Nohla Therapeutics Appoints Shelly Heimfeld, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Manufacturing

SEATTLE, Nov. 30, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nohla Therapeutics Inc. (Nohla), a leading developer of universal donor cellular therapies for the treatment of patients with life threatening hematological disorders, announced today the appointment of Dr. Shelly Heimfeld as Executive Vice President of Research and Manufacturing.

“We are delighted to welcome Shelly to our executive management team overseeing the critical activities of manufacturing and research in support of our lead clinical programs and research pipeline,” stated Colleen Delaney, a scientific founder, and Chief Medical Officer of Nohla Therapeutics.  “Dr. Heimfeld has been a critical partner in the bench-to-bedside development of this product while it was under development at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and we are excited to have him continue in this capacity in his new role at Nohla Therapeutics.”

Dr. Heimfeld is internationally recognized for his research efforts. His most significant contributions have been in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) characterization, covering aspects ranging from basic biology and patterns of gene expression to development of useful reagents, instruments and protocols for pre-clinical research and therapeutic cell applications. His focus has been on enrichment of specific cell subsets, optimization of cryopreservation protocols, engineering of clinical transplant grafts, and ex-vivo expansion and genetic modification of HSCs.

Dr. Heimfeld received his PhD in Cell Differentiation from the University of California, Irvine and completed Post-Doctoral studies with Dr. Irving Weissman at Stanford before going into industry to work as a founding scientist at SyStemix, Inc and later at CellPro, Inc., the first company to develop an FDA-approved device for CD34+ cell enrichment.  Subsequently, he became a Member in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch). During this time, he also served as Scientific Director for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Clinical Cell Therapy Laboratory and Fred Hutch’s cGMP Therapeutic Manufacturing Facility. He is a former President of the International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT), with expertise in the FDA regulations and lab practices needed for clinical cell therapies, including Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Good Tissue Practice (GTP), and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Shelly continues to work with regulatory authorities and other organizations to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices in the rapidly evolving area of Cell Therapy.

About Nohla Therapeutics

Nohla Therapeutics Inc. (Nohla) is a clinical stage developer of universal donor cellular therapies for the treatment of patients with life threatening hematological disorders. The Company is leveraging a platform technology developed over the past two decades at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center which enables the ex vivo expansion and directed differentiation of cord blood stem/progenitor cells resulting in “off-the-shelf” universal donor cellular therapies.  These products can be used on demand without the need for HLA matching and provide bridging hematopoietic recovery in patients at risk for neutropenia after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for critical diseases.  Currently, hematopoietic stem cell transplant remains the only proven cure for many hematologic malignancies.  Nohla is evaluating these “off-the-shelf” cryopreserved expanded cell products in several clinical settings including two lead programs: NLA-101, a multi-center, randomized open label Phase IIb study in the setting of myeloablative cord blood transplant and NLA-102, a multi-center, randomized global Phase II study in the setting of high dose chemotherapy for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Nohla is supported by top-tier healthcare dedicated institutional investors including Arch Venture Partners, 5AM Ventures and Jagen.


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