SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: CLDI or “Calidi”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a new generation of targeted immunotherapies, today announced two key promotions from the clinical leadership team and the appointment of a new Board Director. Antonio Santidrian, PharmD, Ph.D., previously Senior Vice President, Global Head of Research and Development, has been promoted to Chief Scientific Officer and Amish Patel, Ph.D., has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Technical Operations. In addition, Alan Stewart, a Calidi advisor since 2020, has been appointed to the Board of Directors. Mr. Stewart will replace Dr. Heehyoung Lee as an independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee.
“I am delighted to announce the well-deserved promotions of Drs. Santidrian and Patel, who have been instrumental in the development and manufacturing of our differentiated cell-based delivery platforms,” said Allan Camaisa, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Calidi Biotherapeutics. “As CSO, Dr. Santidrian will continue to apply his expertise in oncology and leadership in discovery, to expand the potential of our novel technology. In Dr. Patel’s new role, he will continue to innovate and accelerate Calidi’s leading technical and manufacturing capabilities to drive the clinical advancement of our assets. Alan Stewart’s previous role serving as an advisor to Calidi, as well as his strong financial and capital markets background, will be invaluable to us as a newly public company. Lastly, I would like to thank Dr. Lee, one of Calidi’s earliest investors, for her support and guidance over the last three years and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Antonio F. Santidrian, PharmD, Ph.D., previously served as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Research and Development at Calidi since September 2021. Dr. Santidrian has over 22 years of experience in anti-cancer translational research and drug development, and as Chief Scientific Officer will lead research and development activities to fully leverage the potential of Calidi’s Pipeline and first-in-class allogeneic stem cell-based delivery platforms to provide a new generation of targeted and universal cancer immunotherapies. Dr. Santidrian is co-inventor of Calidi’s Supernova platform, a universal cell-based delivery platform designed to protect, amplify, and potentiate oncolytic viruses to enhance efficacy and improve patient safety. Before Calidi, Dr. Santidrian led translational studies at The Scripps Research Institute for several small molecule and biologic drugs treating metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Santidrian worked closely on the translational cancer studies for the development of ACADRA to treat Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) at the University of Barcelona. Dr. Santidrian is the recipient of a fellowship from the Ministry of Science and Education (Spain), Susan G. Komen Breast cancer foundation, and the August Pi I Sunyer Foundation. Dr. Santidrian received a degree in Pharmacy (equivalent to the PharmD program) from the University of Barcelona in 2001 and a Ph.D. in biomedicine, specializing in anti-cancer therapies, in 2006 from the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.
Amish Patel, Ph.D., previously served as Vice President of Technical Operations since joining Calidi in August 2022. Dr. Patel has over 19 years of global biopharma and biotech leadership experience, providing strategic guidance throughout the entire biologic product life cycle. Dr. Patel will be responsible for overseeing global manufacturing, quality, and supply chain to produce clinical and commercial therapies utilizing Calidi’s innovative cell-based delivery of oncolytic viruses. Over the course of his career, he has led the development of over 15 INDs, two commercial product approvals, and numerous PAS submissions. He was most recently the Senior Director of Product Development at Emergent BioSolutions (formerly PaxVax, Inc., prior to acquisition), where he successfully built and directed cross-functional teams working on numerous technology platforms. Prior to Emergent, Dr. Patel led the technical development of oral insulin delivery technology at Ansun Biopharma and cell transplantation therapy for patients with diabetes at MicroIslet Inc. Dr. Patel also serves as a member of the Technical Activities Committee of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) part of Manufacturing USA® which is funded through U.S. Department of Commerce with significant additional support from its members. He also serves ad hoc on a scientific review panel at National Institutes of Health. Dr. Patel received his Ph.D. in Engineering/Nanotechnology and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University specializing in using nanotechnology tools for enzyme and DNA encapsulation and delivery funded by a NASA grant. He has his Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical from Poona University, India.
Alan Stewart has worked as an advisor to Calidi since 2020. Currently, he serves as the Chief Financial Officer at SoundThinking (formerly known as ShotSpotter Inc.). Prior to joining SoundThinking, he served as Managing Director of RA Capital Advisors, LLC, a private investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions, private financings, and restructurings. In addition to his experience in banking and private finance, Alan served as the CEO of FIT Advisors, LLC, a boutique consulting firm that offers temporary CFO services and worked with clients from start-up ventures to large private companies. He currently serves as a Director at Round Feather Inc. and Ravenswood Solutions Inc. and was awarded CFO of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal in both 2007 and 2013. In 2021, Mr. Stewart was one of the Finalists (one of three) as CFO of the Year for Northern California, including San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In 2023, he was selected as one of San Francisco’s Top 25 CFOs and one of the Top 10 Inspiring CFOs (C-Level Focus Magazine). Prior to his business career, Mr. Stewart served over ten years as a submarine nuclear engineer in the United States Navy. He received his B.S. in Oceanography, with distinction, from the U.S. Naval Academy and his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
About Calidi Biotherapeutics:
Calidi Biotherapeutics (NYSE: CLDI) is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company with proprietary technology designed to arm the immune system to fight cancer with a novel stem cell-based therapy delivering a payload to target and kill tumor cells. Calidi Biotherapeutics is advancing a potent allogeneic stem cell capable of carrying an anti-tumor payload for use in multiple oncology indications, including high-grade gliomas and solid tumors. Calidi’s off-the-shelf, universal cell-based delivery platforms are designed to protect, amplify, and potentiate oncolytic viruses leading to enhanced efficacy and improved patient safety. This dual approach can potentially treat, or even prevent, metastatic disease. Calidi Biotherapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.calidibio.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements for purposes of the “safe harbor” provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Terms such as “anticipates,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predicts,” “project,” “should,” “towards,” “would” as well as similar terms, are forward-looking in nature, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Any forward-looking statements contained in this discussion are based on Calidi’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting Calidi will be those that it has anticipated. Any forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond Calidi’s control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Other risks and uncertainties are set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in the Form S-1 registration statement filed with the SEC and dated October 6, 2023