Paul Tan, MB, BS., FRACP – Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Dr Tan has more than 20 years of experience managing and developing human therapeutics including world first cell based therapeutics in diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders, cell encapsulation technologies, intellectual property and product development, clinical trials and regulatory affairs. Dr Tan was the CEO of Living Cell Technologies during the development of the Diabecell product, bringing the world’s first porcine cell based therapeutics to human clinical trials. He also led the team in the research and development of porcine choroid plexus cells, NTCELL, and attained clinical trial regulatory approval for NTCELL in Parkinson’s disease. He has managed teams and projects in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Italy, and Singapore and established corporate partnerships in China and Russia. In 2014, Dr Tan was awarded the NZBIO Janssen Distinguished Biotechnologist of the Year.
Olga Garkavenko, PhD – Founder and Chief Operating Officer. Dr Garkavenko is a visionary, driven, and skilled executive with core strengths in biotechnology R&D, business and market development, strategic planning, alliance building, and regulatory compliance. Dr Garkavenko consults globally on cell and regenerative therapies and hold three patents for inventions related to cell biology and cell cultures. As the Head of Molecular Diagnostics, Regional Director and Vice President of R&D at Living Cell Technologies, she was involved in laboratory operations at LCT. Her expertise was critical to the approval of the microbiology screening and acceptance of LCT’s pigs as a suitable source of tissue for human transplantation. She is recognized as a world expert on the health status of pigs that are certifiable as suitable for xenotransplantation.
Bob Elliott, MD – Founder and Director. Professor Elliott is a pioneer of cellular xenotransplantation. A co-founder at Living Cell Technologies, Prof Elliott developed the Diabecell encapsulated porcine islet product and has conducted the only clinical trials of porcine cellular xenotransplantation in the modern era. He presided over the spin out of Diabecell to a joint venture with a Japanese commercialization partner for further development in the US and Japan. In 1999 he was awarded a CNZM (a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to the community and in 2011 he was awarded the prestigious World Class New Zealander (Life Sciences) award for his many achievements as a serial entrepreneur in life sciences, as a medical educator, and in patient care.