Prior to cofounding SynGen, Mr. Coelho founded and ran several companies, including Cesca’s device division, ThermoGenesis Corp., where he also served as chairman and chief executive officer. At ThermoGenesis, he led the development of many of the company’s key products, including the Thermoline ultra rapid blood plasma freezers and thawers, the CryoSeal automated system for preparing fibrin sealant from a surgical patient’s blood, the BioArchive robotic system for controlled-rate freezing and cryogenically archiving units of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) derived from placental/cord blood and the AutoXpress System, which automates the sterile harvesting of HSPCs from cord blood into a 25 ml dual-compartment freezing bag. The BioArchive® and AutoXpress® Systems have defined cGMP standards in cord blood processing and banking worldwide.
In 2002, Mr. Coelho initiated an effort to obtain federal funding sufficient to allow qualified public cord blood banks to build a substantial inventory of ethnically diverse, clinical grade, cord blood stem cell units for all patients in need. Passed unanimously by Congress and signed by President Bush on December 19, 2005, the “Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005” authorized and began financing of a national inventory of 150,000 units of cryopreserved, HLA typed, cord blood stem cells and a website that allowed transplant physicians to choose optimal stem cell units for the treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma; inherited immunodeficiencies and marrow failure disorders and inherited disorders or errors of metabolism. During this last decade, Mr. Coelho has gathered detailed knowledge of the practices of the major public and private cord blood banks in 30 countries and has developed working relationships with many scientists, clinicians and directors associated with these cord blood banks.
As CTO of Cesca, Mr. Coehlo is leading the development of new products for the clinical and research fields that improve the speed and efficiency of harvesting target cell populations resident within peripheral or placental/cord blood or bone marrow and washing/purifying ex-vivo expanded cell populations derived from those cells.
Mr. Coelho holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Davis.