SAN DIEGO, Sept. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FATE), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders, announced today that the Company has appointed Jim Beitel, M.B.A. as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. Mr. Beitel is responsible for developing and implementing strategic growth initiatives including expanding the Company's induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapy pipeline through corporate partnerships.
"We are very pleased to welcome Jim as we advance our two wholly-owned cellular immunotherapy programs through initial clinical investigation and pioneer the development of off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapies using our proprietary master pluripotent cell line platform," said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. "Jim brings a strong track record of leadership in life sciences corporate development ranging from commercial-stage asset management to early-stage product and technology platform partnerships."
"It is an exciting time to join the team at Fate Therapeutics as multiple highly-differentiated cancer immunotherapies are now emerging from its ground-breaking science," said Mr. Beitel. "The Company's robust iPSC product platform for development of off-the-shelf NK- and T-cell product candidates has the potential to transform today's paradigm of personalized cell therapy, and I look forward to working with the executive and scientific teams to further realize this opportunity including through high-value product development partnerships."
Mr. Beitel has more than 20 years of leadership experience in corporate development, strategy, sales and marketing, project management and finance with experience across the spectrum of life science companies. Mr. Beitel was previously Vice President of Corporate Development and Operations at Avanir Pharmaceuticals, where he facilitated the company's growth into a multi-product organization and the subsequent $3.5 billion acquisition of Avanir by Otsuka. Prior to Avanir, Mr. Beitel held various business development, sales and marketing, strategy and finance roles with increasing responsibility at Amgen, La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company and Zacharon Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Beitel holds a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Kansas.
In connection with his commencement of employment, the Company granted Mr. Beitel an option to purchase 200,000 shares of the Company's common stock with an exercise price equal to $4.23, the closing price per share of the Company's common stock as reported by NASDAQ on September 11, 2017, which was the date of commencement of Mr. Beitel's employment with the Company and the effective date of grant. The option is a non-qualified stock option and vests over a period of four years, with 25 percent vesting on the one year anniversary of the grant date and the remaining 75 percent in approximately equal monthly increments over the succeeding thirty-six months, subject to Mr. Beitel's continuous employment through each vesting date. This award was granted as an inducement material to Mr. Beitel entering into employment with the Company in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c) (4), and was granted pursuant to the Fate Therapeutics, Inc. Inducement Equity Plan.
About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.
Fate Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders. The Company's hematopoietic cell therapy pipeline is comprised of NK- and T-cell immuno-oncology programs, including off-the-shelf product candidates derived from engineered induced pluripotent cell lines, and immuno-regulatory programs, including product candidates to prevent life-threatening complications in patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation and to promote immune tolerance in patients with autoimmune disease. Its adoptive cell therapy programs are based on the Company's novel ex vivo cell programming approach, which it applies to modulate the therapeutic function and direct the fate of immune cells. Fate Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.fatetherapeutics.com.
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the Company's advancement of and plans related to the Company's product candidates and research and development programs. These and any other forward-looking statements in this release 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, the risk of cessation or delay of planned clinical and development activities for a variety of reasons (including any delay in enrolling patients in clinical trials, or the occurrence of any adverse events or other results that may be observed during development), and the risk that results observed in prior preclinical studies of the Company's product candidates may not be replicated in subsequent studies or clinical trials. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause the Company's actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the Company's most recently filed periodic report and, from time to time, in the Company's other investor communications. The Company is providing the information in this release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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