Quell Therapeutics strengthens its Board with the appointments of Dr Dhaval Patel and Sir Robert Lechler and hires Dr Natalie Belmonte as SVP Research & Translation

Published 11 Jun 2020

Quell Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing engineered T regulatory (Treg) cell therapies, today announced the appointments of seasoned industry expert, Dr Dhaval Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer UCB S.A. (Brussels, Belgium), and Senior Clinical Academic, Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Senior Vice President/Provost (Health) and Executive Director of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, to its Board of Directors.

Additionally, the Company announced today, the appointment of Dr Natalie Belmonte as SVP Research & Translation. Dr Belmonte has extensive R&D experience in the fields of Treg cell and Mesenchymal Stem Cell based therapies.

“Both Dhaval and Robert are highly experienced leaders who bring a wealth of drug development and translational immunology expertise to Quell Therapeutics,” said Iain McGill, Chief Executive Officer of Quell Therapeutics. “We have made great progress as we work towards building out a pipeline of cell therapies leveraging our engineered Treg platform. We have already selected our first product candidate targeting tolerance in liver transplantation and Natalie, in her role as SVP Research & Translation, will play a pivotal role in helping us broaden our pipeline in auto-immune and inflammatory disorders.”

“I speak for both myself and Robert when I say how pleased we are to be joining the Board of Quell Therapeutics, said Dhaval Patel. The Company is at an exciting stage in its evolution as it develops CAR-Treg products in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, which could offer patients transformative therapies to resolve chronic diseases.”

Dr Dhaval Patel is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of UCB where he is a member of the UCB Executive Committee and leads the Company’s research organisation with the main goal of bringing scientific innovation to patients. He joined UCB from Novartis, where, over a period of 11 years he led various biomedical research teams in areas of neurology, autoimmunity, transplantation, and inflammation. In 2010, he became the Head of Research for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) Europe. For 12 years prior to crossing into industry, Dhaval made a strong mark in the halls of academia and research, specifically at Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in North Carolina in the US. Dhaval is a medical doctor and holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler is currently Provost and Senior Vice-President (Health) at King’s College London, Executive Director of King’s Health Partners and President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. His clinical and research career have been focused on the pursuit of clinical transplantation tolerance.  Prior to his roles at King’s College London, Robert was Head of the Division of Medicine, Imperial College London, Dean of the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial College, and Professor and Director of Immunology. In 2012 Robert was awarded a Knighthood for Services to Academic Medicine and in 2015 was elected as the President of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. Robert graduated in Medicine at Manchester University and was awarded his PhD by the University of London. He continues to direct a research group in transplantation immunology, with a primary focus on transplantation and immune tolerance.

Dr Natalie Belmonte has over 15 years of experience working in the field of cell therapy in both academic and biotech environment and has extensive experience with the development of Treg cell and Mesenchymal Stem Cell based therapies. Before joining Quell Therapeutics, Nathalie served as Chief Operating Officer at Promethera Biosciences. Prior to that, she served as VP R&D at TxCell developing Treg cell-based therapy for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. She also has experience working with stem cells in a number of academic institutes including the San Raffaele Hospital at the Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (TIGET) in Milan. She holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.