As COO and MP of the Dark Horse Consulting Group practice, Katy leads a variety of operational functions, including business development, HR, communications, and administration. Her work on behalf of DHC clients currently focuses primarily on cross-functional strategic projects such as due diligence, regulatory, cross-functional program, and business strategies. When Dr. Spink joined Dark Horse, she brought more than a decade of deep experience as a corporate officer of two publicly-traded cell therapy companies and provided strategic and operational guidance: leading practice operations and business development for a wide range of client engagements.
Katy started her career at strategic management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where she consulted for an array of biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies on topics ranging from R&D strategy to marketing and business development. She then moved on to Geron Corporation, initially in a business development role, and quickly rising to Senior Vice President of Cell Therapy Program Operations and Alliance Management. While at Geron, Katy led the team to FDA clearance to initiate the first-ever clinical trial of a pluripotent stem cell-derived therapy, among many other accomplishments.
After leaving Geron, as an independent consultant, she served as interim COO for an ophthalmology cell therapy company, negotiated partnership terms between small and large biotechnology companies, wrote two successful translational medicine grant applications, and established a project workplan and investment stage-gating plan for a complex multiparty collaborative research project.
Before joining Dark Horse, Katy served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Asterias Biotherapeutics. She was a founding member of the company’s executive team and designed and led the portfolio prioritization process to establish a corporate strategy and operating plan at the company’s founding. She also led the design, build, and validation of an in-house cGMP manufacturing facility for one of Asterias’s programs as well as the selection and oversight of a CMO for a second program. Katy was integral in the growth of the company, which grew to over 60 employees after only four years. She wore many hats at Asterias, with responsibilities ranging from corporate strategy, business development, intellectual property and investor relations to process development, research, program management, manufacturing, quality, and facilities.