Subscribe to Newsletter

David Backer

CEO, Curate Biosciences

Backer joined Curate Biosciences as CEO to guide the commercial launch of its Curate Cell Processing System for cell therapy starting materials. He has decades of commercial experience in the cell and gene therapy space, most recently as Chief Commercial Officer at Oxford Biomedica, as well as leadership roles at ElevateBio. Backer also founded and led the successful sale of Molecular Medicine BioServices to Sigma-Aldrich's SAFC division, leading to an extensive career at Sigma-Aldrich SAFC and MilliporeSigma.

We asked…

What advice do you have for those new to the cell and gene field?

The use of the technology, and more importantly the manufacturing limitations on scale and cost, have relegated cell and gene therapies primarily to diseases that are rare, ultra-rare, or utilize the body’s own immune cells to fight cancer. These are incredible – but fairly localized – successes, and we are still a long way from having cell and gene therapies that are a standard part of therapeutic regimens. For those patients that suffer from rare diseases, there is finally a potential treatment for diseases that were previously long ignored. The challenge is how to scale.

If you weren’t in the pharma industry, what would you be doing?

Professions in my greater family trended toward being a physician or a teacher. Both are noble fields and I probably would have leaned into one of those areas. I am so grateful, however, that I was at the University of Michigan as an undergrad at the time they were starting a new major for Cellular and Molecular Biology. That set me on my journey into biotech and the ecosphere of product, tools, and service companies that work with pharma and biotech to bring innovative therapeutics to market.

Register to The Medicine Maker

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine