Johnny Stine is founder and president of North Coast Biologics, a Seattle-based company that discovers targeted antibody drugs. He previously founded Spaltudaq in January 2005, an antibody drug developer that has gone on to raise $34 million in venture capital from investors that include Arch Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, HealthCare Ventures, Amgen Ventures, MPM Capital, and Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Earlier in his career, he worked on antibody drug discovery programs at Abgenix Biopharma in Vancouver, BC and Icos. Before joining the biotech industry, he performed cancer biology research at St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis from 1989 to 1994. Stine has bachelor's degrees in microbiology and zoology from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville with post graduate training from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and the departments of Tumor Cell Biology and Biochemistry from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Stine, a member of the Snohomish tribe, named Spaltudaq after a healing ceremony once performed by his ancestors in the Puget Sound region. The elaborate ritual was described as the Spirit Canoe Ceremony where local shaman would collaborate in a soul recovery journey to ensure that people stricken with disease wouldn't die before their time. The new endeavor, called North Coast Biologics, while it doesn't use the indigenous Lushootseed language, it is the English translation of how the indigenous people of Puget Sound and British Columbia referred to their regional tribal lands.
Not so long ago, there was a day when biotechnology companies were built to last. They were founded and directed by pioneering scientists who were courageous, true-believers in their respective technologies.... Read more »