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Leadership
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Massimiliano Paganelli, MD, PhD​

Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Max is a pediatric transplant hepatologist, head of the Liver Tissue Engineering and Cell Therapy Laboratory at CHU Sainte-Justine and associate professor of pediatrics at the Université de Montréal. He earned his medical degree at the Sapienza University of Rome, and trained in pediatrics in Rome and in pediatric hepatology and transplantology in Naples and in Brussels. Max also has a Ph.D. in hepatology and cell therapy from the Catholic University of Louvain. Expert in cell therapy of liver diseases, he is a Stem Cell Network investigator and a CIHR/FRQS-funded scientist. Driven by the needs of his young patients, Max is seeking better ways to treat liver disease using novel stem cell therapies. Max has been leading Morphocell as president and CEO since 2019.

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Claudia Raggi, MD

Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and member of the BOD

Claudia is an expert in human development and stem cell differentiation. Educated in medicine at the University of Rome La Sapienza and at the Catholic University of Louvain, Claudia has been a full-time basis and translational scientist since 2009. Inventor of Morphocell's iPSC-based platform technology, with unique expertise in preclinical development of cell therapy products and cell manufacturing, Claudia built and leads the Company's passionate team of engineers and scientists that is bringing its engineered tissues to the clinic.

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Panos Chrysanthopoulos, PhD

Chief Development Officer

 

Panos is an accomplished leader in Cell Therapeutic Product Development, with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Queensland. With an extensive research background in Systems Biology dating back to 2005, he brings a deep understanding of advanced technologies to the forefront of therapeutic innovation. His expertise lies in the development of cutting-edge cell and gene therapies, translating early-stage discoveries into clinically relevant manufacturing processes and analytics. With a strong focus on Systems Biology and Quality by Design (QbD) principles, he has successfully built robust CMC strategies for comprehensive PSC-derived and CAR-T cell therapies. Panos leads the Company's product development efforts and oversees Technical Operations, ensuring a scalable and sustainable product pipeline.

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Calley Hirsch, PhD

Vice President Preclinical Development

 

Holding 18+ years of international experience, Calley is a specialist in cell and gene therapy development with a Ph.D. and Postdoctoral training in cellular reprogramming and stem cell biology. Built on this foundation, she has advanced numerous stem cell-derived and primary cell therapies to the clinic during her appointments at CCRM, BlueRock Therapeutics, and Artisan Bio. Calley has cemented herself as an expert in the translation of cell therapy product concepts to clinical products, having built and led world-class process development and translation sciences programs and teams. Driven by her learnings and passion for innovation, Calley is highly committed to developing next generation products and strategies that address unmet clinical need and streamline product access to the clinic and beyond.

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Patrick Bedford, BHSc, MBHL, RAC

Vice President Regulatory Affairs

 

Patrick is a regulatory expert with 18+ years of cell & gene therapy clinical translation experience. He holds a Health Sciences degree from the University of Western Ontario, a Master’s of Bioethics and Health Law from Otago University, and an MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute.  Patrick previously led Health Canada’s regulatory initiatives for biosimilars, transplant materials, and cell & gene therapies, and has continued to be actively involved in North American policy development while supporting dozens of cell & gene therapy companies at the preclinical, clinical, and commercial stages of development.  An active contributor to the cell & gene therapy ecosystem, Patrick is well known for lecturing at multiple Universities, mentoring many early-stage companies, and regularly supporting Canada’s cell & gene therapy ecosystem. Patrick lead’s the Company’s strategies for efficiently navigating regulatory requirements throughout development.

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Marc Courtois, MBA

Member of the BOD

 

Marc was an investment banker for over 20 years at what is now RBC Capital Markets. He was responsible for the coverage of the firm’s largest clients in Quebec notably Quebecor, BCE and Air Canada. Some notable transactions that he was responsible for are the IPOs of Air Canada , Bell Canada International and Quebecor World, the joint acquisition of control of Continental Airlines by Air Canada and TPG Capital, the sale of Montreal Trust by BCE, the sale of control of Donohue by Quebecor, the acquisition of World Color by Quebecor World and the acquisition of Videotron by Quebecor. Since leaving RBC Capital Markets, Marc has been involved in Board work. He is a past Chairman of Canada Post, NAV Canada, Aireon and the Pembroke American Growth Fund and a past director of Groupe TVA and Ovivo. He is also a past chairman of the Montreal Children’s Foundation and a former director of the MUHC and the MUHC Foundation. 

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Didier Leconte, MBA

Independent Member of the BOD

 

Didier is an experienced leader in the fields of biotechnology and life sciences. He holds an Engineering Degree from the Sorbonne University, in France, and an MBA in Technology Management from the UQAM. Over the years, Didier has been instrumental in shaping Quebec’s aggressive strategy in support of life sciences. He has been Vice-President of Investments in Life Sciences at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Vice-President of Investments in Life Sciences and Technology at Investissement Québec, where he played a crucial role in fostering innovation and investment in healthcare technologies​​. He held various board positions for many successful institutions and companies at different stages of development, including his involvement with adMare BioInnovations, Valeo Pharma, JAMP Pharma, Congruence Tx, DalCor Pharma, Axelys, Montreal InVivo and BioQuebec. 

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