Calimmune - A case study from the innovator and investor perspective

ByWhite Hat

Published: 2018-10-18 13:08:37


Calimmune, Inc. (acquired by CSL Limited in 2017) is the 2018 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year.   

Louis Breton is the former CEO of Calimmune, Inc., a gene therapy development company he co-founded with Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore, which was recently acquired by CSL Behring.  Calimmune focused on liberating patients from chronic and currently incurable diseases.  Mr. Breton is a husband, father, Chaplain, inventor, author, mentor, serial entrepreneur and is involved in local charities.  He has a career in biotechnology spanning more than 2 decades.  He has now built and successfully sold 3 life science focused companies, including a biotech consulting firm.  He has raised more than $100M for the companies he has launched, and has conducted approximately 500 licensing deals with academic and government institutions.  He has established international subsidiaries, negotiated with global regulatory bodies, and has collaborated with ministries of health of multiple governments.  He has been intimately involved in more than 20 different product launches.  He has been a board member of 12 biotech and high tech companies, and was a Business Advisory Council member for a sitting president.  Mr. Breton has presented to the House of Lords, and participated in a special conference at the Vatican to bridge faith and science.  In the last decade, he has helped to craft a new paradigm for the delivery of stem cell gene therapy and regenerative medicine, and is now taking on the esteemed roles of chauffer, Dance Dad, swim instructor, baby sitter and courier.  

Harry George, President and CFO, Radiance Therapeutics, Inc.  

For over four decades, Harry George has been starting, funding, and operating rapid-growth technology companies.  In 1995, Harry co-founded Solstice Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Boston and Tucson, which raised $80M in two funds.  Solstice was active until 2015 and invested in 44 companies that generated positive returns for both funds.   In 1981, prior to Solstice, Harry was the co-founder, a director and the CFO of Interleaf, Inc., a pioneer in electronic publishing.  Interleaf was the seventh-fastest growing private company in the US for a five-year period and went public in 1986 with 800 employees. In January of 2000, Interleaf was acquired by BroadVision for $900M. Before Interleaf, in 1973, Harry was a co-founder, a director and the CFO of Kurzweil Computer Products, the leader in optical character recognition and early use of AI.   Mr. George has served on 26 boards for both public and private companies.  He is currently serving on the boards of HTGMolecular, Medipacs, PostBidShip, RxActuator, Medipacs, Radiance and Splash Pharmaceuticals. Mr. George has been active in a number of community organizations and has served as Treasurer of both the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Tucson Museum of Art. He is currently a board member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and, earlier, helped start Tucson’s Desert Angels and Start-up Tucson.  Mr. George graduated from Bowdoin College and was given an Honorary Doctor of Science from the U of A in 2012.  

Moderator:  John M. (Jock) Holliman, III, Valley Ventures;  Executive Chairman at LipimetiX Development and Capstone Therapeutics.  Since February 1993, Jock has been a general partner of entities, which are the general partners of Valley Ventures, LP (formerly known as Arizona Growth Partners, LP), Valley Ventures II, LP, Valley Ventures III Annex, LP, all of which are venture capital funds that invest principally in life science companies.  He also serves in an executive capacity at Capstone Therapeutics, Inc. He became Executive Chairman and Principal Executive Officer of Capstone on April 5, 2006 and has served as a director of the company since September 1987 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors since August 1997.

Categories: Thought Leaders
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