Apr 18 2019

Fate Therapeutics Appoints Wayne Chu, M.D. as Vice President, Clinical Development

SAN DIEGO, April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FATE), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders, announced today that Yu-Waye (Wayne) Chu, M.D. has joined the Company as Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Chu brings extensive experience in the development of cancer immunotherapies from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, where he most recently served in Product Development Oncology as global development leader of mosunetuzumab, a full-length T cell-dependent bispecific CD20/CD3 antibody. Dr. Chu will be responsible for leading clinical development of the Company’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived, cell-based cancer immunotherapy programs.

“Wayne brings to Fate Therapeutics the passion, innovative spirit and hands-on clinical leadership necessary to bring new therapeutic modalities and first-in-kind cancer immunotherapies to patients,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. “Our first off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived NK cell product candidates, FT500 and FT516, have been specifically designed to augment the anti-cancer activity of checkpoint inhibitor and targeted antibody therapies, and Wayne’s drug development and approval experience over the past 10 years with these types of immunotherapies in both liquid and solid tumors serves as a strong foundation for guiding our clinical development strategy.”

“This is such an exciting time to join Fate Therapeutics as the first-ever iPSC-derived cancer immunotherapy FT500 is being delivered to patients and as the Company’s rich pipeline of off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived NK cell and T-cell product candidates advances toward clinical investigation,” said Dr. Chu. “The first generation of patient-specific cellular immunotherapies have revolutionized the treatment of certain late-stage hematologic malignancies, and next-generation off-the-shelf approaches where cell products can be delivered ‘on demand’, in repeat cycles, and earlier in disease progression, including in combination with well-established immune-oncology agents such as checkpoint inhibitor blockade and monoclonal antibody therapy, have the promise to change patient outcomes across the entire cancer field. I look forward to accelerating the development of the Company’s off-the-shelf product candidates and bringing these transformative medicines to cancer patients.”

During his 10-year tenure at Genentech, Dr. Chu led early clinical development of several novel cancer immunotherapy programs spanning multiple therapeutic modalities including antibody drug conjugates, checkpoint inhibitors and immune cell bispecific antibodies. Most notably, Dr. Chu led clinical studies of polatuzumab vedotin (anti-CD79b antibody drug conjugate) and mosunetuzumab (CD20/CD3 bispecific antibody), formulated the early clinical development strategy for tiragolumab (anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody), and worked on the initial registration program for Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine), an antibody drug conjugate approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. Prior to his industry experience, Dr. Chu completed clinical training in pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute. His major clinical and research interests included hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of pediatric cancers and T-cell biology with a focus on T-cell development and maturation. Dr. Chu graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, and earned his M.D. with Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In connection with his commencement of employment, Fate Therapeutics granted Dr. Chu an option to purchase 120,000 shares of the Company’s common stock with an exercise price equal to $16.32, the closing price per share of the Company’s common stock as reported by NASDAQ on April 15, 2019, which was the date of commencement of Dr. Chu’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 twenty-five percent vesting on the one-year anniversary of the grant date and the remaining seventy-five percent vesting in approximately equal monthly increments over the succeeding thirty-six months, subject to Dr. Chu’s continuous employment through each vesting date. In addition, Fate Therapeutics granted Dr. Chu an award of 30,000 restricted stock units, with each restricted stock unit equal to one share of the Company’s common stock. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the restricted stock units vest on the one-year anniversary of the date of commencement of employment, and thereafter twenty-five percent (25%) of the restricted stock units shall vest on each anniversary of the date of commencement of employment, subject to Dr. Chu’s continuous employment through each vesting date. The option and the restricted stock unit award each were granted as an inducement material to Dr. Chu entering into employment with Fate Therapeutics in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), and were granted pursuant to the Company’s Inducement Equity Plan.

About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.
Fate Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of first-in-class cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders. The Company is pioneering the development of off-the-shelf cell products using its proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) product platform. The Company’s immuno-oncology pipeline is comprised of FATE-NK100, a donor-derived natural killer (NK) cell cancer immunotherapy that is currently being evaluated in three Phase 1 clinical trials, as well as iPSC-derived NK cell and T-cell immunotherapies, with a focus on developing next-generation cell products intended to synergize with checkpoint inhibitor and monoclonal antibody therapies and to target tumor-associated antigens. The Company’s immuno-regulatory pipeline includes ProTmune™, a pharmacologically-modulated, donor cell graft that is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease, and a myeloid-derived suppressor cell immunotherapy for promoting immune tolerance in patients with immune disorders. Fate Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.fatetherapeutics.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements regarding the advancement of, plans related to, and the therapeutic potential of the Company's product candidates, the Company’s clinical development strategy, and the Company’s plans for the clinical investigation of its product candidates. 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 difficulties or delay in the initiation of any planned clinical studies, or in the enrollment or evaluation of subjects in any future clinical studies, the risk that the Company may cease or delay preclinical or clinical development of any of its product candidates for a variety of reasons (including requirements that may be imposed by regulatory authorities on the initiation or conduct of clinical trials or to support regulatory approval, difficulties in manufacturing or supplying the Company’s product candidates for clinical testing, and any adverse events or other negative results that may be observed during preclinical or clinical development), the risk that results observed in preclinical studies of the Company’s product candidates may not be replicated in ongoing or future clinical trials or studies, and the risk that the Company’s product candidates may not produce therapeutic benefits or may cause other unanticipated adverse effects. 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 press releases and other investor communications. Fate Therapeutics 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.

Christina Tartaglia
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.

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Source: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.