Robert Blum joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as Chairman in September 2018, bringing 40 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Mr. Blum started Cytokinetics in 1998 and served in roles of increasing responsibility before being appointed president and chief executive officer in 2007. Previously, he held senior positions in business and commercial development at COR Therapeutics and roles of increasingly responsibility in sales, marketing and planning functions at Marion Laboratories and Syntex Corporation. Additionally, Mr. Blum served on the National Board of the American Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science and established the Blum Family Venture Philanthropy Fund to advance translational science discoveries with potential to benefit the Israeli life sciences economy. He serves on the board of San Francisco’s Jewish Family & Children’s Services and Temple Emanu-el and previously served on the board of other Bay Area Jewish community non-profits. He founded and chaired the Business Leadership Council of the Jewish Community Federation and is a founding board member of Life Science Cares-Bay Area. Mr. Blum is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, awarded in recognition of his leadership in corporate and civic responsibilities.
Mr. Blum holds bachelor’s degrees in human biology and economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Julian Adams joined Gamida Cell’s leadership team as chief executive officer in November 2017, bringing more than 30 years of drug discovery and development experience to his role. He has served on the board since September 2016. Prior to his CEO appointment, Julian served as president and chief scientific officer at Clal Biotechnology Industries (CBI), where he oversaw the Boston office, evaluating investment opportunities and supporting portfolio companies, including Gamida Cell. Before joining CBI, he served as the president of research and development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, where he built and led the company’s R&D efforts. Julian also served as senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he played a key role in the discovery of Velcade® (bortezomib), a therapy widely used for treatment of the blood cancer, multiple myeloma. Earlier in his career, he was credited with discovering Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV at Boehringer Ingelheim. He has also held senior leadership roles in research and development at LeukoSite and ProScript.
Julian has won several awards for his drug development efforts throughout his career, holds more than 40 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. Julian holds a B.S. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a Sc.D., honoris causa, from McGill University.
Nurit Benjamini joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as a director in January 2019. Ms. Benjamini has served as chief financial officer of Crazy Labs (previously known as TabTale) since 2013. Previously, she held a number of chief financial officer positions, including Wix.com Ltd., Sigma Designs Israel Ltd. and Compugen Ltd. Additionally, she has served as director at Bioline Rx, Allot Communications and Caesarstone Ltd.
Ms. Benjamini holds a B.A. in economics and business and an MBA in finance from Bar Ilan University, Israel.
David Fox joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as a director in 2020 and he is a member of its Nomination & Governance committee. He was most recently a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and served as a member of its Global Executive Management Committee. Prior to joining Kirkland, he was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP where he was a member of the firm’s governing committee. Mr. Fox is a director of Atlas Crest Investment Corp. (which he is expected to leave upon the closing of the merger between Atlas Crest and Archer Aviation), Atlas Crest Investment Corp, II, Atrium European Real Estate Limited, Israel Discount Bank of New York and MediWound, Ltd. Mr. Fox is a member of the board of directors at the Park Avenue Armory, as well as a member of the advisory board of New Alternatives of Children. In addition, Mr. Fox is on the executive committee of the board of governors and an honorary fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Mr. Fox received his L.L.B. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Ofer Gonen joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as a director in February 2015. Mr. Gonen currently serves as chief executive officer of Clal Biotechnology Industries (CBI), where he has managed the company’s life science investments, business development and U.S.-based operations since 2003. Prior to joining CBI, Mr. Gonen served as the general manager of Biomedical Investments and served as a technology consultant to various Israeli venture capital funds and an Academic Aide to the Governor of the Bank of Israel. He gained extensive experience in R&D and management in defense-oriented projects within the prestigious “TALPIOT” program of the Israeli Defense Forces, for which he was awarded the Israeli National Security Medal. Mr. Gonen serves as an executive chairman and board member of several companies including MediWound, CureTech, D-Pharm, Biocancell, Avraham, Campus Bio, Polyheal and CLS.
Mr. Gonen holds an M.A. in economics and finance from Tel Aviv University and a bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics and chemistry for Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Kenneth Moch joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as a director in 2016, with more than 30 years of experience in building and leading pioneering private and public life science companies, most recently as the president and CEO of Cognition Therapeutics. He previously has served as the president and CEO of Chimerix, Biomedical Enterprises, Alteon and Biocyte Corporation, where he pioneered the use of cord blood stem cells in transplantation therapy and launched the world’s first cord blood stem cell bank. He started his career in biotechnology as a co-founder of The Liposome Company. Prior to Cognition, Mr. Moch was a managing partner of The Salutramed Group, where he provided strategic and tactical counsel to biotechnology and medical products companies. Mr. Moch currently serves on the board of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals. He is a founding member of the New York University Working Group on Compassionate Use and Pre-Approval Access, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine. Mr. Moch served for over a decade on the Governing Board of the Biotechnology Innovation Association (BIO) and is a past Chairman of BioNJ.
Mr. Moch holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Princeton University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Shawn Cline Tomasello joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors in June 2019, bringing extensive experience in leading successful commercial activities at several pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, she served as chief commercial officer of Kite Pharma, now part of Gilead Sciences, where she oversaw the global commercialization of Yescarta®, the first approved CAR-T therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Tomasello was chief commercial officer of commercial and medical affairs at Pharmacyclics, now part of AbbVie, where she led commercial and medical affairs activities for Imbruvica®. Ms. Tomasello currently serves on the boards of Mesoblast Limited, UroGen Pharma, Diplomat Pharmacy, Centrexion Therapeutics and Oxford BioTherapeutics.
Ms. Tomasello holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Murray State University.
Stephen Wills joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as a director in 2019, and currently serves as the chief financial officer, chief operating officer, treasurer and secretary of Palatin Technologies, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company developing peptide therapeutics. Prior to joining Palatin, Mr. Wills served as executive chairman and interim principal executive officer of Derma Sciences, Inc., a provider of advanced wound care products, which has since been acquired by PSI. He was also previously the chief financial officer of Derma Sciences, and served on the company’s board of directors. Mr. Wills currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of MediWound Ltd., and on the board of directors of Amryt Pharma.
Mr. Wills is a certified public accountant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from West Chester University and a master’s degree in taxation from Temple University.