CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Editas Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT), a leading genome editing company, today announced that Richard A. Morgan, Ph.D., a leading expert in gene therapy and oncology, joins the Company as Senior Vice President of Immunogenetics. Dr. Morgan brings to Editas Medicine more than 30 years of scientific leadership in the life sciences industry and at federal research agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He most recently served as Vice President, Immunotherapy, at bluebird bio, Inc. (bluebird bio). In addition, Editas Medicine named X. Kate Zhang, Ph.D., as Vice President of Biological Development. Dr. Zhang brings more than two decades of translational science and early- and late-stage biological therapeutic development to the Company.
“Given the waves of progress we have seen with gene editing, gene therapies, and cell therapies, Rick and Kate join Editas at a tremendous time for both the Company and the broader field of genomic medicine,” said Charles Albright, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Editas Medicine. “As we progress closer to the clinic and continue to execute on our EM22 long-range goals, they both bring deep and wide-ranging scientific and industry experience that will strengthen our ability to develop innovative genomic medicines. I look forward to working closely with them and their teams to develop transformative medicines in the years ahead.”
Dr. Morgan has spent his career overseeing research programs focused on engineered cell medicines and gene therapies, including the development and advancement of multiple oncology medicines. While at bluebird bio, Dr. Morgan’s team developed the company’s lead oncology asset bb2121, an investigational anti-B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Prior to his position at bluebird bio, Dr. Morgan was a Staff Scientist for the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute and the Interim Chief of the Clinical Gene Therapy Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Dr. Morgan is a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), serving as the translational and clinical development representative, and he has published more than 150 scientific papers during his career. He received his Ph.D. in genetics from John Hopkins University and his B.A. in biochemistry from Brandeis University.
Dr. Zhang joins Editas Medicine from Sanofi S.A. (and Genzyme prior to its acquisition by Sanofi), where she held several leadership positions across research and development organizations, recently as Senior Director of global translational science and of biological pharmaceutical development. During her career, Dr. Zhang worked with and led multi-disciplinary teams for the successful development and commercial launch of multiple biologic drugs. Dr. Zhang received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. She received her B.Eng. from Tsinghua University in China.
About Editas Medicine
As a leading genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1 (also known as Cas12a) genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. For the latest information and scientific presentations, please visit www.editasmedicine.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘continue,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘potential,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘would,’’ and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. The Company may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including: uncertainties inherent in the initiation and completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials and clinical development of the Company’s product candidates; availability and timing of results from preclinical studies and clinical trials; whether interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial or the results of future trials; expectations for regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products and availability of funding sufficient for the Company’s foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements. These and other risks are described in greater detail under the caption “Risk Factors” included in the Company’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other filings that the Company may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise.