About Us

KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platform to accurately model and predict response to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors.

Our Clinical Services business is currently engaged in the validation of clinical assays as well as investigator-initiated studies in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma and rare tumors, in its CLIA-certified laboratory.

Our Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types.

Scientific Evidence

Our ex vivo 3D cell culture platform enables us to derive live cancer cells from surgical or biopsy tissue specimens in order to create a patient-specific in vivo-like tumor and immune microenvironment in which to accurately model and assess response to investigational and approved cancer therapies.

We’re constantly expanding the scientific boundaries of ex vivo 3D cell culture capability. Our evidence base spans the majority of solid tumor types and cancer drug classes, offering unparalleled predictive utility in the clinic and in drug development.

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Team

Executive Team

Matthew R. Gevaert, Ph.D. : CEO & Co-founder

Dr. Matthew (Matt) Gevaert is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of KIYATEC, Inc. Under Matt’s leadership and support of an incredible team, KIYATEC has earned national recognition for its progress towards accurately modeling and predicting cancer patient response to drug therapies prior to treatment. Based on 3D cell culture technology, the company has pioneered a novel “in-hospital startup” model to solve intrinsically complex healthcare problems for the betterment of cancer patients, developing elegant solutions that will ultimately work both for the hospital “down the hall” as well as across the continent. Through a dedicated focus on direct relevance to cancer patients, KIYATEC has successfully attracted multiple rounds of private sector investment, more than $5M of competitively awarded federal funding including contracts from the National Cancer Institute, prestigious clinical collaborators at leading national cancer institutions and relationships with premier biopharmaceutical companies developing the cancer therapies of the future.

Matt is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.Sc., Chemistry) and of Clemson University (M.S. and Ph.D., Bioengineering). He serves on a number of professional and community boards and occasionally teaches an MBA graduate course in technology entrepreneurship for professional business students.
Lillia M. Holmes, M.S. : Chief Operations Officer

Lillia Holmes is Chief Operations Officer overseeing KIYATEC’s operations and regulatory compliance. Prior to KIYATEC, Lillia gained experience in operational and financial management and furthered her regulatory affairs expertise as the Director of Cellular Therapy at The Blood Connection, Inc. where she managed the processing facility for bone marrow transplants and served as the Technical Supervisor for CLIA high complexity testing. Her interest in operational management and cellular therapy stemmed from translating oncology research to clinical therapies during her time as a Research Associate for the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute. Since that time, Lillia has continued to develop her knowledge of FDA, CLIA, FACT and AABB regulations and standards and has successfully translated that knowledge to operational improvements for biotechnology organizations as well as both research and clinical laboratories. Lillia is a Greenville, SC native and attended the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biology. She then furthered her education at East Tennessee State, Quillen College of Medicine by earning a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. Her love for Greenville led her back home where she has been instrumental in oncology research and cellular therapy manufacturing. Passionate about oncology and blood donation, Lillia brings a unique perspective to KIYATEC’s mission.
Tessa DesRochers, Ph.D. : Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Tessa DesRochers is Scientific Director responsible for managing all research and development within KIYATEC, including all government contracts and grants, external collaborations, and internal preclinical and clinical assay development. Before joining the company, Tessa was in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University where she developed bioengineered 3D models of human kidney tissue and breast cancer with applications in the areas of nephrotoxicology, disease modeling, and infectious disease. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in the area of tissue engineering and disease applications, has presented a number of abstracts at multiple scientific meetings, and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. As a “military brat”, Tessa grew up in numerous locations, including California, England, and Ohio before her family settled in New Hampshire. She attended the University of New Hampshire where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She received her PhD from Tufts University’s Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology where her thesis focused upon epigenetic gene regulation in a 3D model of human skin. Her postdoctoral training included a year at Children’s Hospital in Boston and subsequent training in the lab of Dr. David Kaplan at Tufts University. Tessa is committed to the development of 3D tissues as better models of human development and disease.
Timothy Decker, MBA: Vice President, Commercial Operations

Tim Decker is VP Commercial Operations, leading KIYATEC’s marketing, sales and reimbursement efforts. Tim has flourished in commercial roles of increasing responsibility and complexity in both the pharmaceutical and molecular diagnostics sectors, with a particular focus on oncology. He spent the first decade of his career honing his strategic and tactical marketing skills at G.D. Searle and later Abbott Laboratories. In 2007, he transitioned into oncology molecular diagnostics at Genomic Health, where he served as Director of Sales and Marketing and subsequently Senior Director of Sales and Marketing. Tim was integral to all phases of market and commercial development of Oncotype DX tests for breast, colon and prostate cancers. In 2015, he accepted the role of VP Marketing at Castle Biosciences, where he focused on corporate, pipeline and product planning as well as commercial expansion of Castle’s DecisionDx test platform in melanoma. Tim spent his formative years living in the US and abroad (Middle East, South America). He earned his Bachelor of Science in marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Tim is very passionate about tumor biology and differential response/benefit to therapy. He feels privileged to work at the intersection of diagnostics and drug therapy.
Charlene Knape, MT, CLS: Vice President, Clinical Affairs

Charlene Knape is Vice President, Clinical Affairs, responsible for the strategy, development and conduct of clinical studies at KIYATEC. Her experience of 25 years conducting global clinical studies will support the expansion of clinical investigations for KIYATEC’s pipeline which includes ovarian cancer, glioblastoma, rare tumors and triple negative breast cancer. Prior to KIYATEC, Charlene has held Clinical positions at both large corporations and start-up medical device and in vitro diagnostic companies for regulated Class II and Class III products, including Inivata, Becton Dickinson, Micell Technologies, LabCorp, EndoTex Interventional, Somnus, and Avocet, which cover a vast array of technologies focused in the oncology and cardiovascular medical devices and the personalized medicine diagnostic space. Charlene grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and graduated with a degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the Michener Institute and is a Medical Technologist (G-CSLT). Her early career included clinical and research laboratory investigations and assay development employing flow and image cytometry for various solid tumor analysis, including participation as a site in clinical studies before supporting clinical research for industry. She has co-authored numerous publications for laboratory science and cardiovascular/endovascular studies. Along her career path, Charlene has gained a unique set of skills in Clinical, Regulatory, Quality and Marketing to help deliver KIYATEC’s precision medicine solution to patients through clinically-relevant diagnostic testing.

Board of Directors

Robert Silverman, Chairman

Mr. Silverman is the former CEO of mtm laboratories AG, an in-vitro diagnostics company which developed and commercialized a portfolio of products using its patent protected biomarkers for early detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer. He was instrumental in building this company into a global, fully integrated business, with a strong foundation of significant clinical utility and commercial momentum. Mr. Silverman successfully negotiated the purchase of mtm by Roche Diagnostics in August 2011 for a total deal value of $270 Million and then facilitated the integration of mtm into Roche. Prior to mtm laboratories, Mr. Silverman was the Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Commercial Operations for Viacell, a company focused on developing stem cell therapies and cord blood banking. Before this, he spent 6 years with Cytyc Corporation. During his tenure at Cytyc, he served as the Vice President of Marketing and the Vice President of International, and was integral in launching and establishing the core technology (the ThinPrep Pap Test) into the standard of care for cervical cancer screening. Previous positions include Vice-President of Marketing for Pasteur Merieux Connaught, Director of New Product Development for Abbott Laboratories Pharmaceutical Products Division and Management Consultant with Bain and Company. He earned his Master’s degree in Marketing and Finance from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Michigan. Mr. Silverman currently works with several companies in a Board and Advisory capacity.
Matthew R. Gevaert, Ph.D., CEO & Co-founder

Dr. Matthew (Matt) Gevaert is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of KIYATEC, Inc. Under Matt’s leadership and support of an incredible team, KIYATEC has earned national recognition for its progress towards accurately modeling and predicting cancer patient response to drug therapies prior to treatment. Based on 3D cell culture technology, the company has pioneered a novel “in-hospital startup” model to solve intrinsically complex healthcare problems for the betterment of cancer patients, developing elegant solutions that will ultimately work both for the hospital “down the hall” as well as across the continent. Through a dedicated focus on direct relevance to cancer patients, KIYATEC has successfully attracted multiple rounds of private sector investment, more than $5M of competitively awarded federal funding including contracts from the National Cancer Institute, prestigious clinical collaborators at leading national cancer institutions and relationships with premier biopharmaceutical companies developing the cancer therapies of the future.

Matt is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.Sc., Chemistry) and of Clemson University (M.S. and Ph.D., Bioengineering). He serves on a number of professional and community boards and occasionally teaches an MBA graduate course in technology entrepreneurship for professional business students.
Gregory F. Zaic

Greg has over 27 years of venture capital investment experience, having played a leadership role in the management of a number of venture capital funds. He currently represents Nexus on the Boards of Aethon, Kiyatec and Zipit Wireless. Greg also represented Nexus as a director of Sabal Medical and Cutanea Life Sciences until he negotiated their sale to a European and Asian acquirer respectively. In the past, he has been an active Board member of both public and private corporations, providing assistance and guidance on issues associated with business strategy, corporate expansion, organizational development, and becoming successful publicly traded companies. Selected investments include Biodel (novel insulin formulation, IPO), PerSeptive Biosystems (protein separation systems, acquired by Perkin Elmer) and Infusion Systems (disposable IV pump, acquired by Baxter). Prior to joining Nexus, Greg was a general partner of Prince Ventures, a healthcare- focused, venture capital partnership. During the 1980s, Greg was Vice President and Special Limited Partner of the Vista Group where he worked closely with Ed Snape, the leader of Vista’s health care practice, and Bob Fleming, Vista’s IT partner. From 1972 until 1979, Greg was an executive with Baxter Laboratories. His three member team was responsible for bringing CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis) into Baxter, where it became the second-most profitable product line in the company, then accounting for approximately 20% of Baxter’s total profits. Greg received a BS in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University; an MS in mechanical engineering the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and an MS from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Christopher Brotherton
Christopher is the Corporate Vice President of Ortec, Inc., a South Carolina company offering custom manufacturing services for pharmaceutical, medical device and combination products. Prior to joining Ortec, Christopher was with Nalco Company where he held several positions in product marketing, international marketing, and strategic mergers & acquisitions. He holds a bachelors degree in chemistry from Clemson University and an MBA from Wake Forest University.
Christine Dixon Thiesing

Christine is the Director of Academic Programs at the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), a public, non-profit corporation, fosters the state of South Carolina’s Innovation Economy by supporting entrepreneurs, enabling academic research and its commercialization, and connecting industry to innovators. Christine’s focus is coordinating translational research across South Carolina’s academic institutions to enhance funding opportunities and developing centers of excellence founded upon expertise and resources located throughout the state. Prior to SCRA, she was the Associate Director of Technology Development for MUSC Foundation for Research Development. As the Associate Director, she identified resources for the maturation of medical technologies and supported more than twenty startup companies. In addition, she recently co-founded PriMed, an accelerator dedicated to providing a business foundation for medical device startups.

Scientific Advisory Board

Carlos Arteaga, MD (UT Southwestern Medical Center)
Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Dean of Oncology Programs at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, Past Chair of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
David Kaplan, PhD (Tufts University)
Endowed Chair, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering. Director for the NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC; Tufts & Columbia Universities). Associate Editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules. Fellow American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Columbus Discovery Award, Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award
Anil Sood, MD (MD Anderson)
Professor/Vice Chair for Translational Research Gynecologic Oncology & Reproductive Medicine. Director Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program, Co-Director for the Center for RNA Interference & Non-Coding RNA. Deputy Editor for Gynecologic Oncology. American Society for Clinical Investigation, Hunter Award, GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Prize

Contact

KIYATEC Inc.
900-B West Faris Road
Greenville, SC 29605 USA

Phone: (864) 502-2013
Fax: (864) 502-2548

customer.service@kiyatec.com