RICHMOND, Calif., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO), the leader in therapeutic genome editing, announced today key leadership appointments to strengthen the company's clinical and commercial capabilities. The company has appointed Edward R. Conner, M.D., as senior vice president and chief medical officer (CMO), effective immediately. Curt Herberts has been promoted to the newly created role of senior vice president and chief business officer (CBO).
"I am delighted to make these two key appointments to Sangamo's senior leadership team, expanding the breadth of talent and experience as the company prepares to initiate additional Phase 1/2 clinical trials and lay the groundwork for commercialization of its pipeline," stated Sandy Macrae, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., Sangamo's president and chief executive officer. "I am confident that Ed and Curt's leadership and insight will help us realize our vision of building a commercially viable therapeutics company founded on the goal of translating ground-breaking science into genetic therapies that transform patients' lives."
Dr. Conner will oversee all of the Company's clinical development activities and operations and will report directly to Sangamo's chief executive officer. Dr. Conner joins Sangamo from Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, where he served as vice president, clinical science. From 2013 to 2014 he served as BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.'s senior medical director and led protocol development and regulatory interaction for its global phase 3 program in Pompe disease. Prior to BioMarin, he worked for five years at Genentech in various clinical leadership roles. Dr. Conner earned his M.D. from the University of California San Francisco. He completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Michigan, and was a fellow in clinical immunology and allergic diseases at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was awarded a B.S Biology, cum laude, from Duke University.
"Ed has valuable experience in drug development for rare diseases, and I am delighted to welcome him to lead Sangamo's growing clinical team," said Dr. Macrae. "He has over ten years of industry experience across a broad range of disease areas and through all stages of drug development including post-marketing clinical supervision. All of this will be invaluable to Sangamo as we advance near-term programs into the clinic, for hemophilia A and B and lysosomal storage disorders, MPS I and MPS II, and continue to expand and prioritize our therapeutic product pipeline."
Dr. Macrae continued: "We are very grateful to Dale Ando, M.D., who is a recognized expert in cell and gene therapy, and has provided valuable advice and guidance to Sangamo over the past twelve years as its vice president of therapeutic development and CMO. Dale will provide any necessary support as Ed transitions into his new role and will continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the company through early 2017."
"With its zinc finger nuclease technology, Sangamo established the field of genome editing and is the leader in the development of novel human therapeutics based on this exciting new class of medicines," stated Dr. Conner. "I am delighted to join the Company as it evolves into a clinical-stage therapeutic product development organization. I look forward to leading Sangamo's team of talented clinicians and to driving the development of potentially transformative therapies for patients with intractable genetic diseases."
Curt Herberts joined Sangamo in October 2010 and since July 2015 has served as vice president of corporate development. In his new role as senior vice president and CBO, Mr. Herberts will lead Sangamo's business functions and plans for commercialization of its medicines and will report to Sangamo's chief executive officer.
Dr. Macrae added, "As CBO, Curt will have greater responsibility for developing Sangamo's commercial strategy and a deeper understanding of both payor and patient need, which will be critical as we take programs through clinical development to commercialization and continue to expand and diversify our pipeline."
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. is focused on Pioneering Genetic Cures for monogenic and infectious diseases by deploying its AAV-based gene therapy platform, and therapeutic genome editing and gene regulation platforms based on its novel zinc finger DNA-binding protein technology. The Company's proprietary zinc finger nuclease (ZFN)-mediated in vivo genome editing approach is focused on monogenic diseases, including hemophilia and lysosomal storage disorders MPS I and MPS II. Sangamo has initiated a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for hemophilia B, the first in vivo genome editing application cleared by the FDA. In addition, Sangamo has Phase 1/2 and Phase 2 clinical programs in HIV/AIDS (SB-728). The Company has also formed a strategic collaboration with Biogen Inc. for hemoglobinopathies, including sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia, and with Shire International GmbH to develop therapeutics for Huntington's disease. It has established strategic partnerships with companies in non-therapeutic applications of its technology, including Dow AgroSciences and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. For more information about Sangamo, visit the Company's website at www.sangamo.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Sangamo's current expectations. These forward looking statements include the clinical and commercial capabilities of Sangamo, the change in senior leadership, the timing of clinical programs, the research and development of ZFNs and ZFP TFs, clinical trials and therapeutic applications of Sangamo's ZFP technology platform. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the early stage of ZFP Therapeutic development, the lengthy and uncertain regulatory approval process, uncertainties related to the timing of initiation and completion of clinical trials, whether clinical trial results will validate and support the safety and efficacy of ZFP Therapeutics, and the ability to establish strategic partnerships. Further, there can be no assurance that the necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained or that Sangamo and its partners will be able to develop commercially viable gene-based therapeutics. Actual results may differ from those projected in forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties that exist in Sangamo's operations and business environments. These risks and uncertainties are described more fully in Sangamo's Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and Sangamo undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.
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SOURCE Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.