ABOUT US

Our Mission

Turnstone Biologics’ mission is to deliver breakthrough viral immunotherapies to improve survival for patients with cancer.

Turnstone Biologics is a privately-held immuno-oncology company based in Ottawa, Ontario. Since 2015, we have raised $50 million in venture capital financing, brought in more than $100 million in non-dilutive funding, and have received numerous biotechnology industry awards, including being named a 2017 Fierce 15 company.

 

Our scientific founders, Drs. John Bell, David Stojdl and Brian Lichty, are world leaders in the oncolytic virus and immunotherapy field. Collectively, they have published more than 200 publications in leading journals, and have spent years engineering and developing viruses to create the next generation of powerful, targeted therapies for cancer patients.

 

Our passionate team of leaders in oncology has decades of experience in biotechnology, academia and pharmaceutical drug development. With comprehensive capabilities in immuno-oncology discovery, basic research, translation, clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization, we are committed to bringing new medicines to people with cancer to improve their lives.

 

our science

Breakthrough Viral Immunotherapies

Turnstone Biologics is the sole company developing viral immunotherapies that drive benefit through simultaneous generation of targeted immune responses and modulation of the tumor environment.

The Maraba Virus

Turnstone Biologics’ founders screened hundreds of viruses before discovering that Maraba, a single-stranded RNA virus isolated from sand flies around the Maraba region of Brazil, was an optimal platform for cancer therapeutics. Maraba was engineered to MG1 to optimize its safety, selectivity, manufacturability and potency to kill tumor cells, and transgene capacity was added for targeted expression of tumor-associated antigens and immunomodulatory agents.

MG1: The First 2-In-1 Approach

Our engineered oncolytic Maraba virus, known as MG1, is the first therapeutic 2-in-1 approach to combine an oncolytic virus and an antigen-specific cancer vaccine. With its unprecedented dual-mechanism driving robust killer T cell responses and disrupting the tumor microenvironment, MG1 kills cancer cells at metastatic sites throughout the body, and generates a durable immune response resulting in long-term memory to prevent recurrence.

our pipeline

Driven by Science and Innovation

At Turnstone Biologics, we are science-driven: science informs our research, clinical development and approach for patients. We have developed a robust pipeline of new medicines for multiple solid tumors.

Our first program is an engineered Maraba virus (MG1) that expresses the tumor-associated antigen MAGEA3, which is highly expressed on many different types of solid tumors. We are evaluating this therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer and esophageal cancer in two clinical trials – alone and in combination with the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda™. We expect to begin human studies with our second MG1 therapy for patients with human papillomavirus (HPV) positive tumors in 2018, and have multiple other viral immunotherapies in development.

 

Program Pipeline

For more information about the MAGEA3 monotherapy trial click here and the MAGEA3 and anti-PD-1 combination trial click here.

our team

Leadership

Turnstone Biologics was founded by world-leading experts in oncolytic viruses and immunotherapies who have defined and advanced the field over the course of multiple decades. Our leadership team includes experts from academia and the life sciences industry who share the vision of bringing innovative viral immunotherapies based on our unique oncolytic Maraba virus platform to patients.

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Sammy Farah, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Sammy Farah, Ph.D., M.B.A.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Sammy Farah has extensive vaccine expertise and almost 20 years of scientific, business and executive management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Turnstone Biologics from Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc., where he served as President. Prior to that, he was Chief Business Officer of Immune Design Corp. And before then, Sammy was at Versant Ventures where he specialized in biotechnology investing and new company formation, and at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led technology support for multiple commercial vaccine franchises before joining the business development and licensing group to evaluate and execute new external technology and research partnerships. Dr. Farah earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in biochemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Mike Burgess, MBChB, Ph.D.

Mike Burgess, MBChB, Ph.D.

President of R&D

Dr. Mike Burgess brings 20 years of drug research and development experience to Turnstone Biologics. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, he led strategy and execution of translational medicine, early-stage clinical trials and clinical pharmacology across all therapeutic areas, including oncology. Prior to this at Roche, Mike held several different senior leadership positions, including acting global head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) and Senior Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Research and Early Development. Before joining Roche, Mike spent 7 years at Lilly working on early stage oncology trials. Mike received his medical degree (MBChB) and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Bristol, UK and spent 10 years as a practicing physician in pediatrics and pediatric oncology.

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Jane Pritchett Henderson

Jane Pritchett Henderson

Chief Financial Officer

Jane Pritchett Henderson brings nearly 30 years of experience in health care and life sciences to her new role as Chief Financial Officer of Turnstone. Previously, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development of Voyager Therapeutics since January 2017. Prior to Voyager, Ms. Henderson served as Chief Financial and Business Officer of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., having joined the privately held biopharmaceutical company in early 2013 and leading the sale of Kolltan to Celldex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in late 2016. Prior to Kolltan, Ms. Henderson served in various financial and business development leadership roles at ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Axerion Pharmaceuticals and Panacos Pharmaceuticals. In her more than 19 years in healthcare investment banking, Ms. Henderson executed more than 95 mergers and acquisitions, advisory and financing deals, holding senior roles at HSBC Holdings plc, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers. Ms. Henderson currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sesen Bio (formerly Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc.) and Ophthotech as well as a non-profit foundation, The EQUUS Foundation.

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José Manuel Otero, Ph.D.

José Manuel Otero, Ph.D.

SVP of Technical Operations

Dr. José Manuel (Manny) Otero has 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including in bioprocess development, manufacturing, and CMC of vaccines and complex biologics. He joined Turnstone Biologics from Seres Therapeutics, Inc., a leader in human microbiome therapeutics, where he was Vice President of Bioprocess Development and Manufacturing. At Seres Therapeutics, Dr. Otero oversaw the expansion of the bioprocess development and manufacturing group, and was the corporate team leader for the first synthetic microbiome therapeutic to enter Phase 1b clinical studies in the United States. Prior to that, Dr. Otero was Director of Engineering at Merck & Co.’s Vaccine Manufacturing Sciences & Commercialization division. In that role, he supported development programs for the Varivax™, Zostavax™, ProQuad™, and MMRII™ franchises. Prior to that role, he was Head of Fermentation Process Development, Vaccine Process Development within Merck Research Labs. Dr. Otero has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. He earned a Ph.D. in chemical and biological engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and an M.Eng. in biomedical engineering and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Kristin Gustafson

Kristin Gustafson

SVP of HR and Facilities

Kristin Gustafson brings with her more than 18 years of Human Resources experience specific to the biotech and pharmaceutical sector to Turnstone. Prior to joining Turnstone, Ms. Gustafson was with Kite Pharma, a Gilead company, where she led the global Human Resource and Facilities function during a time of explosive growth and the approval of Yescarta, the first CAR-T adult immunotherapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to Kite, she spent four years at Intercept Pharmaceuticals and served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources and Facilities and also served in leadership roles at Cochlear and MGI Pharma.  Kristin attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Steve Bernstein (M.D.)

Steve Bernstein (M.D.)

SVP of Clinical Research and Development

Steven Bernstein, M.D., has more than 20 years of experience as a treating physician, translational scientist and pharmaceutical executive.  Prior to joining Turnstone, Dr. Bernstein served as Chair, Immuno-Oncology Translational Research and Development, and Head, Integrated Science, at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to BMS, he was as an academic physician scientist most recently at the University of Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute, where he was Professor of Medicine, Co-Director of the Hematological Malignancy and Lymphoma Biology Programs and Co-PI of the University of Rochester/Arizona Cancer Center NCI SPORE grant in lymphoma. Dr. Bernstein was a member of the Lymphoma Working Group of SWOG, and the Scientific Advisory Boards of both the Lymphoma Research Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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Kris Elverum, M.B.A.

Kris Elverum, M.B.A.

SVP of Corporate Development

Kris Elverum has more than 14 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, with expertise in corporate strategy, business development, commercial and operations. He joined Turnstone Biologics from SQZ Biotech, a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company developing cell therapies, where he was Chief Business Officer. Prior to that, he led the U.S. commercial model for CTL019, Novartis’ breakthrough CAR-T cell therapy, and other CAR-T cell immunotherapies. Earlier in his career, he held various commercial roles for Novartis Pharmaceuticals and served as Global Head of Strategy for Sandoz. Before that, he was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Co. where he served clients across the healthcare value chain. Kris earned an M.B.A. and a B.S. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

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Brian Lichty, Ph.D.

Brian Lichty, Ph.D.

SVP, Basic Research

Dr. Brian Lichty is a distinguished scientist with extensive expertise in oncolytic viruses and related immunotherapies, including seminal work with Dr. John Bell at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre. He is a professor in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine and the McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) at McMaster University. Dr. Lichty’s expertise includes influence research in the identification of strategies to leverage oncolytic viruses to harness the patient’s immune system in a sustainable manner, including vaccine design and engineering to directly engage the adaptive immune system tumor-specific and/or to enhance combinations with other immunotherapies. He is also director of the Robert E. Fitzhenry vector lab at McMaster University where clinical-grade viral vaccines are manufactured for human clinical trials. Dr. Lichty earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph.

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David Stojdl (Ph.D.)

David Stojdl (Ph.D.)

SVP of Discovery Research

Dr. David Stojdl pioneered the exploration of host-virus interactions critical to oncolytic therapy to guide the clinical development of more effective virus platforms. At the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, he first identified VSV as an oncolytic virus and defined the archetypal role of interferon signaling in tumor-specific oncolytic virus targeting. Since joining the CHEO Research Institute in 2004, Dr. Stojdl has discovered and developed several novel oncolytic vector platforms, including the Maraba oncolytic virus platform. Dr. Stojdl also directs the CHEO Automated Screening Centre (CASC), leveraging state-of-the-art high-throughput robotic screening technology to uncover new insights for the clinical development of oncolytic virus biotherapies. Dr. Stojdl is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa. He was a scientific co-founder and consultant to Jennerex Biotherapeutics (later acquired by SillaJen Biotherapeutics). He received a Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa and an M.S. and B.S. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Western Ontario.

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Caroline Breitbach, Ph.D.

Caroline Breitbach, Ph.D.

Vice President, Translational Development

Dr. Caroline Breitbach joined Turnstone Biologics from SillaJen Biotherapeutics (formerly Jennerex) where she was Vice President, Clinical and Translational Research. In that position, she oversaw translational and early-stage clinical development of an oncolytic immunotherapy and contributed to lead candidate development from Phase 1 through initiation of Phase 3 evaluation. Previously, she worked in Dr. John Bell’s group at the University of Ottawa, where she evaluated acute effects of oncolytic viruses on the tumor immune microenvironment. She earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa and an Honor’s B.Sc. in microbiology and immunology from McGill University.

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Maura Campbell, Ph.D.

Maura Campbell, Ph.D.

Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Dr. Maura Campbell has spent more than 20 years in technology transfer and the management and commercialization of intellectual property (IP). She has business management experience in all key sectors of biotech, including private and public companies, universities and research institutes, and government-funded public sector research organizations (National Centre of Excellence [NCE]). Maura joined Turnstone Biologics from VBI Vaccines where she served as Director, Intellectual Property. She also was with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) as a Senior Research Program Manager, where she oversaw the oncolytic vaccine project commercialization. Earlier in her career, Maura was the Director of Intellectual Property for PainCeptor Pharma Corporation, the Manager of Technology Transfer & Commercialization for the OHRI, and the Manager of Technology Transfer at the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at NCE. She has served as an IP consultant to a number of Canadian start-ups including Neurochem, Conjuchem, Aonix, AMRIC and Sussex Research Labs. Maura received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa, and an M.Sc. and a B.Sc. in biochemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston.

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Karen Major

Karen Major

VP of Regulatory

Karen Major has 18 years of Regulatory Affairs experience, specializing in the global development of biotechnological oncology products.  Prior to joining Turnstone, she was Sr. Director Regulatory Affairs at Arbutus Biopharma, focusing on chronic HBV. Prior to that, she held the same position at Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, developing siRNA-LNP products in oncology, infectious disease and metabolic indications. Karen led the Regulatory Affairs departments at YM BioSciences (acquired by Gilead in 2013) and Viventia Biotechnologies. Karen holds an honors BSc in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Toronto, a post-graduate diploma in Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations from Seneca College, and a Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) from RAPS.

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Adina Pelusio

Adina Pelusio

VP of Clinical Operations

Adina Pelusio has more than 15 years of experience in drug development, most recently as the Vice President, Clinical Operations at SillaJen Biotherapeutics (formerly Jennerex, Inc), where she spent a decade advancing oncolytic viruses in clinical trials. In addition to overseeing the Clinical Operations department at SillaJen, she managed and pioneered the medical educator role to expand hospital personnel comfort and knowledge globally with oncolytic viruses. Prior to Jennerex, Ms. Pelusio served as a SWAT Senior Clinical Research Associate at PPD, a large, global CRO, where she was tasked with study rescue and served on a technology committee assigned with developing training for CRAs and project teams on new technologies within the field.

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John Bell, Ph.D.

John Bell, Ph.D.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. John Bell began his independent research career at McGill University before moving to the University of Ottawa and becoming a professor in the Department of Medicine. He is a member of the Center for Innovative Cancer Therapeutics at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He heads the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, a Terry Fox-funded group from across Canada that is developing virus-based cancer therapeutics, and is the Director of the Biotherapeutics Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. John is the Scientific Director of the National Centre of Excellence for the development of Biotherapeutics for Cancer Therapy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Bell received a Ph.D. from McMaster University and then trained at the Medical Research Council in London, U.K.

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Brian Lichty, Ph.D.

Brian Lichty, Ph.D.

McMaster University

Dr. Brian Lichty is a distinguished scientist with extensive expertise in oncolytic viruses and related immunotherapies, including seminal work with Dr. John Bell at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre. He is a professor in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine and the McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) at McMaster University. Dr. Lichty’s expertise includes influence research in the identification of strategies to leverage oncolytic viruses to harness the patient’s immune system in a sustainable manner, including vaccine design and engineering to directly engage the adaptive immune system tumor-specific and/or to enhance combinations with other immunotherapies. He is also director of the Robert E. Fitzhenry vector lab at McMaster University where clinical-grade viral vaccines are manufactured for human clinical trials. Dr. Lichty earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph.

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David Stojdl, Ph.D.

David Stojdl, Ph.D.

University of Ottawa

Dr. David Stojdl pioneered the exploration of host-virus interactions critical to oncolytic therapy to guide the clinical development of more effective virus platforms. At the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, he first identified VSV as an oncolytic virus and defined the archetypal role of interferon signaling in tumor-specific oncolytic virus targeting. Since joining the CHEO Research Institute in 2004, Dr. Stojdl has discovered and developed several novel oncolytic vector platforms, including the Maraba oncolytic virus platform. Dr. Stojdl also directs the CHEO Automated Screening Centre (CASC), leveraging state-of-the-art high-throughput robotic screening technology to uncover new insights for the clinical development of oncolytic virus biotherapies. Dr. Stojdl is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa. He was a scientific co-founder and consultant to Jennerex Biotherapeutics (later acquired by SillaJen Biotherapeutics). He received a Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa and an M.S. and B.S. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Western Ontario.

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Brad Bolzon, Ph.D.

Brad Bolzon, Ph.D.


Dr. Brad Bolzon is a Managing Director at Versant Ventures and on the biotech investment team. He has more than 13 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience. He specializes in early-stage biotech investing with a particular emphasis on new company start-ups. Prior to joining Versant, Brad served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances for F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Under his leadership, Roche established alliances with more than 75 biotech companies worldwide and significantly strengthened its product pipeline. Previously, Brad held executive roles at Eli Lilly in drug discovery, clinical research, regulatory affairs, and business development.

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Jerel Davis, Ph.D.

Jerel Davis, Ph.D.


Dr. Jerel Davis is a Managing Director at Versant Ventures and is based in Vancouver. Since joining Versant in 2011, he has played a critical role in launching and investing in a number of Versant’s portfolio companies including Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Crispr Therapeutics, Blueline Bioscience, Northern Biologics and several of the Inception Sciences discovery start-ups. He has also led Versant’s execution of build-to-buy structured acquisitions with Celgene, Roche and Bayer. Over the last few years, Jerel has focused on establishing Versant’s presence in Canada, including the launch of new companies in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Prior to joining Versant, Jerel was Associate Principal at McKinsey and Company where he advised pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and molecular diagnostics companies. He has worked in a number of healthcare markets globally including the United States, Europe, China, Russia and India. Jerel was a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University and worked in research at Amgen.

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Rishi Gupta, J.D.

Rishi Gupta, J.D.


Rishi Gupta is a private equity partner at OrbiMed. Prior to that, he was a healthcare investment banker at Raymond James & Associates, served as manager of corporate development at Veritas Medicine and was a summer associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Rishi has published scientific articles on the mechanisms of HIV entry into host cells and legal articles on intellectual property laws in the developing world. In addition to Turnstone Biologics, he serves or has served on the boards of Dimension Therapeutics, Symbiomix Therapeutics, Avitide, Verona Pharma, ChemoCentryx and Sientra. He has also been actively involved with OrbiMed’s investments in Acceleron Pharma, CoGenesys, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Adimab, Receptos, Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Alector, Arsanis, Biotie, Invitae and ORIC Pharmaceuticals. Rishi earned a J.D. from the Yale Law School and an A.B. degree magna cum laude in biochemical sciences from Harvard College.

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Ben Auspitz

Ben Auspitz


Ben Auspitz is a Partner at F-Prime Capital and has worked in the pharmaceutical and life science industry for more than 20 years, both as a consultant and investor. Before joining F-Prime Capital, he served as Therapeutic Area Head for immuno-inflammatory products at CombinatoRx Inc. during its growth from an angel-backed start-up to a publicly-listed company. In that role, he oversaw the advancement of seven programs from assay stage into Phase 2 clinical studies, and was co-inventor on 15 product patents. Ben focuses on therapeutics and has a particular interest in Series A and company formation — including first venture investments in Ultragenyx, REGENX Biosciences, Symbiomix Therapeutics, Precision Biosciences, Unum Therapeutics, and two companies for which he was a company founder, Orchard Therapeutics and Dimension Therapeutics. He currently serves on the board of directors of Unum Therapeutics, Precision Biosciences, Orchard Therapeutics, Symbiomix Pharmaceuticals and Compass Therapeutics. Previously, Ben was involved in F-Prime Capital investments in Bikam Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Takeda), Respivert (acquired by Johnson and Johnson), Blueprint Medicine (NASDAQ: BPMC), Coherus Biosciences (NASDAQ: CHRS), REGENXBio (NASDAQ: RGNX), Dimension Therapeutics (NASDAQ:DMTX), and Ultragenyx (NASDAQ: RARE). He received a B.A. from Harvard University.

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David O’Neill, Ph.D.

David O’Neill, Ph.D.


David O’Neill brings extensive experience in Pharma and biotech to his role as Acting President of FACIT.  FACIT is the commercialization partner of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and an active seed stage investor.  Dr. O’Neill has a wealth of networks and transaction experience through various business development roles at AstraZeneca, Ambit Biosciences (Daiichi Sankyo), Kinomescan (Discoverx/Eurofins), Fluorinov Pharma (Trillium Therapeutics).  He also held operational roles including non-clinical safety, IND submission and Project Leader during clinical development of Quizartinib.  He has provided interim executive management to FACIT spin outs Turnstone, Propellon and Novera Therapeutics. In addition to serving on the Board of Turnstone, he is also a Board Observer for Fusion Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. O’Neill holds a Ph.D from Western University from the Faculty of Health Sciences with an emphasis on heat shock protein biology.

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Sammy Farah, Ph.D. M.B.A.

Sammy Farah, Ph.D. M.B.A.


Dr. Sammy Farah has extensive vaccine expertise and almost 20 years of scientific, business and executive management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Turnstone Biologics from Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc., where he served as President. Prior to that, he was Chief Business Officer of Immune Design Corp. And before then, Sammy was at Versant Ventures where he specialized in biotechnology investing and new company formation, and at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led technology support for multiple commercial vaccine franchises before joining the business development and licensing group to evaluate and execute new external technology and research partnerships. Dr. Farah earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in biochemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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John Bell, Ph.D.

John Bell, Ph.D.


Dr. John Bell began his independent research career at McGill University before moving to the University of Ottawa and becoming a professor in the Department of Medicine. He is a member of the Center for Innovative Cancer Therapeutics at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He heads the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, a Terry Fox-funded group from across Canada that is developing virus-based cancer therapeutics, and is the Director of the Biotherapeutics Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. John is the Scientific Director of the National Centre of Excellence for the development of Biotherapeutics for Cancer Therapy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Bell received a Ph.D. from McMaster University and then trained at the Medical Research Council in London, U.K.

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Jeff Courtney

Jeff Courtney

In Memoriam

Jeff Courtney helped to form Turnstone Biologics and was an outstanding leader for FACIT (Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust). Jeff’s life’s work and warm personality inspires all of us at Turnstone Biologics to drive forward our mission to help cancer patients, and we greatly miss his presence, leadership and friendship.

We are backed by top-tier investors who are committed to the company’s growth. We have raised approximately $50 million in venture capital financing since our inception.

Turnstone Biologics views strategic partnerships as a core component of our strategy and is interested in collaborating with biopharma companies, academic centers, and universities to transform patient care.

In the fall of 2017, Turnstone Biologics entered into a strategic research, option and license agreement with AbbVie for our Ad-MG1-MAGEA3 therapy and two research-stage candidates that are presently in development.

Careers

Turnstone Biologics’ team works with a sense of urgency to fulfill our mission. Our decision-making is driven by science and our therapeutics are designed with the patient in mind.

We value transparency, innovation, integrity and purpose as we collaborate to transform cancer care. If you’re a passionate person, and our mission and science excite you, Turnstone Biologics might be for you.

Team Member Openings

Turnstone Biologics is dedicated to excellence and innovation in every aspect of our science and business. We are actively looking for exceptional individuals who share our passion for developing and delivering next-generation viral immunotherapies. We offer competitive compensation and benefits and are an equal opportunity employer.

Position Overview:

Reporting to a Group Leader/Sr. Scientist in Ottawa, the position of Research Technician is responsible for supporting the testing of novel oncolytic vaccine constructs to contribute to Turnstone Biologics growing pre-clinical pipeline.

Our company’s technology is based around replicating oncolytic virus vaccines engineered to target tumours and launch massive tumour targeting immune responses.  The core of this technology lies in the designing and building of these genetically constructed viruses.  Your role will be to join a team of immunologists and molecular biologists who engineer and test these nanomedicines for preclinical and clinical development.  There will be additional opportunities to work with our CMC team and other R&D members to continually refine the technology and manufacturing process for this class defining technology. If you have experience with manual, or robotic automation of, cell based and biochemical assays including ELISA, ELISpot assay, PCR and/or mammalian cell culture, are meticulous and driven to achieve; then this opportunity may be just what you are looking for.

The Research Technician will work along side senior researchers and project teams and participate in designing and executing cell-based immunology and virology assay following established laboratory standard operating procedures (SOPs).  The incumbent is expected to prepare data/figures to report directly to senior research staff in support of multiple projects. Additional responsibilities will include inventory management; organize freezers; routine maintenance; calibration and troubleshooting on laboratory equipment.  We have an open, transparent and dynamic culture that embraces scientific excellence, integrity, urgency, partnerships with key stakeholders and continuous learning/improvements.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • MSc, BSc or community college diploma plus 2-3 years’ experience in an academic or industrial laboratory or combination of education and experience.
  • Expert in mammalian cell-based and biochemical experimentation
  • Must have good analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Robotic automation experience preferable
  • Self-starter with a strong work ethic and attention to detail
  • Knowledge and experience with standard software (e.g. LIMS, Microsoft Office Suite, Graphpad Prism)
  • Knowledge and commitment of Occupational Health and Safety Procedures in a laboratory.

 To Apply:

Please forward applications via email only to hr@turnstonebio.com including a cover letter and resume. In the e-mail subject line, please indicate the position title RESEARCH TECHNICIAN-Molecular Biology.

Turnstone Biologics welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.  We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected will be invited for an interview.

Turnstone Biologics Inc. is the leading virus-based immunoncology biotechnology company developing novel oncolytic vaccine therapeutics for cancer patients. Our first-in-class platform technology attacks tumours using a two-pronged approach: targeted and robust tumour killing using an oncolytic virus, in combination with a cancer vaccine that generates long-lasting anti-tumour immune responses. Turnstone is building a world-class, high-performing team that embraces being a learning organization with a sense of urgency. Turnstone has a seasoned board of directors and venture capital partners, is enrolling clinical studies, has a rich development portfolio, and highly active R&D efforts led by a world-class scientific management team. Turnstone is co-located in Ottawa, Canada and New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.turnstonebio.com or email info@turnstonebio.com.

How do you know if you’re the right fit?

Imagine coming to work every day where over-communication, transparency, teaching, listening, asking, thinking, working hard, and having fun are normal – actually, expected? Imagine having a coach, mentor, peers, and partners where candid feedback, self-improvement, risk taking, failing, learning from that failing, and succeeding are what we call ‘another Thursday at Turnstone’? At Turnstone, the science drives decision making, and our drugs are designed with the patient in mind. Like the disease we’re fighting, our platform is complex, and transformative. If you’re a passionate person, and our science excites you – this opportunity may be for you.

If you are interested in being a part of a growing Research and Development team, then this role may be for you! Your role will be to work directly with the President of R&D and the SVP of Research and drive programs from research through to the filing of INDs or other regulatory submissions.  Oversee the design and execution of relevant preclinical experimental models, knowledge and experience of the design of toxicology and pharmacology experiments for regulatory purposes and leadership of a multidisciplinary team.  You will have experience working with some or all the following, as they relate to the Group Leader duties:

  • Lead discovery research projects through to candidate selection and IND enabling studies
  • Lead a cross-disciplinary, drug discovery project team; integrating and evaluating the work of multiple functions
  • Ensures that all preclinical development activities are conducted in line with the appropriate quality and regulatory standards and guidelines (e.g., FDA, CHMP, WHO, GLP, etc).
  • Develops and executes an overall Pharm/Tox strategy for the nonclinical development plans in support of all stages of drug development
  • Oversees and leads all Pharm/Tox activities from in vitro to in vivo studies supporting first in human (FIH) evaluation and throughout the development process, including study proposals, protocols, reports, and regulatory documents.
  • Selects and manages vendors, leads interactions and collaborations with internal stakeholders and external vendors and/or collaborators
  • Ensures effective communication is maintained on preclinical project status both internally and externally
  • Accountable for the overall leadership and effectiveness of the team
  • Accountable for the delivery of an integrated development plan with an approved scope, timeline, budget and resources
  • Accountable for the quality of the project deliverables
  • Builds team effectiveness through collaboration, influence, and coaching
  • Provides performance feedback on project team members for annual appraisals

What’s in it for you?

In this role, you will have the opportunity to develop your ability to think both strategically and drive fast-paced execution.  With our company size and growth we will give you plenty of opportunities for you to be an inspirational and collaborative co-functional leader.  Passionate about preclinical research and continuious learning?  We will have plenty of that for you! 

We are in the early stages of building strategies, structures and process so this role will be busy and expanding. We have opportinites for you to be mentor by other team members, since we are growing so fast, we have several new employees…we are all learning together.  Thus, you have the opportunity to create something new and ‘WOW!’ all of us and grow right along with the company.

The details

This role is best suited for a some with the following:

  • PhD in Immunology or Pharmacology/Toxicology or closely related field with a minimum of 10 years of nonclinical experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry.
  • A minimum of 5 years of management experience supervising laboratory personnel.
  • Experience to support development of immuno-oncoloty complex biologic product
  • Strong technical competency, organizational and prioritization skills.
  • Established ability to interact with various regulatory agencies
  • Strong understanding of FDA and OECD Good Laboratory Practices
  • Demonstrated success in leading a cross-disciplinary, drug discovery project team; integrating and evaluating the work of multiple drug discovery groups / functions
  • Excellent analytical, technical writing, and data management skills
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong ability to work closely with several disciplines within a small company, displaying innovative thinking, motivation, and accountability
  • Able to multi-task, react, and adapt to changing priorities
  • Ability to travel to Turnstone sites in US and Canada

 To Apply:

Please forward applications via email only to hr@turnstonebio.com including a cover letter and resume. In the e-mail subject line, please indicate the position title Senior Director, PreClinical (Group Leader).

 Turnstone Biologics welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.  We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected will be invited for an interview.

Turnstone Biologics is a clinical-stage, immuno-oncology company focused on the development of next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapies for patients with a broad range of solid tumors. Turnstone’s unique, first-in-class oncolytic viral immunotherapies combine the potent tumor-killing effects of an oncolytic virus with a tumor-targeted T-cell vaccine to harness an individual’s own immune system to attack the tumor, preventing recurrence and delivering a cure. Turnstone’s robust pipeline of early-stage compounds, based on its MG1 oncolytic virus platform, are in development for multiple solid tumors and are being evaluated in combination with other cancer immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, to drive unprecedented, durable T-cell immune responses and strong anti-tumor activity and prevent recurrence. Turnstone is building a world-class, high-performing company that embraces being a learning organization with a sense of urgency.  Turnstone has a seasoned board of directors and venture capital partners, is enrolling clinical studies, has a rich development portfolio, and highly active R&D efforts led by a world-class scientific management team. Turnstone is co-located in Ottawa, Hamilton, Canada and New York, USA.

Position Overview:

The position is located in Ottawa and reporting to the SVP, Discovery.  The position of Scientist/Immunologist is to manage all aspects of the discovery, validation and preclinical development to advance a novel neoantigen immunotherapy from the discovery phase into the clinic.  The incumbent will demonstrate their ability to participate in a highly matrixed and innovative research environment with a track record of translating basic research findings into novel therapeutic strategies that support clinical drug development.  They will contribute to the technical development and testing of a first-in-class personalized immunotherapy, meshing tumour genomics with individualized vaccine construction.  The position contributes both intellectually and experimentally as part of a multidisciplinary team with the development of strong cross-functional relationships being important for success.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct research and design experiments that focus work in tumor and immune cell target identification/validation leading to innovative next generation biologics and modalities.
  • Utilize expertise to independently design, execute and analyze experiments using cellular and molecular immunological assays to investigate and uncover novel target biology and technologies to foster neoantigen targeted immunotherapy.
  • Effectively collaborate with other members of the company, including external collaborators and partners.
  • Prepare and present hypotheses, on-going progress reports, technical reports and future plans (including contributing to budget strategic presentations).
  • Supervise students and/or laboratory and research technicians in equipment management (e.g., flow cytometer) and ethical treatment of animals in research.
  • Contribute to building a culture that embraces scientific excellence, integrity, urgency, partnerships with key stakeholders and continuous learning/improvements.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • Must hold a Ph.D. in biology/immunology/oncology/pharmacology or a related field with 5+ years of experience or an acceptable combination of education and experience.
  • Robust understanding of innate and adaptive immune systems is required.
  • Experience with in vivo models, isolation and culture of primary cells (both mouse and human).
  • National Institutional Animal User Training Certification (NIAUT) an asset.
  • A working knowledge of immune based in vitro assays, flow cytometry and common molecular techniques.
  • Experience in T cell function/differentiation/signaling/regulation, phenotypic analysis of inhibitory and costimulatory targets and pathways and/or neoantigen biology and vaccines is highly preferred.

To Apply:

Please forward applications via email only to hr@turnstonebio.com including a cover letter and resume. In the e-mail subject line, please indicate the position title SCIENTIST-IMMUNOLOGIST. Although not required, you are invited to include your salary expectations in your cover letter.

Turnstone Biologics welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.  We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected will be invited for an interview.

Turnstone Biologics Inc. is the leading virus-based immunoncology biotechnology company developing novel oncolytic vaccine therapeutics for cancer patients. Our first-in-class platform technology attacks tumours using a two-pronged approach: targeted and robust tumour killing using an oncolytic virus, in combination with a cancer vaccine that generates long-lasting anti-tumour immune responses. Turnstone is building a world-class, high-performing team that embraces being a learning organization with a sense of urgency. Turnstone has a seasoned board of directors and venture capital partners, is enrolling clinical studies, has a rich development portfolio, and highly active R&D efforts led by a world-class scientific management team. Turnstone is co-located in Ottawa, Canada and New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.turnstonebio.com or email info@turnstonebio.com.

How do you know if you’re the right fit?

Imagine coming to work every day where over-communication, transparency, teaching, listening, asking, thinking, working hard, and having fun are normal – actually, expected? Imagine having a coach, mentor, peers, and partners where candid feedback, self-improvement, risk taking, failing, learning from that failing, and succeeding are what we call ‘another Thursday at Turnstone’? At Turnstone, the science drives decision making, and our drugs are designed with the patient in mind. Like the disease we’re fighting, our platform is complex, and transformative. If you’re a passionate person, and our science excites you – this opportunity may be for you.

If you are interested in being the key “go-to” field clinial person, then this role may be for you! Your role will assist with the monitoring, surveillance, and engagement of clinical trial sites globally. You will have experience working with some or all the following, as they relate to Sr. CRA duties:

  • Conduct Site Qualification, Site Initiation, Interim Monitoring, Site Close-out, and other study-specific visits including the completion of trip reports and follow-up letters after each visit
  • Verify that the investigator has adequate qualifications and resources including facilities, laboratories, equipment, and staff to safely and properly conduct the trial. Confirms that qualifications and resources remain adequate throughout the trial period
  • Train PI and Site Personnel on GCP/ICH, CFR regulations (if applicable) and monitor compliance
  • Ensure the collection and maintenance of required essential documents and responsible for filing within and auditing the Trial Master File and Investigator Site File
  • Ensuring the sites are adequately prepared and trained to participate in the clinical trial including protocol adherence, drug storage, receipt and preparation, drug administration procedures, data collection, etc.
  • Ensure that the investigator receives the current Investigators Brochure, all documents, and all trial supplies needed to conduct the trial properly and to comply with the applicable regulatory requirement(s)
  • Verify investigational product is handled and destroyed according to regulation
  • Report site status and develop a patient recruitment plan in conjunction with the site.
  • Verify that the investigator provides all the required reports, notifications, applications, and submissions, and that these documents are accurate, complete, timely, legible, dated, and identify the trial
  • Determine whether all adverse events (AEs) are appropriately reported within the time periods required by Good Clinical Practices (GCP), the protocol, the Ethic Committees (IRB/IEC), the sponsor, and the applicable regulatory requirement(s)
  • Communicate deviations from the protocol, SOPs, GCP, and the applicable regulatory requirements to the investigator and taking appropriate action designed to prevent recurrence of the detected deviations
  • Maintain current, accurate and complete tracking tools and provide status updates including essential documents, monitoring visits, CRF collection, data entry, query status, SAE reporting, subject screening and recruitment, supplies inventory, and overall project timelines and budgets.
  • As a senior CRA, review site budget adherence and address budget variance with VP, Clin Ops
  • As a Senior CRA, provide mentorship and oversight to junior staff members regarding clinical monitoring activities and assist with minor project management responsibilities, including: leading operational meetings/topics, updating content and presenting at Investigator Meetings, collaborating with senior clinical operations team on recruitment timelines, and reviewing monitoring reports from junior CRAs.
  • As a senior CRA, Work with senior clin ops team on developing an audit plan, reviewing and resolving audit findings/reports, and roll-out quality improvements throughout the course of the trial as needed based on auditor recommendations

What’s in it for you?

In this role, you will have the opportunity to develop this role from scratch.  We have not had a field Sr CRA yet at Turnstone, we have exciting current and new trials starting,  we have opportunities for you to mentor other clinical team members, we are growing fast so we have several new employees…we are all learning together.  Thus, you have the opportunity to create something new and ‘WOW!’ all of us and grow right along with the company.

The details

This role is best suited for a some with the following:

  • Must possess a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. A degree in health or biological science (e.g. BS, BA, BscN, higher) is preferred
  • Industry experience working in a small to mid-sized biotechnology or pharmaceutical company is strongly preferred
  • Thorough understanding of the clinical trial development process and knowledgeable (with documented training) on ICH/GCP guidelines and US FDA CFR
  • Experience with IND/protocol submissions, and Appendix M/NIH submissions preferred
  • Understanding and knowledge of hospital operations particularly as they pertain to patient management, standard universal precautions, logistics, patient recruitment, etc.
  • At least 2 years of Independent monitoring experience required. Candidates with oncology experience, will be given the highest priority, but extensive monitoring experience particularly in infectious disease or autoimmune indications may be considered in lieu of oncology experience.
  • International monitoring experience (e.g. Canada) or managerial experience outside the US strongly preferred
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Solid interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
  • High-energy, self-starter
  • Flexible and dynamic, willing to “wear a lot of hats”
  • Desire to work within an international team environment. Growth potential within a global company headquartered in New York and Ottawa.
  • Proficient in MS Word, Excel, PowePoint is required. Knowledge of MS Project preferred
  • Effective time management and organization skills
  • Self-starter with a “can-do” attitude who can work independently and multi-task under limited direction and on own initiative, but still must also be able to function flexibility within a small team environment
  • Must be field based and travel +50% is required, including international travel. Candidate must therefore possess a valid passport or be able to obtain one within 4 weeks of hiring.
  • Infectious disease, oncolytic virus experience, and/or cancer vaccine experience highly preferred.

To Apply:

Please forward applications via email only to hr@turnstonebio.com including a cover letter and resume. In the e-mail subject line, please indicate the position title Sr CRA.

Turnstone Biologics Inc. is the leading virus-based immunoncology biotechnology company developing novel oncolytic vaccine therapeutics for cancer patients. Our first-in-class platform technology attacks tumours using a two-pronged approach: targeted and robust tumour killing using an oncolytic virus, in combination with a cancer vaccine that generates long-lasting anti-tumour immune responses. Turnstone is building a world-class, high-performing team that embraces being a learning organization with a sense of urgency. Turnstone has a seasoned board of directors and venture capital partners, is enrolling clinical studies, has a rich development portfolio, and highly active R&D efforts led by a world-class scientific management team. Turnstone is co-located in Ottawa, Canada and New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.turnstonebio.com or email info@turnstonebio.com.

How do you know if you’re the right fit?

Imagine coming to work every day where over-communication, transparency, teaching, listening, asking, thinking, working hard, and having fun are normal – actually, expected? Imagine having a coach, mentor, peers, and partners where candid feedback, self-improvement, risk taking, failing, learning from that failing, and succeeding are what we call ‘another Thursday at Turnstone’? At Turnstone, the science drives decision making, and our drugs are designed with the patient in mind. Like the disease we’re fighting, our platform is complex, and transformative. If you’re a passionate person, and our science excites you – this opportunity may be for you.

If you are interested in being a part of a growing IT and business operations team, then this role may be for you! Your role will be to work directly with the CFO and manage the global Information Technology and Informatics function.  Lead the design, implementation and growth of our information architecture.  This individual will manage infrastructure and resources to meet organizational needs and will be responsible for working cross-functionally with all departments to identify long-term, scalable, practical solutions for research and operations as the organization grows.   He/she will be expected to establish close partnerships with colleagues from multiple disciplines to translate business needs into state-of-the-art informatics solutions.  You will have experience working with some or all the following, as they relate to the Director of IT duties:

Leadership

  • Provide strong leadership and business acumen, as well as data and analytical skills and relationship-building capabilities to inspire the organization around common goals, vision and values for IT and informatics
  • Define and implement data architecture and company-wide strategy for data storage, processing, analysis and mining
  • Serve as champion for global data management, governance, quality and vendor relationships across the company
  • Establish an architecture and a collection of integrated decision-support applications and databases, providing the company easy access to corporate data.
  • Grow the breadth and depth of department expertise to meet short and long-term corporate objectives

Information Technology

  • Oversee contingency planning and IT security and compliance by establishing controls and processes in support of data security, PHI, SOX and other relevant regulatory requirements
  • Manage vendors, consultants and overall budget for data management and IT
  • Lead the planning and estimation of IT & Informatics projects
  • Regularly and effectively communicate with key project stakeholders, keeping them advised of project progress and generally making IT activities transparent to stakeholders
  • Set strategy for IT infrastructure and software capabilities for current and future organizational needs
  • Maintain ongoing knowledge of industry trends and ability to utilize that knowledge to determine the most efficient ways to meet business needs
  • Communicate strategy to scientific personnel, operations and senior management to ensure alignment
  • Measures availability, performance, capacity, and utilization of IT and Informatics services
  • Detects, monitors, reports, manages, escalates and ultimately prevents service failures and/or degradations.
  • Takes ownership of security across the board and lead IT related compliance for the Company.
  • Collaborate with others to facilitate business needs definition, workflow design and integration of scientific processes and technology into effective IT solutions
  • Understanding and familiarity with Mac, Apple iOS preferred

Research Informatics

  • Work with R&D team to develop and implement computational biology strategy, goals and evolution of the team
  • Implement and maintain key research systems, including ELN, LIMS and Results Management
  • Grow and effectively maintain cloud-based computing environment
  • Develop and implement data integration and analytics strategy

What’s in it for you?

In this role, you will have the opportunity to develop your ability to think both strategically and drive fast-paced execution.  With our company size and growth we will give you plenty of opportunities for you to be an inspirational and collaborative co-functional leader.  Passionate about IT and Information and continuous learning?  We will have plenty of that for you!

We are in the early stages of building strategies, structures and process so this role will be busy and expanding. We also have opportunities for you to be mentor to other team members. You would have the opportunity to create something new and ‘WOW!’ all of us and grow right along with the company.

The details

This role is best suited for a some with the following:

  • Advanced degree in life sciences, plus 7-10 years of relevant experience working in Biotech
  • 5-7 years of experience managing and implementing informatics and IT solutions in a start-up, biotech environment
  • Ability to identify impediments to complex business and research issues and provide timely and cost-effective solutions
  • Solid scientific/ technical knowledge to be able to successfully ensure project scope and fit technology for applications, networking and information systems strategic roadmap and execution of all Informatics solutions and IT services
  • Experience with evaluating, implementing and managing scientific data management platforms, cloud computing (AWS), Document control/electronic lab notebook software, on-site storage solutions and IT vendor services
  • Prior experience and record of accomplishment leading cross functional teams and delivering on schedule in a start-up biotech environment
  • Prior experience in successfully implementing, utilizing and leveraging outsourcing strategies
  • Practical understanding of relational database design and development
  • Demonstrated understanding of the software development lifecycle
  • Ability to adapt to increasing scope and complexity of work brought on by growth/change and helps others manage through change
  • Strong written, oral and public speaking communication skills.

 To Apply:

Please forward applications via email only to hr@turnstonebio.com including a cover letter and resume. In the e-mail subject line, please indicate the position title Director, IT.

 Turnstone Biologics welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.  We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected will be invited for an interview.

Notice to Recruiters: Turnstone Biologics values our recruiting partnerships, but to protect the interest of all parties, we do not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters. All recruiting is managed through our human resources department.

Contact

Ottawa

787 Bank Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 3V5
(613) 421-8930

New York City

110 East 25th Street
New York, New York 10010
(613) 421-8930

General

Please contact us with any questions
or comments.

Info@turnstonebio.com

Media

Please contact Pure Communications
for any media inquiries.

Turnstone@W2OGroup.com