Paul A. Liberti, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer

Columbia College; Stritch School of Medicine; Stevens Institute of Technology; post-doctoral: NJ College of Medicine/Jefferson Medical College (Immunochemistry); National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill London (Cellular and Viral Immunology); was on the faculty of Jefferson Medical College for 16 years, rising from Assistant Professor to Full Professor in 5 years. A recipient of an NIH Career Development Award, he built a substantial National Institute of Health funded research program and was Director of an Immunology Post-Doctoral Training Program funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  He was a principal speaker at several international symposia having achieved recognition for his work on the structure of antibody combing sites and on studies regarding of the role (if any) of antibody conformational changes induced by reaction with germs as well as subsequent reactions with the Complement system following antibody recognition.

Following a successful academic career at Thomas Jefferson Medical College (Professor of Immunology/Physical Biochemistry), he founded (1983) and managed Immunicon Corp., a biotechnology firm based in Huntingdon Valley, PA for 16 years.  In that period, he invented and developed: a broad spectrum of highly magnetic colloids for use in immunoassays and in cell diagnostics, novel high gradient quadrupole and hexapole separators as well as methods for immunoassays and cell isolation. He holds over 30 U.S. seminal patents in these areas.  In addition to leading the R&D program, he played a key role in Business Development particularly in corporate partnering (in excess of $30MM with 5 major firms) and venture funding (completing three rounds) as well as the management and strategy of the company’s IP.

Based on his insights and discoveries on the exquisite ability of these systems to find “the needle in the haystack” as regards cells in complex systems, he steered Immunicon into rare cell analysis (cancer cells) and developed, with a substantial research team that he recruited, a platform cancer diagnostic technology he named “CellSearch®.”

Immunicon Corp. was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2008 who in 2003 built a new SBU around Immunicon’s CellSearch® technology and product suite, J&J’s Veridex division (now Janssen Diagnostics). In 2004, Immunicon was named Nanotechnology IPO of the Year by Small Times magazine.  Immunicon raised over a $100MM in private venture funding prior to its NASDAQ IPO in 2004 when it raised $130MM.

In 2009, the CellSearch® Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Test was honored with the prestigious Prix Galien USA 2009 Award for Best Medical Technology. First awarded in the USA in 2009, the Prix Galien* recognizes the Best Medical, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Technology approved by the FDA in the past ten years.  With over 8 Nobel Laureates on the 2009 Prix Galien’s committee, the Prix Galien is the Nobel Prize of the commercial medical and biotechnology fields.

* The Prix Galien USA  committee judges which among the candidates, independent of any category, is the Best Pharmaceutical Agent (i.e. small molecule), is the Best Biotechnology Product and which is the Best Medical Technology approved by the FDA in the past ten years. As few as one or as many as three prizes may be awarded in each of these categories, and from time to time the committee may decide on awards hors prix. The prizes are awarded for products and agents that improve the human condition.

Ted L. Liberti, COO & VP of Business Development

Ted started his career in international banking with JP Morgan Paris at the nexus of business, economics and his French language fluency. Later with Immunicon Corp., he played a key role with their French business development, contract research projects and collaborations with two major firms:  bioMerieux and Guerbet as well as French academic groups in Paris and Lyon. He advised Immunicon on the valuation of Immunicon’s MRI contrast agent patent, leading to a $750,000 licensing arrangement with Sweden’s Nycomed Pharmaceuticals. From 2006 to 2012, he applied his marketing, economics, business development and strategy/due diligence capabilities to Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ portfolio of:  life science, medical device and IT firms.  From 2008 to 2011, Ted parlayed his entrepreneurial and managerial skills to co-founding, creating and growing the Penn State Wine Festival into an official PLCB festival, serving as co-founder, co-chair and the sole wine industry coordinator. He performed all key executive, marketing, business development and promotional roles with the wine industry and the PLCB’s marketing team.

Ted holds a B.S. in Economics and French from Penn State University and a M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Delaware. Ted completed doctoral research in strategy, entrepreneurship, economics and social network theory at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business and Penn State’s Department of Economics. Ted also holds an M.B.A. in international corporate strategy from the University of Delaware with high honors.

Dustin W. Ritter, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development

Dr. Ritter holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, he conducted doctoral research aimed at developing an implantable optical glucose biosensor for people afflicted with diabetes. He has extensive experience with the encapsulation of proteins and nanomaterials within microcapsules constructed using the layer-by-layer technique to yield polyelectrolyte multilayer films. As a post-doctoral scholar at Penn State University, he was part of a small team developing low-cost microfluidic paper analytical devices, which hold great potential to be used for point-of-care screening and diagnostic purposes in low-resource settings.

Sai S. Patkar, M.S., Scientist 

Ms. Patkar graduated from the University of Mumbai with a B.E. in Biomedical Engineering in 2013. She then went on to pursue an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University, where she was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship for superior scholarship during the course of the program. Her master’s research focused on developing polyelectrolyte multilayer films for localized antibiotic therapy by modifying implant surfaces.