bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE), a clinical-stage company committed to developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and T cell-based immunotherapies for cancer, today announced that Derek Adams, Ph.D. is joining the company as its Chief Technology and Manufacturing Officer and Joanne Smith-Farrell, Ph.D., is joining as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy.
“Derek is joining bluebird at a critical time as we ready our organization and capabilities for regulatory filings and commercial launches in the coming years,” said Nick Leschly, chief bluebird. “Derek not only has the broad manufacturing expertise we need, he is also an experienced leader who knows what it means to be mission- and patient-driven. He is a great match for bluebird.”
Dr. Adams comes to bluebird from Evelo Biosciences, where he was the Senior Vice President of CMC. At Evelo, Dr. Adams established the initial process development function and supply chain for clinical studies and drove strategy for product development in conjunction with other members of the company’s leadership team. Prior to his time at Evelo, Dr. Adams served as Vice President of Technical and Strategic Product Development at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where his responsibilities included developing and supporting all manufacturing processes globally. Dr. Adams holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
“Joanne brings a wealth of skills and experiences that will help take our strategy and corporate development efforts to a new level,” said Jeff Walsh, chief financial and strategy officer. “There are huge opportunities to partner on both the capabilities and product fronts to continue to grow our ability to deliver for more and more patients. I look forward to working closely with Joanne as we further drive our growth toward a truly integrated and global gene therapy products company.”
Dr. Smith-Farrell joins bluebird bio from Merck, Inc., where she was Vice President, Business Development Transactions. At Merck, Dr. Smith-Farrell led the team that structured, negotiated, and executed Business Development Transactions supporting Merck Research Labs. Prior to Merck, Dr. Smith-Farrell was Vice President of Strategic Transactions at Pfizer, Inc. Dr. Smith-Farrell holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Catholic University of America, and a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University. She was also a Fellow in Biomedical & Chemical Engineering at The Harvard-MIT Division for Health Science & Technology (Dr. Robert Langer’s Lab) where she received the NIH National Service Award in Research.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the Company’s product candidates and research programs. Any forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks that the preliminary results from our clinical trials will not continue or be repeated in our ongoing clinical trials, the risk of cessation or delay of any of the ongoing or planned clinical studies and/or our development of our product candidates, the risk of a delay in the enrollment of patients in our clinical studies, risks that the current or planned clinical trials of the LentiGlobin drug product will be insufficient to support regulatory submissions or marketing approval in the United States and European Union, the risk that our collaborations, including the collaboration with Celgene, will not continue or will not be successful, and the risk that any one or more of our product candidates will not be successfully developed, approved or commercialized. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause our actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-K, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and bluebird bio undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.