States.
Let’s take a look at what some of these individuals have achieved and where they are headed as we profile some of the BHCR’s most accomplished serial entrepreneurs and their companies.
Doug Doerfler has more than three decades of experience in the discovery, development and commercialization of biotechnology products and in international financing for life science ventures. He has held many high level executive positions in industry, including: Senior corporate development and operations roles at PFRM, Inc., a biotechnology holdings company; he was CEO and Director at the cell-based therapy and diagnostics company Immunicon Corporation; and he held various executive positions at Life Technologies (now ThermoFisher Scientific).
Doerfler is an active advocate for the BHCR bioscience industry, serving on multiple boards and providing mentorship and guidance to the region’s bioscience entrepreneurs. He currently serves on the executive board of BIO and is the Chair Emeritus for the Maryland Tech Council.
In 1998 Doerfler co-founded MaxCyte, whose core technology, an advanced cell engineering platform, has grown alongside the advancing cell and gene therapy field. They have become a leading company driving the acceleration of the discovery, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of next-generation, cell-based medicines. The organization has more than 80+ cell therapy partnered programme licenses, 45+ of which are licensed for clinical use.
Under Doerfler, MaxCyte has more recently also made the evolution beyond a life sciences company by utilizing its core technology and expertise to develop CARMA, a proprietary, breakthrough platform in immuno-oncology, to rapidly manufacture chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies. Under CARMA, MaxCyte is now advancing its own pipeline with a lead therapy candidate currently in Phase I trials.
You can learn more about Doug Doerfler on the BioTalk Podcast with Rich Bendis.
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