Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Inc. – a nonprofit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapies for cancer – has announced that David Darst and Alexandra Landes have joined the foundation’s Board of Directors. Both Darst and Landes lost their mothers to cancer and share a commitment to uncovering innovative methods for treating cancer with reduced side-effects.
ACGT is based in Stamford and funds top physicians and researchers at medical institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The foundation supports a number of gene therapy treatments including immunotherapy, which activates patients’ own immune systems to battle cancerous cells. Recently, the FDA granted “fast-track status” to an immunotherapy treatment for leukemia for which ACGT provided early funding. ACGT has given almost $25 million in grants to researchers since its founding in 2001 by Barbara Netter and her late husband, Edward.
David Darst, a 32-year-old New York City resident, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Darst has held positions with Pfizer, Orbimed Advisors, and a slate of other companies that are working to develop and finance new drugs in the biotech industry. Darst is currently the CEO at Rgenix, Inc., where he leads the company’s drug development initiatives and fundraising activities. He is also the co-founder and former Executive Vice President and Director of Potentia Pharmaceuticals, a biotech that achieved breakthroughs in treating age-related macular degeneration.
Alexandra Landes, a 28-year-old Pacific Palisades, Calif. resident, is a graduate of Tufts University. Landes is Executive Director of Wendy Walk, a national nonprofit named for her late mother that has raised $2 million since 2010 to combat Liposarcoma. Landes is an accomplished development professional who has held leadership and board positions at the Metropolitan Council, Seeds of Peace, and the NYC Public Advocates Office.