About Us

Xcell Biosciences is a San Francisco-based life science start-up company that has developed a proprietary cell control system for use in research, drug development, and regenerative medicine applications. The technology delivers simple, standardized methods for fine control of tumor cells, stem cells, and immune cells. This novel platform enables direct disease insights through its uniquely differentiated cell control capabilities. These include the capability to easily grow primary human cells, flexibly modulate cellular phenotype and function, and dramatically improve the delivery of molecular materials into cells. The technology is currently in use for research and development applications ranging from novel cancer biomarker discovery to cell-based immunotherapy lead optimization.

Team

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Brian Feth

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO

Brian Feth, MBS/MBA, is co-founder and CEO of Xcell Biosciences. Prior to Xcellbio, Brian worked with Strategyn Equity Partners, a mid-market private equity firm and with L.E.K. Consulting, a business strategy management consulting firm where he focused on advising life sciences clients in corporate strategy, product strategy and planning, and transaction support. Brian has also lived and worked in several countries in Africa with the non-profit TechnoServe, where he wrote a grant for and led the launch of a $13M program funded by the Gates Foundation and Coca-Cola to double the incomes of 54,000 farmers. Brian earned his Masters of Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, his Masters in Bioscience from the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Sciences, and Bachelor of Science degrees with honors in molecular biology and in chemistry from Purdue University.

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James Lim

Co-founder and CSO

James Lim, PhD, is the chief scientific officer and co-founder of Xcell Biosciences, which was formed based on his previous research involving fluorescent imaging of living single cells. Dr. Lim’s expertise in microscopy hardware, image analysis and cell culturing techniques has allowed him to study a variety of primary cells (such as neuronal stem cells, lung epithelial and embryonic fibroblasts). His technical skill and knowledge associated with live imaging assays were adapted to pursue translational efforts in cancer diagnostics. Dr. Lim holds degrees from McGill University (B.Sc.) and The Scripps Research Institute (Ph.D.), and completed his postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Janette Phi

COO

Janette Phi, MBA, is the chief operations officer of Xcell Biosciences. Janette has more than 25 years of research and business experience in life sciences and clinical companies. Ms. Phi was Chief Business Officer and Chief Commercial Officer at IntelliCyt Corporation launching multiple novel platform technologies for Drug Discovery to Immuno-oncology solutions. Prior to IntelliCyt, Ms. Phi was the Vice President of Marketing at Bioscale and ForteBio. She held management positions at both large and small companies including Quantum Dot, Guava Technologies, AmCell, and Becton Dickinson Biosciences. Ms. Phi was involved in raising over $100M in early-stage funding at four start-up companies and sold for over $400M. Janette’s technical experience encompasses assay development, systems integration, development, and strategic planning. She has 8 issued patents and presented at over 100 conferences. Ms. Phi received her BS in Immunology at UC Berkeley and her MBA from Santa Clara University.

Board

Brian Feth

Brian Feth, MBS/MBA, is co-founder and CEO of Xcell Biosciences. Prior to Xcellbio, Brian worked with Strategyn Equity Partners, a mid-market private equity firm and with L.E.K. Consulting, a business strategy management consulting firm where he focused on advising life sciences clients in corporate strategy, product strategy and planning, and transaction support. Brian has also lived and worked in several countries in Africa with the non-profit TechnoServe, where he wrote a grant for and led the launch of a $13M program funded by the Gates Foundation and Coca-Cola to double the incomes of 54,000 farmers. Brian earned his Masters of Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, his Masters in Bioscience from the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Sciences, and Bachelor of Science degrees with honors in molecular biology and in chemistry from Purdue University.

Saeid Akhtari

Saeid Akhtari is the Managing Director at HBM Genomics investing in world-class entrepreneurs in seed and early stage startups. He has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur building successful genomics companies from scratch. Saeid was the founder, President & CEO of NextBio which was acquired by Illumina in 2013. Prior to founding NextBio, he was the President & CEO of Silicon Genetics which was acquired by Agilent in 2004. Mr. Akhtari has also held executive management positions at several other life sciences companies.

Advisors

Deborah J. Neff

Deborah J. Neff is a veteran of the life sciences industry, with a proven record of developing innovative technology, a track record of commercializing successful new products and building market leading global businesses. She is currently the part-time CEO of Evanostics LLC and was previously the chief operating officer of Complete Genomics Inc., as well as CEO of Pathwork Diagnostics Inc, and Predicant Biosciences, Deborah also served as president of BD Biosciences where she built and led a high growth. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of both GALT, Inc., and Vortex Biosciences Inc., and a member of the Dean’s leadership council for the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis. She previously served on the boards of BioRad Inc., Advanced Medical Optics Inc., and ForteBio.

Ilya Kupershmidt

Ilya Kupershmidt is a founding member of Xcell Biosciences’ genome informatics team and continues to help chart Xcellbio’s informatics strategy to support company’s products and services. In the past, Ilya Kupershmidt served as the head of products within Enterprise Informatics business unit at Illumina. There he helped define Illumina’s genome informatics strategy and products, and facilitate its transition into clinical markets. Prior to acquisition by Illumina Ilya Kupershmidt was cofounder and VP of products at NextBio, a company that created one of the largest data-driven platforms for aggregation and analysis of patient genomes and clinical data.

Diether Recktenwald

Diether Recktenwald, PhD, served as VP of Advanced Technology at BD Biosciences and is a Principal at Desatoya LLC. Through Desatoya LLC Dr. Recktenwald currently supports a number of groups with his expertise in technology transfer in the field of cytometry. He worked until October of 2012 as Vice President of Advanced Technology on the identification and evaluation of novel technologies for new cell analysis products from BD Biosciences e.g. fluorescent polymer dyes. Previously, Dieter also held a position of VP R&D of AmCell Corporation, VP R&D for BD Biosciences Immunocytometry Systems as well as VP Advanced Technology for BD Biosciences. Dr. Recktenwald is a BD fellow emeritus and earned his Ph.D., Biology at University Bochum, Germany, 1978.

Larry Lasky

Dr. Larry Lasky is a Partner in The Column Group who brings more than 35 years of expertise in biotechnology, ranging from basic science and drug development to venture capital. He has more than 15 years of experience in venture capital, where he has been instrumental in the founding of Proteolix (acquired by Onyx), Oncomed (Nasdaq: OMED), Cellective Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Medimmune), and Intellikine (acquired by Takeda), among others. He was a founding scientist of one of the earliest biotechnology companies, Genetics Institute (acquired by Wyeth), and a leading scientist at Genentech for 20 years. He is a co-author on more than 135 publications and a co-inventor on 37 issued and pending patents. He was a standing member of the Research Review Committee that directed research across all product areas at Genentech and attained the company’s highest scientific position, Genentech Fellow, in 1995. Dr. Lasky currently serves on the Board of Directors for Oncomed, eFFECTOR, Oric and Ribon. He did his postdoctoral studies at Caltech and received his Ph.D. and B.A. in molecular biology from UCLA.

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