Arun Balakumaran, new Replay and Syena CMO

Ex­clu­sive: Cell and gene ther­a­py biotech cre­ator Re­play plucks Al­lo­gene CMO Arun Bal­aku­maran to lead clin­i­cal tri­als

Arun Bal­aku­maran re­mem­bers work­ing down the cor­ri­dor at the NIH from fel­low re­searcher Katy Rez­vani back in the aughts. He nev­er pic­tured the duo work­ing to­geth­er one day at a biotech com­pa­ny.

But start­ing Mon­day, he’ll be chief med­ical of­fi­cer of cell and gene ther­a­py in­cu­ba­tor Re­play and its port­fo­lio com­pa­ny Sye­na.

The cell ther­a­py up­start teamed up with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter to cre­ate Sye­na, which was un­veiled in Feb­ru­ary. Rez­vani is a co-founder of Sye­na, which plans to start two clin­i­cal tri­als by year’s end in sol­id tu­mors and hema­to­log­i­cal ma­lig­nan­cies. Rez­vani’s work has led to li­censed pro­grams at Take­da and Af­fimed, as well.

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