BioInsights - Focusing on donor characteristics and efficient selection to improve allogeneic cell therapy outcomes
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Focusing on donor characteristics and efficient selection to improve allogeneic cell therapy outcomes

Focusing on donor characteristics and efficient selection to improve allogeneic cell therapy outcomes

As the next generation of therapies are developed, HLA matching will play an important role for a number of leading-edge therapeutics, including allogeneic cellular therapies.

As the importance of HLA grows in relation to the development of new therapies, one of our primary objectives at Be The Match BioTherapies® is utilizing our amassed historical data to develop search and matching algorithms to ensure patients receive the therapies with the greatest probability of success. Understanding how HLA matching components will impact cell bank set-ups and population coverage is a necessity for any organization with an emerging therapy in its pipeline.
Attend this webinar for an in-depth presentation from Martin Maiers, MS, Vice President of Biomedical Informatics at our research partner, the CIBMTR®, and a live Q&A featuring well-known industry professionals.

As a webinar attendee, you will learn about:

  • What to expect when scaling your volume and how that can impact cell banking processes
  • How to navigate, and ultimately reduce, the uncertainties associated with HLA matching as you develop new allogeneic cellular therapies
  • How access to a large, diverse starting donor pool can help you minimize your risk in obtaining high-quality, therapy-matched material
  • How to create efficiencies for donor selection through emerging tools and Be The Match’s large datasets, in order to maximize population coverage and improve therapy efficacy

Martin Maiers, MS

Vice President of Biomedical Informatics,  Center for Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR)

Martin Maiers is Vice President of Innovation at Be The Match where he has worked for 24 years. He leads an R&D translation program focused on applying new tools for HLA matching and algorithm development to improve cell and gene therapies. With his team he has developed a number of tools and methods for searching large donor registries with missing or partial information to identify suitable hematopoietic stem cell donors. He holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Computational Biology from the University of Minnesota.

Blake Aftab, PhD

Vice President, Preclinical & Translational Science, Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Blake T. Aftab is Vice President and Head of Preclinical Science and Translational Medicine at Atara Biotherapeutics. Dr. Aftab leads cell therapy research and translational evaluation for off-the-shelf cell therapies covering oncology, infectious disease, and autoimmune conditions.

He has over 15 years experience in academic, biotech and pharmaceutical industries developing multiple therapeutic modalities including small molecule, biologics, antibody-drug conjugates and cell therapies. He conducted his doctoral training in Pharmacology and Drug Development at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and received is Bachelors in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery from The University of California, Santa Barbara.

Daniel Gibson

Director of Cell and Gene Therapy Services, Anthony Nolan

Daniel has worked to facilitate the delivery of innovative cell and gene therapies for patients derived for over a decade. In this time, he has amassed the expertise in cell sourcing, cell processing and the associated logistics to help build and deliver scalable solutions to meet the growing industry needs.

Joanne Kurtzberg, PhD

Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, Duke University 

Dr. Kurtzberg is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation, and novel applications of cord blood in the emerging fields of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine. Dr. Kurtzberg serves as the Director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3), Director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Duke University.

Dr. Kurtzberg’s research in MC3 focuses on translational studies from bench to bedside, seeking to develop transformative clinical therapies using cells, tissues, molecules, genes, and biomaterials to treat diseases and injuries that currently lack effective treatments. Recent areas of investigation in MC3, which are funded by the Marcus Foundation, include the use of autologous cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury, cerebral palsy, and autism, as well as preclinical studies manufacturing microglial oligodendrocyte-like cells from cord blood to treat patients with acquired and genetic brain diseases. Studies of donor cord blood cells in adults with stroke and children with cerebral palsy and autism are also underway.

Dr. Kurtzberg’s lab has developed novel chemotherapeutic drugs for T-cell Leukemias, assays enumerating ALDH bright cells to predict cord blood potency from segments attached to cryopreserved cord blood units, and is performing translational research testing cord blood expansion, cellular targeted therapies and tissue repair and regeneration. Dr. Kurtzberg currently holds several INDs for investigational clinical trials.

Dorit Harati

Former Vice President, Quality Assurance, Manufacturing and LogisticsGamida Cell 

Dorit Harati was formerly the VP Quality Assurance, Manufacturing and Logistics at Gamida Cell, a cell therapy company.

She has 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining Gamida Cell, Dorit served as the director of the quality control laboratories at Perio Products Ltd., a pharmaceutical company specializing in manufacturing innovative drugs.

Dorit has a lot of experience in building systems and departments from scratch to full operation; successful transfer of different technologies from R&D to inhouse GMP manufacturing and to different CMOs; Establishing logistics systems to support the manufacturing of fresh and cryopreserved, time-sensitive personalized products at different facilities to different transplant centers worldwide; regulatory meetings with the FDA, EMA and different health authorities in Europe and Israel.


Martin Maiers
Martin Maiers
Vice President of Biomedical Informatics
Blake  Aftab
Blake Aftab
Vice President, Preclinical & Translational Science at Atara Biotherapeutics Inc
Daniel Gibson
Daniel Gibson
Director, Cell and Gene Therapy Services at Anthony Nolan Cell Therapy Centre
Joanne Kurtzberg
Joanne Kurtzberg
Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke University
Dorit Harati
Dorit Harati
Vice President, Quality Assurance, Manufacturing & Logistics at Gamida Cell

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