Xsphera Biosciences, a revenue-stage company focused on bridging the translational gap between animal models and human clinical trials for oncology therapeutics.
In collaboration with Dana-Farber, Xsphera has developed a fresh human tumor tissue-based platform that enables the assessment of therapeutic efficacy across various cancer indications and drug modalities. Integrating this ex vivo biology capability with their AI-powered cloud analytics platform, Xsphera can reveal the underlying mechanisms of action and resistance in the tumor microenvironment, providing invaluable insights into human biology and clinical trial strategy.
Stephen Remondi, MBA | CEO, Founder
Stephen Remondi is the Founder and CEO of Xsphera Biosciences. Before founding Xsphera, Steve was the CEO and co-founder of Exa Corporation which developed simulation software for predictive modeling of complex systems in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and oil & gas. The company started out of MIT in 1992, raised $50 million in venture capital, had an IPO on NASDAQ in 2012, and was acquired in 2017.
Additionally, Steve serves as a board member of ZwitterCo, AEYE Health, and Epistemix. He is also an active member of Tufts University’s Board of Advisors, specifically for the School of Engineering and the Derby Entrepreneurship Center.
Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Bentley College. Steve loves being outdoors whenever possible, most likely skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking.
Michael Perricone, PhD | CSO, Co-Founder
Michael Perricone is the Chief Scientific Officer and a Co-Founder of Xsphera Biosciences. Mike has over two decades of biotechnology experience, including executive positions at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi-Genzyme.. He has successfully built and managed research teams in Cambridge MA and at the Imagine Institute in Paris. He has secured funding through grants including a successful SBIR grant, and forged profitable partnerships with over 14 biotech and big pharma companies, was involved in initiating the Translational Medicine program at Sanofi-Genzyme, and a participant in the Biomarker Consortium at the NIH.
Mike holds a B.A. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology from the University of California. He is a prolific inventor with multiple patents and over 21 academic papers published to date. Outside of his professional pursuits, Mike recharges after hours by spending time outdoors by hiking, skiing, boating and spending time relaxing with family and friends.
Amir Aref, PhD | VP Translational Sciences
Amir Aref is the Vice President of Xsphera Biosciences. Amir was part of the Dana-Farber team that made the important discovery that it is possible to culture primary tumors in a novel 3D microfluidic system by digesting them with collagenase and capturing spheroids which are composed of a mixture of tumor and immune cells. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Aref was Leader/Scientist at the Belfer Center of Applied Cancer Science, within the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School where he characterized inhibition of KRAS-driven tumorigenicity by interruption of an autocrine cytokine circuit in lung tumorigenesis, which resulted in starting a new clinical trial at DFCI under the supervision of Dr. David Barbie in 2015.
Amir completed his post-doctoral studies in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT between 2009-2011. His publications include over 8700 citations, with an h-index of 40 and an i10-index of 60.
Kevin Horrigan, MEM | VP Software & Operations
Kevin Horrigan is the Vice President of Software Development and Operations at Xsphera, where he leads the development of the cloud analytics platform. Prior to joining Xsphera, Kevin held leadership roles at Dassault Systèmes and Exa Corporation, where he was responsible for building and deploying high performance cloud computing services for global industrial product development organizations.
Kevin earned his Masters of Engineering Management from Dartmouth College and Tuck School of Business in 2004, as well as a Bachelor of Engineering from Dartmouth College in 2003. In his free time, Kevin loves sailing, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Alyssa Martin, PhD | Director Immunology
Alyssa Martin is the Director of Immunology at Xsphera, where she oversees pre- and post-treatment analytics including phenotyping by flow cytometry and transcriptional profiling, as well as managing the company’s cell therapy projects. Before joining Xsphera in 2019, she spent much of her time as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NIH, researching HIV treatments to eliminate long-term reservoirs that are a barrier to HIV cure and studying the impact of potential HIV vaccine targets within different high risk populations.
Alyssa has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Emory University and PhD in Pharmacology from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has been working in the field for 12 years.Alyssa is passionate about her work and driven by the impact it has on patients. Her professional strengths include mentoring and supporting junior scientists to help them realize their work goals. Dr. Martin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in immunology to the team. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys reading and gardening.
Kazuhito Ishikawa, MsME | VP Sales and Business Development
Kazuhito Ishikawa is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Xsphera with over 30 years of experience in the software and IT industry. Prior to joining Xsphera, he held top management roles at Dassault Systemes and Exa Corporation in sales and business development. He build and lead sales and deep technical teams to support Asia-based customers in deploying predictive modeling simulation software in the product development efforts. With successful launches of new companies in Japan and partnerships formed with clients across Asia, Kazu has been instrumental in driving business growth.
Kazu holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Nagoya University, Japan.In his free time, Kazu is an avid runner who frequently participates in international marathons, which provides him with opportunities to explore different cultures and challenge himself to reach new goals.
Aaron Goldman, PhD | Process Advisor
Aaron Goldman is a deeply engaged advisor to Xsphera’s leadership team and leads the effort tumor histology, biomarker development, and optimization of next-generation therapies within the platform. Aaron is also a faculty member and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School where he leads the Drug Resistance Group. He and his teams have developed new treatments for multiple diseases including breast cancer and glioblastoma multiforme using nanomedicines. His research has been published in high impact journals including Science, Cell and Nature Press. He has also served on numerous scientific advisory boards, including Celularity, Tessellate Therapeutics and Define Therapeutics. Aaron is a board member of Mass General Brigham Gene and Cell Therapy Center.
Outside of his professional career, Aaron enjoys Muay Thai kickboxing and has five fights including one professional bout. He loves traveling and discovering new places, and is also an avid tennis player, runner, and swimmer. He has invested his time outside of the lab into rental properties, so a lot of his free time is spent changing light bulbs and hanging coat racks.
David Barbie, MD | SAB, Principal Founder
Dr. David A. Barbie is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, and Associate Director of the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science.
He obtained an A.B. from Harvard College in 1997 and M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 2002. Dr. Barbie was an HHMI Medical Fellow from 1999-2000 between his 2nd and 3rd years of medical school, working in Dr. Ed Harlow’s lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2005, followed by a year as medical chief resident in 2006. Dr. Barbie was a medical oncology fellow in the Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare program, which he completed in 2008.
Following a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. William Hahn’s lab at the Broad Institute, he received a tenure-track independent investigator position in 2010 at Dana-Farber, and a clinical position within the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology. He has received numerous awards, including young investigator awards from ASCO and ASCI, becoming a key opinion leader in the emerging field of innate antitumor immunity. He promotes a collaborative and open research environment with a diverse group of clinicians and scientists including biologists, biochemists, immunologists, engineers, pathologists and oncologists from around the world.
Cloud Paweletz, PhD | SAB, Principal Founder
Dana Farber Cancer Institute | Head of Research Belfer Center
Dr. Paweletz is head of the Translational Research Laboratory (TRL) of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He joined the Belfer Institute from Merck & Co., Inc., where he most recently served as principle scientist, externalization lead, and proteomics site lead for the Department of Molecular Biomarkers at the Merck Research Laboratory in Boston.
At Merck, Dr. Paweletz successfully built platforms to look at disease biomarkers in body fluids and oversaw research activities spanning the spectrum from early-stage discovery to the clinic. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physiology at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland and a research fellow in the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Paweletz has received multiple awards and honors throughout his career, including a Fellows Award for Research Excellence and a Cancer Research Training Award from the NIH. Dr. Paweletz holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in chemistry from Georgetown University in Washington, DC and a B.S. in chemistry from Baldwin Wallace College. Dr. Paweletz was recently part of a team that is helping to drive the development of mass spectrometric-based diagnosis and protein microarray-based disease detection.
Russell Jenkins, MD, PhD | SAB, Principal Founder
Dr. Jenkins obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Virginia in 2002 and his MD/PhD at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2012. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2014 and his clinical oncology training in the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in 2017.
He conducted his post-doctoral research in David Barbie’s lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he developed a novel platform to study ex vivo response to PD1- blockade using organotypic tumor spheroids. In 2018 he joined the faculty at the MGH Cancer Center in the Center for Melanoma and Center for Cancer Research.
Dr. Jenkins is the inaugural Termeer Early Career Investigator in Systems Pharmacology and a member of the Laboratory for Systems Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. The Jenkins laboratory studies mechanisms of response and resistance to PD-1 blockade with a focus on developing rational combination therapies to overcome resistance to cancer immunotherapy.