BASEL, Switzerland and CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts – March 17, 2016 – CRISPR Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative gene-based medicines for patients with serious diseases, today announced the appointment of Pablo J. Cagnoni, M.D., to its board of directors. The Company also named current board member, Tony Coles, M.D., as new Chairman of the Board. Dr. Coles succeeds Bradley Bolzon, M.D., Managing Director of Versant Ventures and Founding Chairman since 2013.
“As Pablo and Tony transition into their new roles, I would like to thank Brad for his leadership and commitment as our Chairman since inception, and am very pleased he will continue guiding the Company as a director,” said Rodger Novak, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of CRISPR Therapeutics. “Pablo is an ideal addition with his deep experience in drug development, translating breakthrough therapeutic approaches into highly innovative drugs for people with cancer and other debilitating diseases. His experience partnering with the medical community to transform treatment paradigms will help expedite the development of novel therapeutics derived from our proprietary technology platform.”
During Dr. Cagnoni’s 25-year career as an oncologist and biopharmaceutical innovator, he has played a key role in the development, approval and/or commercialization of several life-changing medicines, most notably Tarceva®, Afinitor®, and Kyprolis®. Dr. Cagnoni, who has served as Managing Director of MPM Capital since 2015, is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Tizona Therapeutics and Executive Chairman of Blade Therapeutics. Before this, Dr. Cagnoni served as President of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Amgen, where he had global strategic oversight and accountability of the business from early product development to commercialization of the Onyx portfolio.
“I am honored and excited to join CRISPR Therapeutics’ Board at a time when its technology has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of some of the world’s most intractable diseases,” said Dr. Cagnoni. “CRISPR Therapeutics has the technology, scientific rigor, resources, world-class team and partners necessary to realize its ambitious mission.”
CRISPR Therapeutics is focused on the discovery and development of potential cures for serious diseases using its proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. The Company’s multi-disciplinary team of world-class drug developers, clinicians and academics is working on its own proprietary product pipeline and also partnering with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to translate this technology into breakthrough human therapeutics. The foundational CRISPR/Cas9 patent estate for human therapeutic use was licensed from scientific founder Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D. CRISPR Therapeutics recently entered into substantial strategic partnerships with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Bayer.
Prior to his tenure at Onyx/Amgen, Dr. Cagnoni served in executive global development roles at Novartis Oncology, Allos Therapeutics (acquired by Spectrum Pharmaceuticals) and OSI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Astellas). Dr. Cagnoni earned his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, and completed his fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and in stem cell transplantation at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Before joining industry, he served as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Bone Marrow Transplant Program.
Dr. Coles joined the Board of Directors of CRISPR Therapeutics in December 2015, and currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yumanity Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on transforming drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding. Prior to founding Yumanity, Dr. Coles was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he held various executive and leadership positions at NPS Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Merck & Co.
CRISPR Therapeutics is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with its R&D operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.crisprtx.com.
W2O Group for CRISPR