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Leadership

Our world-class leadership team consists of innovative and strategic individuals who continue to push the boundaries of cell and gene therapy manufacturing. They are all committed to better serving our clients and supplying therapeutics to patients across the globe.

Together they have more than 100 years of experience in cell and gene therapy and the healthcare sector. Read their profiles below.

Dr. Kazuchika Furuishi

Corporate Officer, General Manager & Chief Executive Officer (United States)

Kazuchika Furuishi, PhD is General Manager, Regenerative Medicine Business Sector of Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd. and Chief Executive Officer of Minaris Regenerative Medicine, LLC (United States) since April 2020. Kazuchika has almost 10 years of experience in research and education (biochemistry, virology, and oncology) at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science as Assistant Professor at Kumamoto University. He has over 17 years of working experience with major global life science companies and senior leadership roles in global organizations. He also has almost six years of experience working for pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing under control of GMP/GLP, and business development activities of genotyping testing to prepare for IVD applications.

In 2015, Kazuchika started a private consulting firm to support establishing legal entities in Japan, business development for CRO and CMO businesses, and in a liaison in the life science market for a US consulting firm. Since 2012, he has been involved in the industrialization of regenerative medicine through a variety of activities, including through his prior role at Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd., as Deputy General Manager of its Regenerative Medicine Business Sector, which he has held since 2017. Kazuchika received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science in 1999 from Kumamoto University.

Dr. Hiroto Bando

Deputy General Manager, President & Chief Executive Officer (Japan)

Hiroto Bando, PhD is Deputy General Manager, Regenerative Medicine Business Sector of Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd and President and Chief Executive Officer of Minaris Regenerative Medicine Co., Ltd. (Japan).

Hiroto has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He joined the company in November 2020 as Deputy General Manager, Regenerative Medicine Business Sector of Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd., where he is responsible for coordinating global business development activities and developing business strategies. He was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Minaris (Japan) in August 2021.

Previously, Hiroto worked at Fujifilm as Senior Manager, Pharmaceutical Products Division to initiate CDMO business via Fujifilm’s own technologies. Hiroto has also spent almost 22 years of his career at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in roles of increasing responsibility, including Senior Director and Global Head of Cell Manufacturing Strategy for the company’s Regenerative Medicine Unit from 2016-2018. Hiroto was the chairman of the Committee for Non-Clinical Safety Evaluation of Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Product in FIRM (Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine), which funded from AMED (Agency for Medical Research and Development).

Hiroto received his PhD in pharmaceutical science at Kyoto University and performed post-doctoral work at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas. He also holds an MBA from Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Business.

Dusan Kosijer

Global Chief Financial Officer & Chief Executive Officer (Germany)

Dusan Kosijer is Global Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Minaris Regenerative Medicine GmbH (Germany). Before, he was Managing Director of Minaris (Germany) (formerly named apceth Biopharma GmbH) since 2020, and has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2016. Previously, he was CFO for Accovion GmbH, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) headquartered close to Frankfurt, Germany. Dusan is a Certified Management Accountant by training and has gained more than 15 years’ experience in the healthcare sector.

Jo Anne Valentino

Chief Operating Officer (United States)

Jo Anne Valentino is Chief Operating Officer of Minaris Regenerative Medicine, LLC (United States). She is an accomplished senior leader with over 20 years’ experience.

After joining the company in January 2019, Jo Anne served as Global Head of Quality for the Regenerative Medicine Business Sector of Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd. and Vice President of Minaris (United States) (formerly named Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutic Solutions). As Global Head of Quality with demonstrated success in challenging compliance environments, including transitions resulting from mergers and acquisitions, Jo Anne developed and led the implementation of the company’s integrated global quality strategy. She was appointed COO of our United States operations in October 2021. In this role, she is responsible for oversight of all US development and manufacturing operations. Jo Anne is responsible to oversee the transformation and growth of the operations organization, including commercialization, expansion, and infrastructure investment. She serves as a member of our global Management Strategic Council and will collaborate on a Global Functional Team to ensure alignment across the three regional companies.

For more than seven years, Jo Anne worked at Novartis in quality positions of increasing responsibility, including Executive Director, Quality Head, External Supply Operations, Americas region. In that role she ensured robust Quality oversight for a large portfolio of external suppliers and supported strategic initiatives in the region, product launches and transfers, business integrations, and global compliance improvement initiatives. Prior to Novartis, Jo Anne was in leadership positions at Merck and Schering-Plough in Operations and Quality, as well as product and process development at Reckitt Benckiser.

Jo Anne received her MS in management from Stevens Institute of Technology and her BS in chemical engineering from Manhattan College.

Luz Rodgers

Global Head of People and Organizational Development

Luz Rodgers is Global Head, People & Organizational Development of Minaris Regenerative Medicine. Luz is an experienced Human Resources business leader, offering expertise in global organizational development, change management, employee relations, and talent management, with a strong focus on collaborative teamwork and internal business partnerships.

After supporting Minaris Regenerative Medicine, LLC (United States) (formerly named Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions) in a contract role, Luz joined the company as Senior Director, Human Resources in September 2018, and was appointed Global Head of People and Organization Development in April 2021. In this role, Luz oversees, directs, and manages HR, development, and engagement of our people. She not only provides senior leadership support for our North America region, but also provides global coordination over people initiatives such as employee retention, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, and more.

Luz brings Minaris over 25 years’ experience in human resources. Most recently, she was Director Human Resources People & Development at Novartis. Prior to this, Luz also held positions at Teva Pharmaceuticals, RR Donnelley, and has extensive experience in human resources consulting. Luz received her BA in Social Work and Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and holds certifications in ODCP and SPHR, SHRM-SCP. Luz continues to pursue a MHRM from Rutgers University.

Dr. Luc St-Onge

Global Head of Sales and Marketing & Head of Business Development (Germany)

Luc St-Onge, PhD is Global Head of Sales and Marketing of Minaris Regenerative Medicine and Head of Business Development of Minaris Regenerative Medicine GmbH (Germany). Luc is an accomplished business leader, bringing to the company over 25 years’ experience in Business Development.

Luc joined Minaris (Germany) (formerly named apceth Biopharma GmbH) in September 2017 as Head of Business Development and Licensing, and was appointed Global Head of Sales and Marketing in April 2020. In this role, he coordinates the global business development and marketing team across the US, Europe, and Japan, plans and implements harmonized sales and marketing activities, provides senior leadership in client acquisition and contract negotiations, and is responsible for European, as well as global, communication strategies.

Prior to joining Minaris, Luc was Head of Business Development at Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG during its acquisition by Astellas, and Chief Business Officer at Affectis Pharmaceuticals AG among other positions. He is also a co-founder of Arridad Therapeutics S.L., a biotech start-up. Luc is a molecular biologist by training and received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada.

Jacqueline Veivia-Panter

Global Head of Quality

Jacqueline Veivia-Panter is Global Head of Quality for the Regenerative Medicine Business Sector of Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd. In this role, Jackie is responsible for the company’s integrated global quality strategy and health authority regulations. She is accountable for ensuring that the company’s quality strategy is translated into global and local executable policies, processes, training programs, and organizational structures, as well as implementing governance processes to monitor the effectiveness of the implementation of the quality systems.

Jackie joined Minaris Regenerative Medicine, LLC (United States) (formerly named Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions) with over 20 years’ experience in quality, and served as the Quality Site Head for the Allendale, New Jersey site since October 2019. She was appointed Global Head of Quality in October 2021. Previously, Jackie was Senior Director, Global Quality and Compliance/Temporary IT Head at Legend Biotech, as well as holding quality roles at companies such as Celgene, Abbvie/Abbott, BlisTech Corporation, and Pfizer. Jackie also has experience working as an independent quality consultant.

Additionally, Jackie holds the position of Regulatory and Quality Advisory Board Chair for the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA). She received an MBA at New Jersey Institute of Technology and a BS in Medical Technology at Marquette University.

Hisashi Murata

Senior Director of Operation Strategy (United States)

Hisashi Murata is Senior Director, Operation Strategy at Minaris Regenerative Medicine, LLC (United States). In this role, Hisashi is responsible to ensure corporate strategy initiatives are aligned to enable execution of our corporate strategy initiatives, to drive speed and agility in decision making, remove barriers to progress, and accelerate stronger integration across business units and functions. He provides strategic insights to the Chief Operating Officer to ensure consistent, high-quality operational execution across the numerous corporate work streams.

Hisashi has been involved the field of regenerative medicine business since March 2017 through his prior role with Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. (now named Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd.) as the Business Planning Manager. He joined Minaris (United States) in January 2020 as interim Senior Director, Business Operations. Hisashi was appointed Senior Director, Operation Strategy in September 2021. 

With 15 years’ prior experience, Hisashi worked in the field of PET (Positron Emission Tomography) drugs within the Hitachi Ltd. Healthcare Business Unit, and has extensive knowledge and experience in manufacturing, quality assurance, business development, and research and development. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering from Kyusyu University.