Professor Kornberg brings to Gamida Cell a celebrated expertise
in scientific discovery and therapeutic development
Dr. Perry brings deep R&D expertise in cell and gene therapy
and decades of experience successfully guiding private and publicly traded companies
Jerusalem, Israel, June 5, 2017 — Gamida Cell, a leader in cellular and immune therapies for the treatment of cancer and orphan genetic diseases, announced today the appointment of Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Roger Kornberg and immune oncology expert and recently retired Novartis executive Dr. Michael Perry to its Board of Directors.
“We are pleased to welcome Professor Kornberg and Dr. Perry to our Board, especially now as Gamida Cell completes the final stages of clinical development of its flagship product NiCord and plans for potential commercialization. We look forward to their important guidance during this crucial time in the Company’s development and in preserving Gamida’s leading position in bone marrow transplantation,” said Gamida Cell Chairman of the Board, Julian Adams, Ph.D.
Professor Roger Kornberg has been a Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford Medical School since 1978. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2006 for his studies of the molecular basis of transcription, the process whereby information in DNA is read out for the direction of all activities of all organisms, including humans. Professor Kornberg began his career as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England and went on to be an Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School in 1976, before moving to his present position. Professor Kornberg is also the recipient of the 2006 Dickson Prize from University of Pittsburgh and the 2006 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. In 2009, he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Professor Kornberg earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Stanford in 1972 supervised by Harden M. McConnell.
“Gamida Cell’s novel platform technology and scientific approach to expand functional cells in culture have broad potential to change the way cell based therapies are used clinically. NiCord, has demonstrated clinically that it could fill the unmet need in bone marrow transplantation,” said Professor Kornberg.
Dr. Michael Perry recently retired from Novartis, following a highly successful tenure where he served as SVP and Chief Scientific Officer, Global BD&L, Chief Scientific Officer, Cell & Gene Therapy Unit, Global Head, Cellular Therapy/VP, Integrated Hospital Care Franchise and as Novartis’ observer on the Gamida Cell Board of Directors. Novartis is a major shareholder in Gamida Cell. He is currently a Director and Operating Partner at venture capital firm Bioscience Managers Pty Ltd. Dr. Perry currently serves on the Boards of Avita Medical Ltd (AVH:ASX), Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR:NASDAQ) and AmpliPhi Biosciences (APBH:NYSE). He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology and serves as Chair of the Translational Medicine Advisory Board of the Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Perry holds a Hon. B.Sc., in Physics from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He also earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery from the Ontario Veterinary College and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science/Pharmacology from the University of Guelph.
Dr. Perry said, “Gamida Cell is a very attractive commercial opportunity with its cutting edge science, a lead product with FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation, compelling clinical data in bone marrow transplantation, an experienced and strong team, and a robust and cost effective manufacturing process. I am very much looking forward to supporting Gamida Cell to help translate these achievements into a business success.”
NiCord is a stand-alone graft derived from a single umbilical cord blood unit which has been expanded in culture and enriched with stem and progenitor cells using Gamida Cell’s proprietary NAM technology. NiCord leverages the advantage of umbilical cord blood which does not need full tissue matching to the patient, and can therefore be available to practically all patients in need. It also aims to address the major barrier of umbilical cord blood transplantation – delayed hematopoietic recovery – by demonstrating an advantage with a primary endpoint that is clinically meaningful.
Results from the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies of NiCord were recently published in an article published by the Journal of Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BBMT, the official publication of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation) entitled “Transplantation of Ex Vivo Expanded Umbilical Cord Blood (NiCord) Decreases Early Infection and Hospitalization”.
Gamida Cell is currently enrolling patients in an international, multi-center, Phase 3 registration study of NiCord as a graft for bone marrow transplantation for patients with blood cancer who do not have a rapidly available fully matched donor. The Company announced in February 2017 that the first patient in the study had been transplanted. NiCord has an FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation as well as FDA and EMA orphan drug designations, the most recent granted in March 2017. For more information on enrolling transplantation centers and study inclusion and exclusion criteria please click here.
About Gamida Cell
Gamida Cell is a world leader in cellular and immune therapies for the treatment of cancer and orphan genetic diseases. The company’s pipeline of products are in development to treat a wide range of conditions including cancer, genetic hematological diseases such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia, bone marrow failure syndromes such as aplastic anemia, genetic metabolic diseases and refractory autoimmune diseases. Gamida Cell’s current shareholders include Novartis, Elbit Imaging, Clal Biotechnology Industries, Israel Healthcare Venture, Denali Ventures and Auriga Ventures. For more information please visit www.gamida-cell.com.
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