Makana Therapeutics Announces the Appointment of Dr. Kurt Dasse to Its Board of Directors

EAGAN, Minn., Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Makana Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Recombinetics Inc., a leading gene editing company with platform technology applied to biomedicine and animal agriculture, announced today the appointment of Kurt A. Dasse, Ph.D., to its Board of Directors. Dr. Dasse will join current Board Members Dr. Joe Tector, Dr. David Largaespada, Peter Hajas and Mark Platt

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kurt Dasse as a new director to the Makana Therapeutics’ board and especially value the dialogue we have had thus far. Dr. Dasse joins Makana Therapeutics at an inspiring time, as we continue to develop and facilitate the future of organ transplantation," said Mark Platt, Makana Therapeutics CEO. In addition, we are confident that our board of directors’ skills and experiences, will provide strong guidance as we continue to drive the science and technology forward, and enhance the organization for shareholders and patients alike. We look forward to Dr. Dasse’s contribution." 

Makana Therapeutics’ Board regularly evaluates the company’s strategy in bringing to market organ transplantation alternative for human donors. The individuals who comprise the board have been operating in the space for many years and carry the experience necessary to improve patient outcomes. 

Dr. Dasse replaces Dr. Cathy Thut, who stepped down from the Makana Therapeutics Board to pursue a new opportunity in the biotech market. "We appreciate Cathy’s collaborative approach and are pleased to have worked together to enhance the company’s position," said Joe Tector, MD, Ph.D., Founder at Makana Therapeutics. "Makana Therapeutics has immense opportunity to impact the world, and we believe the new Board of Directors will be a significant asset to us. The board and the management team are committed to achieving the goals we have set out for ourselves and look forward to reaching our milestone First in Human Trial as early as the late 2022." 

About Kurt Dasse, Ph.D. 
Dr. Dasse has spent over thirty years developing and commercializing medical devices and drugs to treat cardiac, respiratory and kidney disorders. He received his doctorate in physiology from Boston University. Dr. Dasse held academic positions at Boston University and Tufts University Schools of Medicine and is currently Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bioengineering at the University of Louisville Medical School in Louisville, Kentucky. He has written more than 100 journal articles and multiple book chapters and holds 14 issued and 3 pending patents. 

He began his commercial experience at Thermedics in 1985 where he conducted research on percutaneous access devices, vascular access devices, vascular grafts and peritoneal dialysis catheters. He was one of the founding officers of the publicly traded company, Thermo Cardioystems (TCI), and played a key role in commercializing the first implantable left ventricular assist systems (HeartMate IP and XVE) for end-stage heart-failure patients. The company went on to develop HeartMate II and HeartMate 3, the market leading left ventricular assist devices used as a bridge to cardiac transplantation and destination therapy. The Company was sold to Thoratec in 2001. 

Dr. Dasse was Chief Scientist and Vice President of Thermo Electron Corporation’s $700-million Biomedical Group. Thermo Electron held twenty medical companies that focused on developing products for the respiratory, neurodiagnostic, cardiovascular and imaging markets. 

He served as Cofounder, President and CEO of Levitronix, a developer and manufacturer of the first generation of MagLev blood pumps for the medical industry including the CentriMag and PediMag devices for adult and pediatric patients. The company also co-developed the MagLev system for HeartMate III (Abbott Laboratories). The medical division of Levitronix was sold to Thoratec Corporation in 2011.  

He recently served as CEO of GeNO LLC, developing a combination of products (device and drug) to deliver inhaled nitric oxide for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. He is a member of the National Institutes of Health Executive Committee for the PumpKIN program in overseeing the development of mechanical circulatory support devices for pediatric patients. 

Dr. Dasse served as President of ASAIO, a society focused on the development of artificial heart, lung, kidney, and tissue engineering technology, and as a board member of the International Society for Rotary Blood Pumps. He also served on the Technology Advisory Board for Battelle Memorial Institute, and the Scientific Advisory Board of Cardeon with a focus on developing a hypothermia product. 

He previously served on the boards of Given Imaging, Afferent Corporation, Levitronix, Endovalve and GeNO LLC. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of BiVACOR and CH Biomedical and as a Director of VADovations, Inspired Therapeutics and Artio specializing in cardiac and renal products. Dr. Dasse is a cofounder and CEO of Inspired Therapeutics and President and Chief Operating Officer of VADovations located in Oklahoma City, OK.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Dasse and look forward to applying his vast experience in catapulting xenotransplantation forward.

About Makana Therapeutics 
Founded in 2009, Makana Therapeutics is focused on developing swine with reduced xenoantigen expression, making human transplantation of cells, tissues, and organs from these animals possible. Makana’s focus on simplified genetics, optimized pig cloning techniques, and careful patient selection is expected to streamline product development and result in safer more efficacious products. 

Under the scientific leadership of Dr. Joe Tector, Makana Therapeutics has achieved the world’s most compelling pre-clinical results in the field of xenotransplantation.

About Recombinetics 
Founded in 2008, Recombinetics Inc. is a recognized global leader in the development, deployment, and commercialization of genetically engineered large animals.  Its four subsidiaries, Regenevida, Surrogen, Makana, and Acceligen, have delivered hundreds of animals to enable drug, device and therapeutic discovery, generate transplantable cells, tissues and organs, and provide improved health, well-being and productivity in agricultural animals. 
Contact: Nikki Rockstroh,