C-Suite Insights with Elaine Haynes, CEO of KaloCyte

03/04/2024| Julie Miller

C-Suite Insights with Elaine Haynes, CEO of KaloCyte

03/04/2024 | Julie Miller

As a seasoned business leader with more than 35 years of healthcare experience and extensive expertise with complex pharmaceuticals and devices, Elaine Haynes joined the Maryland life sciences scene as CEO of KaloCyte, Inc. 

In this C-Suite Insights, we learn more about Elaine’s industry experience and why she decided to relocate the business to Maryland.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization.
I am CEO of KaloCyte, Inc., a pre-clinical biotech startup developing an artificial red blood cell substitute that can be freeze-dried and stored for use when blood is not available. I have raised over $5M in investor funding and $14M in non-dilutive grant funding for KaloCyte, moved the company from St. Louis to Baltimore, and grew the team to nine employees. A pharmacist by training and Midwest native, I joined KaloCyte after 28 years at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. I also have two daughters who are successfully adulting, and a large dog that protects my husband and me from deer and delivery drivers.

Where in Maryland do you live?
I live in Baltimore County on the northern edge of Reisterstown.

Where in Maryland is your office located?
KaloCyte’s offices and labs are located in the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine research building, near the UM BioPark, where we are an affiliate.

What is your favorite activity to do/place to visit in Maryland with your family/friends?
I’m an avid gardener and enjoy toiling at home. We like to take visitors hiking at Oregon Ridge Park. It’s a beautifully wooded area with great views of Hunt Valley from the top of the ridge, a nature center, and a “Forest of Hope” art installation of painted trees.

Why is your business based in Maryland?
KaloCyte relocated from St. Louis to Maryland to co-locate our team and improve access to resources that have accelerated our development. Consolidating our team at UMB within our co-founder’s lab has improved productivity, lowered costs and accelerated innovation. Maryland and the surrounding region offers access and proximity to key resources, specifically investors and talent, and access to government stakeholders that determine healthcare funding and research priorities, including the military which is a critical future customer for our life-saving blood substitute. And the region is one of the top markets for life science research talent in the country, which is important for our growing team.

Technology has changed a lot in the last decade. How is your business keeping up and preparing for the future?
We are leveraging technological advancements in our field to solve issues with past attempts to develop an artificial blood substitute. Our three co-founders are leading translational researchers in the fields of nanomedicine technology, transfusion medicine, and critical care. We are tapping into innovation at leading firms in the area with advanced technology we need for production and testing. Importantly, several of our investors have unique and relevant expertise and industry connections they share with us.

Which of Maryland’s financial incentives has your organization utilized and how has it benefited your organization?
We’ve received direct investment from the University of Maryland and from TEDCO – nearly one-third of our investor funds raised to date, and even more if you count the connections these entities have facilitated. KaloCyte has also benefited from two Maryland Industrial Partnership (MIPS) grants supporting advancement of our work with the University of Maryland. KaloCyte is a Qualified Maryland Biotech Company (QMBC), allowing our most recent investment from Wexford SciTech Ventures to qualify for the Maryland Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC). This funding and partnership is critical to support the research and development infrastructure needed to advance our product towards the clinic.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Be curious. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” and ask a lot of questions. I have learned so much from others as I’ve pivoted throughout my career because I am very comfortable asking for clarification or guidance. Frequently, the best answers come from my team.

What has your/your organization’s experience been like with Maryland’s workforce?
Maryland has an outstanding life sciences talent pool due to the universities (UMB and JHU), specialized training programs, agencies including NIH and FDA, and major pharmaceutical companies. Most of our current lab team is from the area with experience at local life science firms or universities, including an intern from the UM School of Pharmacy’s Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences program – we hired her on after the 6-month internship. That said, our needs are very specialized, so we have had to bring a few of our scientists in from other areas. Maryland is a great place to live and work, and more affordable than other biotech hubs, making it an attractive relocation destination.

What's your favorite Maryland dish to make or eat?
Crab Imperial! I discovered it at Nick’s Fish House (one of my favorites) while we were on our crab cake tour of the area after moving here. It’s basically a crab cake with more creaminess and no breading. I recently scored some vintage dishes that look like little crabs and I can’t wait to try them!


Maryland’s 12,400 square-miles are full of diverse professionals who span a variety of industries, sectors, and backgrounds. With our C-Suite Insights series, we’re shining the spotlight on some of our state’s leading executives in Q&A format and giving them a chance to share their thoughts on business and life in Maryland.

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