BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia Launches Free Science Insights series with “Insights into Immuno-Oncology: Fighting Cancer from Within” Event, Wednesday October 10th, from 4 to 6:30 pm

Free and open to the public, the expert panel includes: Matthew Cohen, Ph.D., principal at Osage University Partners; Kenneth Hance, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior director & head of immune biology in the Immuno-Oncology & Combinations Discovery Performance unit at GlaxoSmithKline; Peter Melley, M.S., J.D., director of new ventures at University City Science Center (moderator); Dora Mitchell, Ph.D., vice president, operations at Carisma Therapeutics

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia will launch its Science Insights series at the new QUORUM Center with Insights into Immuno-Oncology: Fighting Cancer from Within. Free, and open to the public, learn how immunotherapy — or harnessing the body’s immune system to eliminate or slow the spread of disease — has the potential to upend conventional approaches for treating patients. Early clinical results show improved outcomes and survival rates for people with some types of cancers, leading to hopes that new drugs, working in concert with the immune system, may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy as the default treatment for certain cancers. 

The event takes place October 10th from 4 to 6:30 pm. QUORUM is located in uCity Square, 3675 Market Street, in Philadelphia. Space is limited, so preregister by visiting the BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia’s news + events page on the BioLabs website. 

Each expert panel member will give an insider perspective on the therapies and technologies now emerging from research labs, and how this will shape the practice of immuno-oncology in the future. Featured speakers include: 

  • Matthew Cohen, Ph.D., Principal at Osage University Partners — Matt Cohen joined Osage in 2013. Osage is a venture capital fund that invests exclusively in startups that are commercializing university research. Prior to joining Osage, Dr. Cohen was a strategy consultant with L.E.K. Consulting serving clients in biopharma, diagnostics, research tools, healthcare, and private equity. Engagements included strategy development, market assessment, commercialization support, portfolio development, acquisition target identification, and diligence / transaction support. As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, Cohen conducted research on the antibody response to a novel protein-based poxvirus vaccine and advised several startups while working with the Penn Biotech Group. He holds a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from The University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from The Pennsylvania State University
  • Kenneth Hance, Ph.D, M.P.H., Director of Antibody Therapies in the Immuno-Oncology and Combinations Discovery Performance unit at GlaxoSmithKline — Ken Hance has worked in the field of cancer immunology and has delivered critical path biology discoveries to support a growing portfolio of immune-based therapies at GSK Oncology, including monoclonal and bispecific antibodies. Dr. Hance also has a joint appointment as a visiting scientist at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. Prior to joining GSK, Dr. Hance worked in the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA where he contributed to the development of the recently approved anti-PD-L1 antibody (Bavencio (Avelumab)) and the clinical stage anti-PD-L1/TGF-βRII bispecific antibody (M7824). Dr. Hance was a postdoc in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute
  • Peter Melley, M.S., J.D., Director of New Ventures at the University City Science Center (Moderator for the panel) — Peter Melley manages the Science Center’s QED proof-of-concept program, “Phase 1 Ventures” as well as its accompanying investment portfolios. Mr. Melley directs funding and business guidance to principal investigators and emerging-stage entrepreneurs who are developing high-potential medical technologies. The primary objectives include: 1) accelerating technology transfer; and, 2) enhancing the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Greater Philadelphia region. Mr. Melley received both a JD degree and MS degree in biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from American University
  • Dora Mitchell, Ph.D., Vice President of Operations at Carisma Therapeutics — Dora Mitchell enjoys wearing many hats at this young biopharmaceutical company, which is focused on immunotherapies to target solid tumors. Prior to joining Carisma, she managed the therapeutics and diagnostics company portfolio at PCI Ventures at the University of Pennsylvania and the UPstart Company Incubator. In that role, she led the launch, funding, and growth of several businesses, including CytoVas LLC, LignaMed LLC, Quantitative Radiology Solutions LLC, Linnaeus Therapeutics Inc. and others. Previously, Dr. Mitchell was a member of the Health and Life Sciences team at Battelle Ventures, LP, an early-stage investor in technology companies. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University

Following the program, Melina Blees, Ph.D., site director for BioLabs@CIC, will be available to answer questions and to conduct tours of the BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia shared wet-lab workspace. BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia is designed as a launchpad for up to 75 of Philly’s most promising startups comprising about 150 scientists and entrepreneurs. Admission is through a competitive committee review process and applications are accepted on a continuing basis. Visit to learn more and apply.  

Melina Blees, Ph.D., BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia Site Director — Melina Blees brings an extraordinary mix of talents to her role as site director for BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia. She has a keen understanding of science, innovation, and what it takes to get cross-functional teams of academics and entrepreneurs working together to inspire, iterate, and problem-solve. Dr. Blees received her master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from Cornell University, a postdoc at University of Chicago, and has worked with scientific startups in a variety of settings. Most recently, she was the director of innovation at Skyscraper, a global innovation consulting firm, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

About BioLabs ( twitter: @BioLabsHQ) 

A membership-based network of shared laboratory facilities located in key geographies with proven biotech innovation clusters, BioLabs offers beautifully designed coworking environments that pair fully equipped and supported lab, office, and event spaces with relevant programming and unparalleled access to capital and industry partners. These fertile, supportive ecosystems allow young companies to shift their focus from startup operations to experimentation and innovation so they can reach their scientific potential quickly and achieve business success. Companies can start with a single lab bench and scale up as they grow. The expanding BioLabs network now comprises sites in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts; Durham, North Carolina; San Diego and San Francisco, California; New York City, and Princeton, New Jersey; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and is developing sites with international partners as well. 

About CIC ( twitter: @CICPhilly)

Entrepreneurs have the power to make the world a better place…and by helping them succeed, so do we. Since 1999, CIC has provided space, resources, connections and support to the world’s most promising innovators. In return, our clients have created jobs, spurred economic growth, improved communities, and solved some of the toughest challenges facing our world.

About Science Center (  twitter: @UCScienceCenter)

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond.


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