Founded by an Experienced Management Team and Built on the Reach and Infrastructure of the San Diego Blood Bank
January 24, 2022 San Diego, CA: Excellos, Incorporated, a cell therapy Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), announces its official corporate launch and closing of $15M in growth funding from Telegraph Hill Partners (THP).
Built on the foundation of the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB), Excellos is focused on supplying cGMP cellular products and services, together with process development and manufacturing expertise to scientists and clinicians working with cell and gene therapies. The company’s collection network consists of nine SDBB centers in the San Diego area that see an average of over 70,000 diverse donors annually, as well as exclusive access to select, consented material from SDBB’s public cord blood bank. Excellos also has access to a nationwide collection network giving it one of the largest cellular material procurement portfolios. Uniquely connecting its broad collection network to state-of-the-art cGMP and R&D facilities in San Diego, Excellos provides a full suite of innovative end-to-end capabilities to facilitate the development and manufacture of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies. Excellos’ experience includes working with therapeutic companies developing chimeric antibody receptor-engineered T cells (CAR-T), tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL’s), and providing isolated immune cells that are integral to the advancement of immunotherapies.
“Excellos will create highly characterized, standardized cell products and custom services that are essential for advanced therapeutics,” said David Wellis, CEO of Excellos. “The SDBB had been incubating Excellos for a number of years, but fully capitalizing on the rapidly growing opportunity required significantly more resources than the SDBB was able to provide. We will now be able to focus exclusively on the needs of the expanding cell and gene therapy industry through the development of our data-driven platform to enable the characterization of cellular therapeutics starting at the donor level. The funding from THP will allow a significant facility expansion and overall growth in the capabilities of our organization.”
“The growth in the cell and gene therapy industry is driving a surge in demand for critical human cells, tissues, and services to support the development and commercialization of new products,” said Dr. Paul Grossman, Ph.D., J.D., Partner at THP. “We look forward to partnering with Excellos and their proven leadership team. Their exclusive access to one of the industry’s largest donor bases, coupled with their technology-focused research and development activities, will help to accelerate the advancement of cell and gene therapies for those patients in need.” Paul Grossman, Alex Herzick, and Deval Lashkari from THP have joined the Excellos Board concurrent with the financing.
Excellos’ founding leadership team brings a wealth of commercial and industry experience to bear. Chief Executive Officer David Wellis Ph.D., previously served as CEO of the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) for nine years before transitioning into the leadership role with Excellos. During his tenure as CEO, David foresaw the need for products and services to serve the then nascent cell and gene therapy industry and guided the organization to meet these needs, a path that ultimately led to the formation of Excellos. David has also held senior leadership roles within the biotechnology industry including Illumina, and GenVault Corporation, where he also served as CEO. Chief Commercial Officer George Eastwood, brings significant experience in the cell and gene therapy space, with a focus on cGMP materials and cell manufacturing. He served as VP, Global Sales and Business Development for HemaCare, and in his over five years there, he saw the company through a period of dramatic expansion that culminated in its acquisition by Charles River in 2020. Chief Scientific Officer Rob Tressler Ph.D., brings vast experience in R&D for advanced cell-based therapies. Most recently, as CSO of SDBB, he led the cell therapy, immunohematology, components manufacturing, and cord blood banking labs. Rob also has extensive drug development experience, both as Head of Preclinical Oncology at Geron Inc. and VP of R&D at Cellerant Therapeutics.
About Excellos: Built on the foundation of the San Diego Blood Bank, Excellos is focused on supplying cGMP cellular products and services, together with process development and manufacturing expertise to scientists and clinicians working with cell and gene therapies. Excellos is dedicated to improving human life by providing critical products and services to life science research and the next generation of cell and gene therapies. Learn more at www.excellos.com
About Telegraph Hill Partners: Telegraph Hill Partners, founded in 2001 and based in San Francisco, CA, invests in commercial stage life science, medical technology, and healthcare companies. For more information, please see www.telegraphhillpartners.com
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