Editas Medicine Brings on New Execs From Sanofi Genzyme, Novartis AG, Baxalta and Bristol-Myers Squibb

Editas Medicine Brings on New Execs From Sanofi Genzyme, Novartis AG, Baxalta and Bristol-Myers Squibb October 5, 2016
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

There’s been some major changes recently in the executive team at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Editas Medicine .

The company today announced that Gerald Cox will join the company as chief medical officer. Prior to joining Editas, he was the vice president of Rare Disease Clinical Development at Sanofi Genzyme . Before that he spent more than twenty years as a clinical geneticist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Editas also announced that Kenneth LeClair would join as vice president, Technical Development and Manufacturing. Previously, he was the executive director, Technical Research and Development of the Cell and Gene Therapies Unit at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG (NVS).

Semiramis Trotto is joining the company as vice president, Human Resources. Prior to joining Editas, Trotto was the vice president of Human Resources, Oncology, for Baxalta . Before that, she spent more than 10 years with Bristol-Myers Squibb .

“As we build Editas Medicine for the long-term, Gerry, Ken and Semi all bring critical technical and leadership capabilities to our team,” said Katrine Bosley, Editas’ president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “As chief medical officer, Gerry comes to Editas with an international reputation for excellence in the development of therapies for genetic diseases, and he has extensive experience in all stages of clinical development and engagement with regulatory agencies. In addition, his background as a clinical geneticist is ideal for the development of genome editing medicines.”

On August 22, Editas announced that Charles Albright was joining the company as chief scientific officer. Prior to that, he was vice president of Genetically Defined Diseases and Genomics at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“Charlie has an impressive track record of translating exciting science into real medicines for patients in need,” Bosley said in a statement at the time. “He has brought numerous new medicines from discovery into clinical development across many disease areas. During this period of significant growth at Editas, I am very pleased to welcome him to the team and look forward to his many contributions as we continue to build this organization for the long-term.”

During its second-quarter financial conference in early August, Bosley outlined several major moves the company has made lately. It entered an exclusive licensing deal with Massachusetts General Hospital for high-fidelity Cas9 and Cas9 PAM variants. It inked a collaboration deal with Adverum Biotechnologies to evaluate the use of Adverum’s next-generation adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors in up to five ophthalmic indications.

It also developed a strategic collaboration with Fondazione Telethon and Ospedale San Raffaele, which operate a joint research collaboration known as the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy. They plan to advance genome editic hematopoietic stem cell and T-cell therapies over a three-year period.

And at that time, the company also added Akshay Vaishnaw to the board of directors. Vaishnaw is the executive vice president of Research & Development and chief medical officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals .

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