A bright commercial future for off-the-shelf NK cell therapy

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2021; 7(5), 395–405


Published: 11 May 2021
Jan Spanholtz, Troels Jordansen, Volker Huppert

Jan Spanholtz is currently CSO of Glycostem Therapeutics, a Dutch biotech company, focused on developing allogeneic cell products for cancer therapy. Jan qualified in medical biology at Radboud UMC in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and developmental stem cell biology at Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. Jan has 20 years of expertise in stem cell research at universities and within biotech companies. Jan has experience of biotechnology scientific research development programs, leading to patent strategies around product and business development. He is author of multiple peer review research articles and inventor of various patent applications and within Glycostem responsible for research programs, patent strategy and early clinical translation, as well as coordinating several R&D collaborations with international partners from academia and biotech businesses.

Troels Jordansen started his career in healthcare at LEO Pharma. After four years with Johnson & Johnson Orthopaedics he was one of the initial Genzyme Europe hires to focus on commercializing Carticel and Epicel in 1996. Over the past 20 years Jordansen has worked for five different cell therapy companies including Dutch IsoTis NV, Australian Clinical Cell Culture Pty Ltd. and British Azellon Ltd. where he was co-founder. His roles have covered sales, marketing and general management; for the past 15 years he has been managing director and/or chairman for private and public listed companies. Jordansen has been part of award-winning management teams that have raised over €175 million in funding. He became Chairman of Glycostem in January 2014 and CEO in July 2016.

Volker Huppert is a graduate bioprocess engineer from RWTH Aachen University. Among his achievements are participation in the set up of a quality system for a medical device/biotechnology company and development of several clinical-level reagents, disposable tubing sets and process software for cell separation and cell culture medical devices. He contributed to both the tubing set and process software development of a leading cell therapy-manufacturing device. Additionally, he managed projects and teams developing cell-manufacturing procedures for hematopoietic stem cells and Natural Killer cells. Volker has published 12 papers in peer reviewed journals over the past 20 years while working for a leading biotechnology company and is co-inventor of 9 patent families, including methods for T cell depletion of hematopoietic stem cell products, NK-cell transduction and NK-cell proliferation.