President and Chief Executive Officer
Cutting-Edge Immuno-oncology Treatments
Helen Sabzevari, PhD is an internationally recognized scientist, leader, and strategist whose dedication to developing novel, game-changing cancer treatments has distinguished her as a leader in immuno-oncology, a field that holds great promise in the battle against cancer by harnessing the patient’s own immune system.
Under her leadership, the Precigen team goes to work each day with the mantra that “Every minute counts in the battle against cancer.” With that in mind, the team brought together the disciplines of cancer cell biology and immunology to understand how the immune system and cancer cells interact with the body as a whole and form the basis for recent advances in immuno-oncology, particularly in the field of cancer vaccines.
Helen’s forward-thinking approach has pushed Precigen employees to continuously explore new and inventive ways to treat patients, including the transformative UltraCAR-T® platform, which involves reprograming cancer patient’s own blood cells to attack tumors using Precigen’s technology. UltraCAR-T has the potential to bring cutting-edge chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies to cancer patients en masse through rapid manufacturing, lower manufacturing-related costs, and improved outcomes using advanced technologies for precise tumor targeting and control of the immune system.
Her dedication to helping patients has driven Precigen’s vision to develop life-saving and cost-conscious therapies for patients with unmet medical needs. In fact, that dedication was recently recognized by the Forbes “50 over 50: The Visionary List,” which honors women in a variety of industries and included Vice President Kamala Harris.
Not wanting her legacy to end with her own achievements, Helen also works to inspire and recruit future researchers and leaders in the field and strengthen the bridge between academia and the biopharma industry. She helped to establish the Precigen Postdoc program at the company’s Maryland headquarters, an unrivaled opportunity that allows selected Postdocs to receive a grant to continue their Precigen project in an appropriate academic setting of their choice. Precigen is one of the first biotechnology, and the first synthetic biotechnology company, to offer this type of grant. At the conclusion of the program, scientists and clinicians leave poised to take on the future challenges of drug development.