April 15, 2020 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Ali Chou

Simplifying conjugation: ready to conjugate CRM197 carrier protein

Dr. Andrew Lees, Founder and Scientific Director, Fina Biosolutions

Andrew Lees is founder and scientific director of Fina Biosolutions, LLC (Rockville, MD), a company focused on promoting affordable conjugate vaccines by making the technology available to emerging market vaccine manufacturers. Among his contributions in the field, Andrew developed an efficient linking chemistry which is widely used in conjugate vaccines, a class that includes vaccines for S. pneumoniae and meningococcal disease. The chemistry has helped to reduce the cost of these vaccines.

Prior to starting Fina Biosolutions in 2006, he was Director of Vaccine Development at biotech companies Virion Systems (1993-1999) and Biosynexus (1999-2006). He was also an associate research professor at the Uniformed Services University (1993-1999). Andrew is now an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development (part-time) and an adjunct professor at the Uniformed Services University, Dept. of Medicine and at the University of Toledo, Dept of Chemistry. He has over 70 publications and 25 patents, mainly in the area of conjugate vaccines.

He received his BS in chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in chemistry (1976) and his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins (1984). Honors include the Uniformed Services Meritorious Service Award , Harvey Mudd College Outstanding Alumni Award and is a Johns Hopkins University Outstanding Alumni. On graduating from Hopkins, he was on the cover of Baltimore Magazine as one of “84 people to watch in ‘84”, due to his role as a leading Baltimore area magician.

About Fina Biosolutions

Fina Biosolutions LLC is a privately held research and development company in Rockville, Maryland providing laboratory and consulting services in the field of conjugate vaccines. Fina Biosolutions’ principal focus is on affordable conjugate vaccines. Its scientists work with emerging market vaccine companies to develop technology, train scientists and assist in implementing the processes. FinaBio performs contract conjugation for companies worldwide and has worked on projects as disparate as vaccines for S. pneumoniae, for malaria, for drugs of abuse and for animal health. In addition, Fina Biosolutions has developed a patented expression system for the widely used conjugate vaccine carrier protein, CRM197, which it markets as EcoCRM®. EcoCRM® has been licensed to PATH for use in low-income countries.

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