About

ABOUT

Instil Bio, Inc is a global, clinical-stage cell therapy company developing tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) for the treatment of cancer. We are building on the decades-long foundation of TIL efficacy in treating solid tumors, applying our cell therapy experience and TIL manufacturing platform to bring the promise of TIL therapy to patients in need.

Instil Bio has research and cell therapy manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles, CA and Manchester, UK, with corporate offices in Dallas, TX.

Our Executives

Bronson Crouch
Chief Executive Officer

Bronson is an entrepreneur and investor with over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Bronson is currently the Managing Partner of Curative Ventures, a private equity investment firm focused on biopharma opportunities. Key investments in the recent past include CoStim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an immuno-oncology-focused biotech company (acquired by Novartis in 2014), TCR2 Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCRR), a cell therapy company, Peloton Therapeutics, Inc., an oncology biotech company focused on renal cell cancer (acquired by Merck in 2019 for $1.1 Billion cash upfront) and iTeos Therapeutics, Inc., (Nasdaq: ITOS) an immuno-oncology biotechnology company.

Vijay Chiruvolu, PhD, MBA
Chief Technical Officer

Vijay Chiruvolu, PhD, MBA, is the Chief Technical Officer for Instil Bio responsible for Process Development, Quality, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Facilities & Engineering. Vijay has extensive technical leadership experience in development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, gene and cell therapy products.

Most recently, Dr. Chiruvolu was Senior Vice President of Process Development at Kite, a Gilead Company since joining in 2014. During his time at Kite, Dr. Chiruvolu was responsible for the CMC/process development that led to approval of two cell therapy products, Yescarta® and Tecartus®.

Prior to joining Kite, Dr. Chiruvolu has spent 18 years in various positions in Process Development, Manufacturing, and Quality with increasing leadership responsibilities at Scios, Avigen, Hoffmann-La Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Amgen. Vijay serves on biotech advisory board of PDA and leads PDA’s process validation and cell & gene therapy interest groups.

Vijay holds a PhD (Biochem. Eng.) from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MBA in finance and strategy from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.

Zachary Roberts, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Roberts is a board certified oncologist and immunologist with extensive experience in clinical oncology and oncology drug and cell therapy development.  Prior to joining Instil, Zachary held various roles of increasing responsibility at Kite Pharma (acquired by Gilead in 2017) where he led the development of both clinical and near-clinical cell therapy assets, established several strategic domestic and international corporate partnerships, and held key scientific advisory and oversight roles within the company.  Before joining Kite, Zachary led several solid tumor studies at Amgen.  He holds an MD and PhD in immunology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he graduated magna cum laude from both medical and graduate schools.  He went on to complete his clinical and post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Sandeep “Steve” Laumas, MD
Chief Business Officer

Prior to joining Instil Bio, Dr. Laumas has been actively involved in healthcare investing and serving on company Boards of Directors.  Dr. Laumas began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. in 1996 as an equity analyst in the healthcare investment banking division working on mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance transactions before transitioning to the healthcare equity research division. After leaving Goldman Sachs in 2000, Dr. Laumas moved to the buy side as an analyst at Balyasny Asset Management from 2001 to 2003. Dr. Laumas was a Managing Director of North Sound Capital from 2003 to 2007 (global healthcare investments). Since 2007, he has been investing in healthcare via investment vehicles, Bearing Circle Capital, and serving on the Boards of Directors including Bioxcel Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BTAI) (2017-present), executive chairman and currently a member of the Board of Directors of 9 Meters Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMTR) (2014-present), Parkway Holdings Ltd. (acquired by IHH Healthcare for $3 Billion) (2010) and SRL Laboratories Ltd. (2011). Dr. Laumas received his A.B. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 1990, M.D. from Albany Medical College in 1995 with a research year at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and medical internship in 1996 from the Yale University School of Medicine.

Robert “Bob” Hawkins, MBBS FRCP, PhD
Chief Strategy Advisor

Dr. Hawkins is a world-renowned oncologist and biotech innovator with a focus on development of novel cell and gene therapies. Dr. Hawkins founded Immetacyte Ltd, a cell therapy company spun out of the University of Manchester, U.K. Immetacyte developed the key technologies in Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) which Instil is advancing. Previously, Bob developed the methods to select high-affinity antibodies used for the development of Humira®, and acted as a founding consultant of Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006) and Oxford Biomedica. Furthermore, Dr. Hawkins led the team that developed the first phage-derived single-chain antibody to be used in a clinical trial in the world, led the first gene therapy trial for cancer in the UK, and led the team that did the first CAR-T trial in the UK. He led the largest European scientific consortium in engineered T cell therapy (ATTACK) and subsequent training and clinical programs. As a clinical investigator, Dr. Hawkins has been principal investigator on more than 20 clinical trials including several practice changing studies in kidney cancer. Dr. Hawkins has served on the scientific advisory boards of multiple global biopharmaceutical companies.

Our Board of Directors

Bronson Crouch
Chairman of the Board

Bronson is an entrepreneur and investor with over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Bronson is currently the Managing Partner of Curative Ventures, a private equity investment firm focused on biopharma opportunities. Key investments in the recent past include CoStim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an immuno-oncology-focused biotech company (acquired by Novartis in 2014), TCR2 Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCRR), a cell therapy company, Peloton Therapeutics, Inc., an oncology biotech company focused on renal cell cancer (acquired by Merck in 2019 for $1.1 Billion cash upfront) and iTeos Therapeutics, Inc., (Nasdaq: ITOS) an immuno-oncology biotechnology company.

Gwendolyn Binder, PhD
Board Member

Dr. Gwendolyn Binder joined the Instil Board in 2020. Dr. Binder is an R&D executive with specialized expertise in the discovery and early clinical development and optimization of engineered T cell therapies. Currently, Dr. Binder is the E.V.P. of Science and Technology at Cabaletta Bio, which is developing engineered T cells for B cell mediated autoimmune diseases.  From 2011-2018, Dr. Binder established the U.S. arm of and served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Adaptimmune, developing TCR-engineered T-cells for oncology. From 2006-2011, Dr. Binder served as the Director of Translational Research Operations for Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania, where she progressed multiple IND submissions for novel engineered T-cell therapies in HIV and oncology, including the CD19 CAR IND acquired by Novartis (now Kymriah), the first human gene editing IND, and three TCR engineered T cell therapy studies in oncology and HIV. From 2002-2005, Dr. Binder served as the Director of Scientific Affairs at VIRxSYS Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she supported the development of the first clinical lentiviral vector used in humans, for the application of engineered T cell therapy for HIV. Dr. Binder studied viral immunology and translational research at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA where she earned in Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine in 2002.

Neil Gibson, PhD
Board Member

Neil Gibson, PhD, is an experienced drug developer, having contributed to the successful approval of multiple blockbuster oncology therapeutics, including temozolomide, erlotinib, crizotinib, and sorafenib. Neil is currently the CEO of Adanate, an immunotherapy company. Previously, Neil has held Chief Scientific Officer roles in multiple pharma and biotech companies, including Regulus Therapeutics, Pfizer Oncology, and OSI Pharmaceuticals. At Pfizer he was a member of the global R&D leadership team as well as a member of the Oncology Business unit leadership team.  He has also held numerous academic appointments, including Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, and Fogarty Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Neil earned his PhD from the University of Aston, Birmingham, England.

George Matcham, PhD
Board Member

George Matcham had 30 successful years at Celgene Corporation, joining in 1988 soon after the IPO when the company had 30 employees, and retiring in 2018 with the company soon to be valued at $74Billion in the acquisition by BMS. During his time at Celgene, he focused mainly on Biotech Research, Development and Manufacturing and held positions such as COO of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, SVP of Biologics Development and Manufacturing, and SVP CAR T CMC & Technology Development. In these roles, he led internal technical development and clinical manufacturing and was extensively involved in external programs in Biologics and Cell Therapy development, including co-leading CAR T cell manufacturing in the collaboration with Juno, and representing Celgene on the Sutro Biopharma Board of Directors. Before coming to the USA, George held academic positions in teaching and research at the University of Cambridge and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry at Cardiff University.

R. Kent McGaughy, Jr.
Board Member

R. Kent McGaughy, Jr. is a founding shareholder of CPMG, Inc.  Prior to joining CPMG’s predecessor, Cardinal Investment Company, in 1997, Mr. McGaughy worked in investment banking at Simmons & Company International.  Mr. McGaughy serves as a Director of Reata Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:  RETA), Apollo Endosurgery (NASDAQ:  APEN), Cuda Pharmaceuticals LLC, Waterfall Security Solutions, Ltd. and Instil Bio, Inc. Mr. McGaughy holds a B.A. from The University of Texas (Plan II Honors, Summa Cum Laude, and member of Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Jack B. Nielsen
Board Member

Mr. Nielsen has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2020. Mr. Nielsen has served as a Managing Director at Vivo Capital LLC, a healthcare focused investment firm, since August 2017, and previously served as a consultant from March 2017 to July 2017. From 2001 to February 2017, Mr. Nielsen was with the Novo A/S (Novozymes) organization and its venture activities in several roles, most recently as a Senior Partner based in Copenhagen, Denmark. From May 2006 to August 2012, Mr. Nielsen was a Partner at Novo Ventures (US) in San Francisco, where he established the office that provides certain consultancy services to Novo A/S. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the public biotech companies Aligos Therapeutics, ALX Oncology, Harmony Biosciences and Reata Pharmaceuticals, and previously served as a director of Akebia Therapeutics, Apollo Endosurgery, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals and Merus, N.V., as well as several private biotech companies. Mr. Nielsen holds an M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and a Masters in Management of Technology from Center for Technology, Economics and Management, Technical University of Denmark.

Nimish Shah
Board Member

Nimish joined Venrock in 2013 and has been investing in public and private biotech companies since 2010.  Prior to Venrock, Nimish worked at Citadel and was involved in the firm’s healthcare investments.  Nimish works on Venrock’s public and cross-over healthcare fund, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners. Nimish received his BS in pharmacy with honors from Rutgers College of Pharmacy, MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and MBA from Columbia Business School.