Collage of photos of AGT employees, scientists in the lab, and the AGT office building

Rockville, Maryland’s American Gene Technologies (AGT) is on a mission to remedy HIV. And they simply achieved one other important milestone in that probably groundbreaking journey.

In early November 2021, the corporate introduced that the third affected person in its first-in-human research for AGT103-T, a cell remedy for HIV, had been dosed with no severe antagonistic occasions. This newest milestone achievement strikes the corporate and its workforce one other step nearer to curing HIV and making historical past.

Moving any remedy out of the clinic and to commercialization is an extended and winding journey. This is especially so for cell and gene therapies. There are solely a handful of cell and gene products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and whereas the authorised merchandise may differ, the businesses which have received FDA approval have frequent traits: nice science, robust management, and a patient-centric, mission-driven workforce that’s pulling in the identical path. 

Under the management of CEO Jeff Galvin, AGT has constructed a tradition that’s distinctive but retains these core strengths prevalent on the handful of organizations which have introduced a cell or gene remedy to market. The AGT workforce is outlined by a purpose-driven esprit de coeur the place mission, perseverance, nice science, and dedication have converged to provide excellent outcomes and a office that fosters private achievement and skilled growth. 

The latest constructive AGT 103-T outcomes are a direct reflection of AGT’s tradition. Talk to anybody on Galvin’s workforce and they’ll inform you AGT is a particular place to work, innovate, and develop each personally and professionally.

Nidal Muvarak, Principal Scientist, got here to AGT from academia the place the notion existed that the biotech {industry} places revenue over mission, in lots of instances, which led Muvarak to have some reservations about becoming a member of the biotech {industry} previous to his AGT interview.

“As soon as I interviewed with the folks here, I knew that the profit over mission perception didn’t apply to AGT. I immediately had the sense that for AGT the science, curing disease, and ending suffering mattered more than money,” said Muvarek, reflecting an industry-wide pattern the place a transparent sense of objective and mission have grow to be influential components for expertise selecting one employer over one other. 

More than 4 years later, Muvarek has a while underneath his belt to mirror on how AGT’s tradition and mission make the corporate an ideal place to work, study, and develop a profession.

“Being at a small company you feel that you’re with family,” he added. “My coworkers are my friends. The best part of being here in addition to the scientific work is just chatting with my coworkers about anything. That makes me happy.” 

“Last year I was walking down the hallway and I ran into our Chief Science Officer. He told me that our HIV product AGT 103-T’s Investigational New Drug (IND) submission had been accepted. A lot of hard work and sweat went into that; there were periods during the submission process where I worked long hours. I remember I just wanted to give him a hug—that was the first IND acceptance I’d been a part of in my career. You don’t typically run into your CSO in the hallway at a big company. That’s part of what makes AGT different and enjoyable.”

In a latest BioBuzz 5 Questions interview, Galvin shared some insights into the outstanding, numerous, and vibrant tradition that AGT has fostered since its founding in 2007.

“AGT is a unique place. Every person who works at the company, from the admin staff to the PhDs in the lab, work towards a goal we are passionate about: ending as much human suffering as possible. That energy is palpable in the halls,” shared Galvin.

“We value brains, work ethic, passion, creativity, and teamwork. That value system has brought us tremendous diversity in the team and has created a multi-ethnic workforce that is over 60% women, with nine native spoken languages. The team members at AGT have gravitated to the company through their desire and belief that we can cure diseases with unique technology and collaboration. They are all dedicated, passionate people with creative minds, and we greatly value each other’s contributions,” he added. 

While AGT’s potential remedy for HIV has been within the highlight just lately, the corporate can be advancing a robust and diverse product pipeline. AGT’s mission is obvious—finish as a lot human struggling as potential—but the potential pathways to attain the aim are manifold. The firm’s gene platform has robust potential to create new, efficient, and protected therapies for infectious illnesses, monogenic problems, and most cancers. 

However, shifting these promising medication from the clinic to the market would require attracting and retaining the fitting expertise that aligns with AGT’s mission and perpetuates its already robust tradition. 

AGT’s promising science and robust office tradition is a magnetic pull for gifted life sciences professionals in any respect profession levels.  

“AGT is doing big things and I wanted to take my career here to help. I’ve had jobs in the past where the collective passion wasn’t there, but this company is in the process of creating something new and it’s as close to the ‘creation’ aspect as you can get,” shared Luke Williams, Marketing & Sales Generalist at AGT, when requested why he determined to hitch the corporate.

Williams additionally recounted a few of his favourite experiences at AGT. He said AGT is known for its events, and when the corporate acquired constructive security outcomes for the AGT 103-T trial, AGT definitely lived as much as this repute.

“Jeff gave an awesome speech and we had people that came from all over the world. Not only was the night wonderful, but it also was meaningful because everyone was there for the mission. This party showed how much fun we can have but it was still tied to our purpose and mission,” said Williams.

“I was originally apprehensive about joining a smaller company like AGT. Now I am an advocate for it because of my great experience here,” he added. “I feel like a part of a family, not an employee.”

“We’re in cell and gene therapy, which is a very hot field, and that’s our bread and butter. We have a great team of scientists and leaders. My kids call Jeff ‘Big Boss.’ I love what I do and I love the people I work with and for,” Muvarek added. 

“AGT’s hiring philosophy is that we want to hire smart, creative individuals that have the drive to succeed. We like to say, ‘When you hire the best you hire from all around the world.’ We’re in Rockville, Maryland, and close to Washington DC with its international community; we’re also in an area with a high concentration of PhDs. Though these scientists are from different backgrounds, everyone is united in the mission and passion to find the next great thing to update the human body,” said Williams. “That’s what working at AGT is like and why it’s great.”

Heading into 2022, the complete AGT workforce may be very enthusiastic about shifting its HIV product via the following segments of the Phase 1 trial and getting a have a look at its efficacy information in some unspecified time in the future within the new yr. 

United by mission, objective, and nice science, the AGT workforce is inching nearer to an HIV remedy and making medical historical past. 

“If we could demonstrate our HIV product is effective and safe, it will take us a step closer to ending the suffering of HIV patients across the world,” added Williams. “It’s just an amazing feeling to be part of something larger than myself and that could improve so many people’s lives.”

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Steve has over 20 years expertise in copywriting, creating model messaging and creating advertising methods throughout a variety of industries, together with the biopharmaceutical, senior dwelling, business actual property, IT and renewable vitality sectors, amongst others. He is presently the Principal/Owner of StoryCore, a Frederick, Maryland-based content material creation and execution consultancy centered on telling the distinctive tales of Maryland organizations.