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The K2bio Team

Reaching the peak of biotechnology innovation through integrity. advanced practices. essential support. expert guidance.

With extensive expertise in critical laboratory techniques, animal husbandry, phase-appropriate compliance and regulatory oversight, and study protocol development and execution, we ensure research is efficiently and securely conducted. The result: robust, high-value data.

Executive Leadership

Co-Founder and Board Chair

Andrew Strong

Andrew Strong has extensive experience representing many of the firm’s life sciences clients and routinely advises on corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, private and public financing, university licensing, executive compensation, and regulatory matters. 

Mr. Strong’s clients include public- and private-sector entities in the emerging technology and life sciences industries as well as public and private academic institutions. He previously served as the general counsel and compliance officer for the Texas A&M University System, where he was responsible for, among other things, business transactions, technology commercialization, research compliance, real estate, and litigation for the system’s 11 public universities, 7 state agencies, and health science center. 

Mr. Strong was the founding president and CEO of a start-up biotech company, Kalon Biotherapeutics, formed by the Texas A&M System in 2011. He was integral to the multibillion-dollar award from BARDA in 2012. Over the course of 3 years, Mr. Strong successfully grew Kalon to over 100 employees and secured significant partnerships with MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. He then successfully ran a process to secure a strategic exit for Kalon that resulted in the sale of the company to Fujifilm and Mitsubishi in December 2014. 

Mr. Strong set his focus on helping grow the Texas biotechnology industry and has represented over 20 Texas private and public biotech companies, a number of which are funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). 

Head of Scientific Development, Interim CEO

Colby Suire, PhD

Colby brings over 17 years of scientific research experience and more than 11 years has been spent advancing drug candidates in the cell and gene therapy industry. Prior to joining K2 Biolabs, he served as the Head of Research at Talaris Therapeutics where he led teams across pre-clinical and translational clinical biomarker studies to advance cell therapy products. Previously, he served as Head of Analytical Development at Neurogene where he led the development of in-process and release testing for Neurogene’s gene therapy pipeline. Earlier, he led several assay and process development teams for pre-clinical and clinical cell therapy products. Mr. Suire has extensive experience working with non-engineered and CAR-engineered cell therapies and a strong understanding of phase-appropriate drug development to meet regulatory requirements from IND to Phase III. Colby received a PhD in Stem Cell Biology from UT Health/MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Director, Business Development

Chad Durastanti

Chad has over 15 years in the CRO industry, serving in a variety of roles from technical writing of GLP toxicology and analytical studies to sales and strategy. His past 8 years, he managed a sales territory, assisting clients with their GLP safety assessment needs. Chad has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Akron.

Associate Director of Vivarium Services

Kelly Sharp

Kelly Sharp has 15 years of experience as an animal and vivarium manager, during which she was actively involved in obtaining AAALAC accreditation for 2 new vivarium facilities. She has managed animal studies, data collection and delivery from the core team to multiple scientists, and finalized data for review by scientific teams. She has also developed and reviewed IACUC protocol submissions and has hands-on experience with laboratory animals and cell culture work. 

Regulatory Consulting Services LLC

Patricia Brant, RQAP-GLP

Patty brings over 25 years of GLP Experience,  Performing Qualification, Data/Report, and/or In-Process Inspections, along with creating staff GLP training. She is a Registered Quality Assurance Professional with the Society of Quality Assurance. Patty’s expertise elevates the quality of our clients’ studies to meet and exceed FDA standards.

Strategic Advisory Board

Ann Tanabe

  • Appointed CEO of BioHouston in October 2015 after serving 4 years as the company’s COO 
  • Former vice president of investor relations at Synthesis Energy Systems, a publicly traded alternative energy company 
  • Former vice president of corporate communications and investor relations and investor relations director at Encysive Pharmaceuticals  
  • Served as investor relations manager and corporate communications coordinator at Texas Biotechnology 
  • Held a variety of positions at Rochem Separation Systems 
  • Bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University 
  • Member of the the CPRIT Product Development Advisory Committee, The University of Houston BME Industrial Advisory Board, Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s Program Advisory Board, and Houston Community College’s Biotechnology Advisory Committee 
  • Active member of the Houston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) since 2000; current board member 

Michael Curran, PhD

  • Associate professor of immunology  at MDACC, where his laboratory seeks to discover the underlying mechanisms of immune resistance in the “coldest” tumors so that rational therapeutic interventions can be developed to restore T cell infiltration and sensitivity to T cell checkpoint blockade 
  • Published several influential manuscripts describing how T cell co-stimulatory pathways could be modulated in tandem to mediate immunologic rejection of melanomas in mice  
  • First recipient of the prestigious American Cancer Society Levy Fellowship to fund his postdoctoral studies 
  • PhD in immunology from Stanford University, where he was awarded the McDevitt prize for the best graduate thesis in his year 

COL (Ret) George E. Peoples, MD, FACS

  • Founder and CMO of LumaBridge (formerly Cancer Insight) and Trauma Insight 
  • Served 30 years of active duty as a surgeon and research scientist in the military  
  • Founder and director of the Cancer Vaccine Development Program, which has over 20 years of experience in the discovery, development, and clinical testing of cancer vaccines, including 5 licensed for commercial development 
  • Professor of surgery at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and professor (adjunct) of surgical oncology at MDACC 
  • Former chair of the Cancer Care Program at the San Antonio Military Medical Center and past military director of the United States Military Cancer Institute 
  • Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; completed surgical training at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a surgical oncology fellowship at MDACC 
  • Has written over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters 

Tom Campbell

  • Former general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; led the federal team that assessed the ecological impact of the Valdez Oil Spill  
  • Former general counsel and head of the gulf coast Environmental Science Group for Entrix; led multidisciplinary science teams in pioneering the use of eco-econometric tools now used by governments and industry worldwide 
  • Founding partner of a boutique environmental law firm representing some of the country’s largest companies, dealing with some of their most challenging environmental liabilities 

Board of Directors

Andrew Strong

Co-Founder and Board Chair

Andrew Strong has extensive experience representing many of the firm’s life sciences clients and routinely advises on corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, private and public financing, university licensing, executive compensation, and regulatory matters. 

Mr. Strong’s clients include public- and private-sector entities in the emerging technology and life sciences industries as well as public and private academic institutions. He previously served as the general counsel and compliance officer for the Texas A&M University System, where he was responsible for, among other things, business transactions, technology commercialization, research compliance, real estate, and litigation for the system’s 11 public universities, 7 state agencies, and health science center. 

Mr. Strong was the founding president and CEO of a start-up biotech company, Kalon Biotherapeutics, formed by the Texas A&M System in 2011. He was integral to the multibillion-dollar award from BARDA in 2012. Over the course of 3 years, Mr. Strong successfully grew Kalon to over 100 employees and secured significant partnerships with MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. He then successfully ran a process to secure a strategic exit for Kalon that resulted in the sale of the company to Fujifilm and Mitsubishi in December 2014. 

Mr. Strong set his focus on helping grow the Texas biotechnology industry and has represented over 20 Texas private and public biotech companies, a number of which are funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Andrew DeSomma

  • Founder and current manager of Resolute Investments 
  • More than 20 years of experience investing in private and public businesses across technology, biotech, consumer, and retail markets 
  • Previously an analyst at 2 SEC-registered crossover hedge funds in the Bay Area and a sell-side analyst in San Francisco and New York

Gerard F. Fleury

  • More than 40 years of experience in business, finance, and accounting across a variety of industries 
  • Began his career with Deloitte & Touche, an international public accounting and consulting firm, where he served clients in manufacturing, distribution, and technology 
  • Served as the CFO, COO, or CEO of companies in software, healthcare, biotech, and more recently, biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing, including Paragon Bioservices, a CDMO which sold to Catalent for more than $1.2 billion 
  • Expert in domestic and international operations, debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and technology licensing
  • Currently the managing member of Clipper Consulting, a business advisory firm 

Kevin Slawin, MD

  • Oncologic and robotic surgeon, biotech consultant, investor, and company founder focusing on disruptive technologies in oncology, T cells and immunotherapy, and other breakthrough healthcare technologies 
  • Founder and managing partner of Rapha Capital Management, LLC 
  • Founder of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, which he led to a successful $161 million IPO in December 2014 
  • Board member at 3DBio Therapeutics, FIZE Medical, and Demeetra AgBio; guides several investments managed by Rapha Capital 
  • Board member and interim CEO of portfolio company AsclepiX Therapeutics; engineered their $35 million Series A financing in mid-2020  
  • Founder and CEO of PONCE Therapeutics, a Houston-based anti-aging company—the first client of K2bio 

Clifford J. Stocks

  • More than 3 decades of experience in the biotech industry  
  • Founder and chief executive officer of OncoResponse, a Seattle-based immuno-oncology company formed as a broad strategic alliance with MDACC
  • Former chief executive officer at Theraclone Sciences  
  • Former chief business officer of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals 
  • Multiple roles for more than 15 years at ICOS Corporation 
  • Instrumental role on the leadership team that developed and launched Cialis® 
  • A key architect of the Lilly ICOS joint venture partnership, which led to the $2.3 billion acquisition of ICOS in 2007 
  • Master of business administration from the University of Chicago, Booth Graduate School of Business, and a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Utah 

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