Acepodia Strengthens Management Team with Appointments of Biotech Industry Veterans

Doctors Mark Gilbert and Joe McCracken appointed to senior positions

SAN FRANCISCO and TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acepodia, a biotechnology company developing next generation solid tumor and blood-based cancer cell therapies, today announced key appointments to its business and clinical development teams. Mark J. Gilbert, M.D., a cell therapy pioneer, joins as senior vice president of Research and Development and will lead early-stage research efforts to advance the company’s proprietary, potent and off-the-shelf cell therapies from exploratory development stages into clinical trials. Joseph S. McCracken, D.V.M., an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, has been appointed as senior vice president of Business Development and will play a key role in driving strategic alliances and partnerships.

“Dr. Gilbert’s decades of experience developing and managing successful oncology portfolios coupled with Dr. McCracken’s extensive expertise in pharmaceutical business development operations will be essential for the near- and long-term growth of Acepodia,” said Sonny Hsiao, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Acepodia. “They are joining at a critical time for the company as we have recently entered clinical trials with our lead NK cell therapy in HER2 solid tumors and we continue to engage with global companies in the development and commercialization of next-generation cell therapies. We welcome them to the senior management team and look forward to their insight and leadership.”

Dr. Gilbert added, “Acepodia’s therapeutic approach to overcoming the challenges of treating solid tumors by arming its unique off-the-shelf platform with innovative tumor-targeting mechanisms is very promising. It represents an exciting potential breakthrough in the cell therapy treatment landscape. I look forward to working with the team to help realize this potential by advancing its revolutionary approach.”

Dr. McCracken added, “I am thrilled to join Acepodia at a pivotal time for the company and look forward to creating new synergies and strategic relationships that deliver value to the company, its partners and its stakeholders, while helping to advance its mission of delivering the next generation of effective cell therapies to patients.”

Dr. Gilbert has decades of experience leading strategic drug development and portfolio management in medical oncology for several U.S. biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He was previously the chief medical officer of Juno Therapeutics, where he led the clinical development of its CAR-T cell therapy pipeline. Dr. Gilbert served as vice president and head of global clinical development, therapeutic area oncology at Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Bayer Schering, he held several executive positions with Berlex Pharmaceuticals and its parent company Schering, AG, most recently as vice president and head of the global medical development group. Dr. Gilbert joined Berlex from Immunex, where his responsibilities included clinical development and medical affairs for Leukine and Mitoxantrone in hematology, oncology, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Gilbert received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and his M.D. from the University of Iowa Medical School. He trained in internal medicine, infectious disease and medical oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Washington, respectively. Prior to his executive positions in biotech and oncology companies, Dr. Gilbert was a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington and trained in the laboratory of Dr. Phil Greenberg, one of scientific co-founders of Juno Therapeutics.

Dr. McCracken has more than 25 years of experience in research, strategic business development and commercial roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. He was previously vice president and global head of business development and licensing for Roche Pharma, where he was responsible for Roche Pharma’s global in-licensing and out-licensing activities. Prior to joining Roche Pharma, Dr. McCracken held the position of vice president of business development at Genentech for more than nine years, and previously held similar positions at Aventis Pharma and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. Dr. McCracken holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, a Master of Science in Pharmacology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from The Ohio State University. 

About Acepodia

Acepodia is a privately held biotechnology company focused on eradicating cancers of all types with potent and targeted first-in-class cell therapies. The company’s next generation off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies are based on a proprietary NK cell line (oNK) that has been selected for its potent anti-tumor activity. Acepodia’s flexible drug development platform is designed to supercharge oNK cells’ tumor affinity through both its chimeric antigen receptor technology and its unique ACC (Antibody-Cell Conjugation) technology that links tumor-targeting antibodies to the surface proteins of oNK cells. Its lead product candidate, ACE1702, is the first antibody-conjugated NK cell therapy in clinical development for the treatment of HER2-expressing solid tumors. For more information, visit

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