Fresh Wind Biotechnologies, Inc. is developing innovative and potent cellular immunotherapies to enhance cancer patient's every day experiences. Founded in 2020, our incredible team of scientists, clinicians, bioinformaticians and business development experts have worked tirelessly to bring our company to the forefront of the fight against cancer.
We dedicate our resources to develop and to commercialize highly effective and safe personalized cancer treatment. We focus on integration of high-throughput platforms, state-of-art data science and engineering, and innovative cellular therapy technologies to advance precision oncology.
Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) utilizes and enhances the cells of our own immune system to eliminate cancer. Naturally occurring T cells in cancer patients are often capable of targeting their cancers cells. However, they aren’t always enough to carry out their mission to eliminate tumors, due to
being lack of activity, or
being unable to maintain the activity for a sufficiently long time, or
being inadequate numbers.
We specialize in development of one form of ACT to address these issues, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy. Our technologies isolate patient’s own T cells that have infiltrated their tumors, activate and expand them. Then a plenty of these activated T cells are re-infused into the patients to destroy tumors. In addition, in order to further improve the efficacy and safety of treatment, we develop the technologies to enhance TILs with the abilities to target neoantigen that are specific to patient tumor cells.
Fuli Yu, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO
Dr. Yu founded Fresh Wind Biotechnologies and has served as our Chief Executive Officer since 2020. Prior to Fresh Wind, he worked as Chief Information Officer at Berry Genomics from 2015 to 2020, where he built the entire IT/Informatics team from tens of FTEs to >200 FTEs. He was also an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine from 2008 to 2020, substantially contributing in the international genomics consortia, particularly HapMap3, the 1000 Genomes Project, and CHARGE. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School and Broad Institute from 2005 to 2008. He received a Ph.D. in Genomics and Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine and a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Nankai University.
"A biomedical researcher, an innovator and team builder, a biotech entrepreneur, and a person with aspiration, I am thrilled to be part of this revolutionary phase in precision medicine. As innovations from various disciplines converge rapidly, it is becoming possible to challenge the once impossible, more than ever before! Our team in Fresh Wind brings together our years of experiences, aiming to seamlessly integrate multi-omics discovery into cellular therapeutic development. We might come from different geographic areas, with diverse life backgrounds, nevertheless, we share ONE vision in Fresh Wind: translate technologies into meaningful clinical actions, to SAVE and CURE!"
Imtiaz Yakub, Ph.D.
Co-founder & SVP for Business Development
Dr. Yakub co-founded Fresh Wind Biotechnologies and has served as our Senior Vice President for Business Development since 2020. He is also an advisor at TMC Innovation Institute since 2018. Prior to Fresh Wind, he worked as an IP attorney at two international law firms, Paul Hastings from 2013 to 2018 and White & Case from 2010 to 2013, providing strategic advice to Fortune 50 biotechnology and tech companies on developing IP assets, licensing, and technology transactions in the fields of biologics, drug formulations, cloud computing, SaaS, and networked healthcare products. He received a J.D. from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Genetics from Texas A&M University.
"I am excited to be working with the founding team at Fresh Wind. We have the right convergence of advanced bioinformatics expertise, access to large clinical networks, and industry commercialization experience to make a significant impact in the oncology space by rapidly developing AI-powered bioinformatics tools and precision oncology products that we can bring to market quickly. The computational advances in the last several years have significantly reduced the time to market for biotech product pipelines. This is a fantastic time to be in this field, and there are numerous opportunities to enhance oncology patient care with the product pipelines we are developing at Fresh Wind."
Hui Yao, Ph.D.
Co-founder & SVP for Informatics
Dr. Yao co-founded Fresh Wind Biotechnologies and has served as our Senior Vice President for Informatics since 2020. Prior to Fresh Wind, he worked as principal bioinformatician in #1 cancer hospital of the U.S., MD Anderson Cancer Center, from 2007 to 2020. He led a team of statisticians and bioinformaticians to develop quantitative methods using high-throughput data to discover biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis and to improve cancer treatment, and contributed in publishing 60+ articles in prestigious journals. Previously, he worked as a research associate at Children’s Hospital Bonston in 2007 and he was a bioinformatics engineer at National University of Singapore from 1998 to 2000. He received a Ph.D. in Computational Biology from Baylor College of Medicine, a Master in Information System and Computer Science from National University of Singapore, and a B.S. in Genetics from Fudan University.
"With rapid advance of next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry and other high-throughput technologies, we run into the age of ‘big data’ of biomedical research and application, especially oncology. In addition, with the booming deep learning and cloud computing, I am extremely excited to enter the era of precision medicine and digital biology. With our inspired founding team, talent scientists and engineers, and insightful business minds in Fresh Wind, we are ready to start the engine to rev up our creativity to discover innovative diagnostic and treatment methods to help cancer patients."
Tianhong Xu, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-founder & Chief Strategic Officer
Dr. Xu co-founded Fresh Wind Biotechnologies and has served as our Chief Strategic Officer since 2020. He is also a founding partner at Virtus Inspire (VI) Ventures since 2015. Prior to that, he worked as a partner at WI Harper Group from 2013 to 2015 and Vangoo Capitol from 2011 to 2013, focusing on investments in the medical device, biotech, and healthcare service. Previously, he was a medical industry expert at the United Nations-Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) from 2009 to 2011, where he directed the upgrade of medical industrial clusters in China through investment promotion, technology transfer, and management consulting. Formerly, he was a clinical doctor at Renji Hospital in China. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, and a M.D. from Fudan University.
“I am a doctor, researcher and investor. Above all, I am bounded to bring disruptive know-hows to the market place for maximizing socioeconomic benefits. Fresh Wind Biotech is the right formula for reaching this objective.”
Kris Xue Zhang, Ph.D.
Co-founder & SVP for Cell Therapy
Dr. Zhang co-founded Fresh Wind Biotechnologies and has served as our Senior Vice President for Cell Therapy since 2021. In his role, he is responsible for development and translation of Fresh Wind’s proprietary TIL technology platform to clinical cancer immunotherapy. Prior to joining Fresh Wind, Kris was at Gilead Sciences, where he led projects relating to discovery and functional screening of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) for CAR-T cell therapy. In addition, he played instrumental roles in several therapeutic antibody programs ranging from early stage through Investigational New Drug-enabling development. Previously, he held several positions of increasing responsibilities at AnaptysBio and Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. Kris received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine, and a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Nankai University. He has published a number of U.S. patents and U.S. applications relating to cell therapy and therapeutic antibodies.
“I am excited to be a part of the Fresh Wind founding team. We are a group of cross-functional experts focused on a common mission to develop innovative technologies to benefit patients in need. The recent exciting advances in immunotherapy have led to significant progress in cancer treatment. TIL cell therapy could be the next breakthrough in treating and even curing cancer patients. I feel lucky and privileged to be a scientist and an entrepreneur who could witness this process from vision to reality.”
Scientific Advisory Board
Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair & Professor
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
National Academy of Medicine
“The bioinformatics approach by Fresh Wind Biotechnologies has the potential to rapidly identify targets for enhancing both the specificity and broad application of immunotherapy applications”
Helen Heslop, MD, DSc (Hon)
Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics
Section of Hematology-Oncology
Baylor College of Medicine
“Over the past few years it has become apparent that immunotherapy is now a major treatment modality for cancer. Because of its precision, memory and ability to evolve it has the potential for even broader application”
Shun Lu, M.D., Ph.D.
Shanghai Chest Hospital
Jiao Tong University
Shanghai Lung Cancer Center
"Immunotherapy, especially neoantigen discovery and cellular therapies are entering a revolutionary phase for solid tumor treatment. As a clinical oncologist, this is exciting to witness and act as a catalyst for the development in Fresh Wind Biotech. It is a great honor to work with this leading team with extensive scientific research and industrialization experiences."