Gamida Cell Strengthens Its Board of Directors with Appointment of Robert Blum as Chairman
BOSTON, Mass., September 18, 2018 – Gamida Cell, a leading cellular and immune therapeutics company, today announced the appointment of Robert Blum, president and chief executive officer of Cytokinetics, Inc., as chairman of Gamida Cell’s board of directors. Julian Adams, Ph.D., Gamida Cell’s chief executive officer and previous chairman, will remain on the company’s board of directors.
“Robert has extensive strategic experience in overseeing biotech innovations from early-stage research through late-stage development and to commercialization of category-leading therapies. His insights will be invaluable to us as we continue to advance NiCord®, our Phase 3 product candidate in development as a universal bone marrow transplant solution for patients with high-risk blood cancers, as well as our NAM-NK program being evaluated in patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” said Dr. Adams. “On behalf of Gamida Cell and the board of directors, I welcome Robert and look forward to his contributions.”
“Gamida Cell is at the forefront of cell therapy research and development. The company’s late-stage NiCord program has demonstrated encouraging potential as a bone marrow transplantation option for patients with high-risk blood cancers and bone marrow failure disorders,” said Mr. Blum. “I’m honored to join the board as chairman during this exciting time in Gamida Cell’s maturation and look forward to working with the team at the company to advance its novel cell-based investigational treatments to address high, unmet clinical needs and to deliver on key corporate and business objectives.”
Mr. Blum helped launch Cytokinetics in 1998, serving in increasing roles of responsibility before being appointed president and chief executive officer in 2007. Mr. Blum has more than 35 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, having previously held senior positions in business development and marketing at COR Therapeutics and roles in sales, marketing, and other pharmaceutical business functions at Marion Laboratories and Syntex Corporation beginning in 1981. Additionally, Mr. Blum has served on the National Board of the American Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science and established the Blum Family Venture Philanthropy Fund to help advance basic science discoveries at the Institute with potential to benefit the Israeli life sciences economy. Mr. Blum received B.A. degrees in Human Biology and Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
NiCord, the company’s lead clinical program, is under development as a universal bone marrow transplant solution for patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies. NiCord has demonstrated improved efficacy over standard cord blood, including fewer bacterial and fungal infections and a reduction in duration of hospital stays. NiCord has been granted breakthrough status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making it the first bone marrow transplant alternative to receive this designation. It has also received U.S. and EU orphan drug designation. A Phase 3 study evaluating NiCord in patients with leukemia and lymphoma is ongoing in the United States, Europe and Asia (NCT02730299). For more information on NiCord clinical trials, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Gamida Cell applied the capabilities of its NAM-based cell expansion technology to highly functional NK cells to develop NAM-NK, an innate immunotherapy for the treatment of hematologic and solid tumors in combination with SoC antibody therapies. NAM-NK addresses key limitations of NK cells by increasing the cytotoxicity and in vivo retention and proliferation in the bone marrow and lymphoid organs of NK cells expanded in culture. NAM-NK is in Phase 1 development (NCT03019666) through an investigator-sponsored trial in patients with refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
About Gamida Cell
Gamida Cell is a leader in cellular and immune therapeutics dedicated to treating patients with cancer and rare genetic diseases. The company is building a diverse pipeline based on its proprietary NAM technology platform to deliver transformative medicines to patients in need of new treatment options. To learn more about Gamida Cell, including current clinical studies, please visit www.gamida-cell.com.
Jaren Irene Madden