About Us

Inspired by platelet biology, we are pioneering the next generation of safer, more effective cell therapies for human diseases.

Our History

Inspired by the function and versatility of natural platelet cells, PlateletBio’s founders envisioned a platform that produces “platelet-like cells” (PLCs) capable of performing vital biological functions and able to be engineered into multiple allogeneic therapies. Since the company's founding, the team has developed a proprietary, biomimetic bioreactor-on-a-chip to produce PLCs and established in-house cGMP manufacturing capabilities. PlateletBio is now focused on advancing a diverse pipeline of next-generation cellular therapies for applications in hematology, oncology, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. PlateletBio has raised more than $100M to date from top-tier biotech venture investors and through awards and contracts from the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Executive Team

SAM RASTY, PHD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Sam Rasty brings more than 20 years of experience in biopharma R&D, commercial, business development, strategy and operations in leadership roles of increasing responsibility spanning global large pharma, mid-cap pharma and early stage, private biotech companies. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Homology Medicines, a genetic medicines company that he helped launch in 2016, having played a key role in transforming the company from a private start-up to an established, fully integrated public gene therapy and gene editing company. Prior to joining Homology as one of its early employees, he was Vice President and Head of New Products at the Rare Disease Business Unit of Shire Pharmaceuticals. His earlier career included roles spanning corporate development at Endo Pharmaceuticals and commercial strategy and portfolio management at GlaxoSmithKline. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Louisiana State University, completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds an MBA from Villanova University.

SVEN KARLSSON

Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer

Sven Karlsson is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of PlateletBio. He has more than a decade experience in business development and financial analysis. Prior to co-founding PlateletBio he worked as a merger and acquisition principal at J.P. Morgan, an analyst at a hedge fund, and as a venture capital investor. He earned his M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

DEAN FALB, PHD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dean Falb has more than 25 years of experience leading research and development teams in start-up biotechnology companies across a broad range of technology platforms and disease indications. Prior to PlateletBio, he was CSO at LogicBio Therapeutics, a gene editing/gene therapy company focused on rare diseases. In 2012 he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Atlas Ventures where played a central role in founding Synlogic Therapeutics. At Synlogic, he functioned as Chief Technology Officer and led their preclinical programs in rare diseases and oncology. Prior to this he was Vice President of Research and Development at Stryker’s Regenerative Medicine Division. There he led the development of a portfolio of Bone Morphogenetic Protein –based drugs in musculoskeletal and tissue fibrosis indications. Dean was Sr. Vice President of R&D at Praecis Pharmaceuticals where he led the discovery and development of peptide-based drugs in oncology indications. In 1993 Dean was hired as the fourth scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he started and led Millennium’s program in Cardiovascular Diseases. Dean received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the lab of Tom Maniatis at Harvard University.

PO-SHUN LEE, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Po-Shun Lee has extensive experiences in early and late stage drug development as an executive as well as a physician-scientist. Prior to joining PlateletBio, Po-Shun was Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Proteostasis Therapeutics, a publicly traded company developing rare disease therapeutics. At Proteostasis, he built the clinical organization to support the company transitioning from preclinical to clinical stage and successfully completed an IPO in February 2016. Prior to Proteostasis, he served as Translational Medicine Expert at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research leading several programs to successful proof-of-concept. Before Novartis, he served as the Associate Medical Director at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he supported the clinical development and registration of Kalydeco®. Before joining industry, Po-Shun was as a physician-scientist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School where he was the scientific co-founder of two biotech companies.

Po-Shun received a B.A. in Biology from the Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

SANDY LAZZARI

Vice President, Human Resources

Sandy brings more than 20 years of extensive global Human Resources experience, primarily across the life science and high-tech industries. Prior to joining PlateletBio, Sandy was the Executive Vice President of People at Emulate Bio, a life science company developing organs-on-chip technology. Prior to Emulate, Sandy led the Human Resources organization at several other start-ups including Kala Pharmaceuticals (focused in the ophthalmology market), OvaScience (a Life Science organization focused on the science of women’s fertility), and Quanterix (a diagnostics company focused in the area of precision health). In each of these roles, Sandy led the HR function to drive key HR strategies for organizational growth and cultural strength. Sandy started the Life Science portion of her career at Millipore, where she spent 8 years in key HR roles including the Global Business Partner for their largest business unit. Prior to joining the Life Science mission, Sandy spent 10 years working in several HR roles at Avid Technology, a high-tech company focused on developing hardware and software for tv, film and audio editing.

Sandy holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Business Management from the University of Southern New Hampshire, is a Certified Executive Coach and holds several Human Resources certifications including SPHR (Strategic Professional in Human Resources) and HCS (Human Capital Strategist).

TOM SCHULZ, PHD

Vice President, Manufacturing Sciences

Tom Schulz has extensive experience developing therapeutics from pluripotent stem cells, in roles of increasing responsibility in early stage biotech companies. While at ViaCyte (2004-17) he was responsible for inventing and establishing scalable manufacturing technologies for a therapeutic candidate for type 1 diabetes. ViaCyte advanced to clinical trials in 2014 with the first and only islet cell replacement derived from stem cells. He joined PlateletBio in 2019 to lead the development and manufacturing of a donor-independent platelet-like cell therapeutic, produced from induced pluripotent cells.

Tom earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Adelaide, followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Tottori (Japan), the NIDDK (Maryland) and the University of Georgia.

CHAD STEWART, MS, MBA, PMP

Vice President, Program and Alliance Management

With over 25 years of industry experience, Chad has held numerous positions in R&D including, most significantly, project management. Chad comes to PlateletBio from Immatics, an early-stage immuno-therapy company, where he was the Head of Program, Portfolio and Alliance Management. Prior to Immatics, he held senior project management positions at Merck, Shire and GlaxoSmithKline. Chad began his career as a Chemist at Mutual Pharmaceuticals, later working as a Clinical Scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb. Chad holds an MS in Microbiology, an MBA in Pharmaceutical Marketing and a PMP certification.

Board of Directors

STEVEN M. ALTSCHULER, MD

Steve is the Managing Director of Healthcare Ventures at Ziff Capital Partners and Chair of the Board of Spark Therapeutics. Previously he served as CEO of the University of Miami and the University of Miami Health System as well as the CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Steve’s medical training was in pediatrics and gastroenterology. In addition to Spark, he serves on the boards of Mead Johnson Nutritionals and Weight Watchers.

MARK McDADE, MBA

Chairman

Mark is a managing partner of the Qiming U.S. Healthcare Fund. Previously, he served as chief operating officer of UCB Pharma, CEO of PDL BioPharma, CEO of Signature BioScience and COO of Boehringer Mannheim Therapeutics. He serves on the boards of FivePrime Therapeutics, Dermira Inc., and Aimmune Therapeutics. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

PHILIP REILLY, MD, JD

Phil is a venture partner at Third Rock Ventures and has served as Chief Medical Officer of Goldfinch Bio, co-founder of Fulcrum Therapeutics, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Voyager Therapeutics, Chief Medical Officer of Bluebird Bio, co-founder of Edimer, among other startup roles. He served as Chairman and CEO of Interleukin Genetics. He earned his medical degree at the Yale School of Medicine.

RICHARD MURRAY, PHD

Richard Murray has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Jounce Therapeutics, along with sitting on the Board of Directors, since July, 2014. He brings to Jounce more than two decades of biologics R&D leadership and experience moving product candidates through development to commercialization for both startup biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Murray holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

JOSEPH ITALIANO, PHD

Co-founder

Joseph Italiano, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, where he leads his own lab focused on platelet production. He is also assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Italiano earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from Florida State University. He is a co-founder of PlateletBio and Chairman of the company’s scientific advisory board.

SAM RASTY, PHD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Sam Rasty brings more than 20 years of experience in biopharma R&D, commercial, business development, strategy and operations in leadership roles of increasing responsibility spanning global large pharma, mid-cap pharma and early stage, private biotech companies. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Homology Medicines, a genetic medicines company that he helped launch in 2016, having played a key role in transforming the company from a private start-up to an established, fully integrated public gene therapy and gene editing company. Prior to joining Homology as one of its early employees, he was Vice President and Head of New Products at the Rare Disease Business Unit of Shire Pharmaceuticals. His earlier career included roles spanning corporate development at Endo Pharmaceuticals and commercial strategy and portfolio management at GlaxoSmithKline. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Louisiana State University, completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds an MBA from Villanova University.

SVEN KARLSSON

Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer

Sven Karlsson is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of PlateletBio. He has more than a decade experience in business development and financial analysis. Prior to co-founding PlateletBio he worked as a merger and acquisition principal at J.P. Morgan, an analyst at a hedge fund, and as a venture capital investor. He earned his M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Scientific Advisory Board

JOSEPH ITALIANO, PHD

Co-founder and Chair

Joseph Italiano, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, where he leads his own lab focused on platelet production. He is also assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Italiano earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from Florida State University. He is a co-founder of PlateletBio and Chairman of the company’s scientific advisory board.

UMA LAKSHMIPATHY, PHD

Uma Lakshmipathy has over 17 years of experience in cell biology, stem cells and translational research. She is currently the Director of R&D at Thermo Fisher Scientific, driving key initiatives and new product development in stem cells, cell & gene therapy. Her work is focused on development of clinical-grade reagents and processes, viral and non-viral methods of cell modification and, analytical platforms for comprehensive cell therapy product characterization. Uma was previously at University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute involved in non-viral gene transfer and ex vivo repair of stem cells for monogenic disorders. She has a doctoral degree in Molecular Biophysics from the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology in India, postdoctoral experience in DNA double strand break repair from University of Minnesota Medical School and, has authored several scientific publications, books and patents.

TERESA FOY, PHD

Teresa (Teri) Foy is an immunologist with 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry developing novel therapeutics in the areas of inflammation and immuno-oncology. Teri is currently Corporate Vice President and Head of Celgene’s Immuno-Oncology (IO) and Cellular Therapy (CT) Thematic Center of Excellence (TCoE) in Seattle. Celgene’s IO CT TCoE is focused on development and translation of Celgene’s early IO and Cellular Therapy pipeline from discovery through human proof of concept. Teri joined Celgene in 2014 and established Celgene’s Seattle site. Early in her career Teri held scientific leadership positions at Corixa Corp. and Glaxo Smith Kline, both in Seattle WA. Teri served as the Chief Scientific Officer at VLST, developing therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. She holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Iowa and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School. Teri has an extensive publication record and holds close to a dozen patents for novel immune compositions.

BRUCE ZETTER, PHD

Bruce Zetter, Ph.D., is professor of cancer biology and surgery at Harvard Medical School, researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and discoverer of the world’s first angiogenesis inhibitor.

LES SILBERSTEIN, MD

Les Silberstein, M.D., director of the Joint Program in Transfusion Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Silberstein’s lab looks at signals that control hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in bone marrow and their role in leukemia and other conditions.