Oct 04 2018

Fate Therapeutics Appoints Wen Bo Wang, Ph.D. as Senior Vice President, Technical Operations

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 04, 2018 (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 Wen Bo Wang, Ph.D., a leading expert in the manufacture of pluripotent stem cell-derived cell products, has joined the Company as Senior Vice President, Technical Operations. Dr. Wang brings to Fate Therapeutics more than 18 years of cell therapy leadership, having most recently served as Senior Vice President, Cell Therapy Research & Development at FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc. Dr. Wang will be responsible for shaping the Company’s manufacturing strategies for its pipeline of off-the-shelf cell-based cancer immunotherapy candidates and scaling the Company’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) product platform to support late-stage clinical and commercial operations.

“Wen Bo is joining the Company at an exciting time as we prepare to advance the first wave of our off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived NK cell and CAR T-cell product candidates into clinical development,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. “Wen Bo brings to the Company an exceptional track record of technical innovation in cell therapy, including in the development of GMP-compliant processes for iPSC generation, master cell banking, stem cell differentiation and cell product cryopreservation. Her past successes and expertise in CMC development and large-scale production of pluripotent stem cell-derived products is a tremendous complement to our organization as we begin to build out our in-house manufacturing capacity.”

“The use of clonal master iPSC lines as a renewable cell source for the production of cell products is a novel and highly disruptive manufacturing paradigm that has the potential to overcome the complexity, heterogeneity and substantial costs that currently limit the broad application of cell therapy,” said Dr. Wang. “Fate Therapeutics has assembled a strong team that is growing rapidly, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to help advance multiple off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived cell product candidates into clinical development over the next twelve months and to scale the Company’s iPSC product platform to support commercial-scale operations.”

Dr. Wang has spent her career overseeing process development and manufacturing of pluripotent stem cell-derived products. While at FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Dr. Wang was responsible for the development of the company’s iPSC-derived therapeutic pipeline of products, led the development of next-generation technologies for large-scale manufacture of iPSC-derived cell products, and directed the scale-up and scale-out process development of the company’s iCell® and MyCell® products. Prior to joining FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics in 2008, Dr. Wang was Group Leader, Process Sciences at Geron Corporation, where she pioneered the development of embryonic stem cell-derived cell therapies and dendritic cell cancer vaccines. Dr. Wang also held a number of positions at ViaCell, Inc., including Associate Scientific Director, ViaCord Human Umbilical Cord Blood Bank. Dr. Wang earned a B.S. in Biology from Ocean University of Qingdao, P.R. China and received her Ph.D. in Biology from Newcastle University, United Kingdom.

In connection with her commencement of employment, Fate Therapeutics granted Dr. Wang an option to purchase 200,000 shares of the Company’s common stock with an exercise price equal to $16.25, the closing price per share of the Company’s common stock as reported by NASDAQ on October 1, 2018, which was the date of commencement of Dr. Wang’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 in approximately equal monthly increments over the succeeding thirty-six months, subject to Dr. Wang’s continuous employment through each vesting date. This award was granted as an inducement material to Dr. Wang entering into employment with Fate Therapeutics in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c) (4), and was 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 augmented cell products intended to synergize with checkpoint inhibitor and monoclonal antibody therapies and to target tumor-specific antigens. The Company’s immuno-regulatory pipeline includes ProTmune™, a next-generation 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.

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 Company’s progress, plans and timelines for its manufacture and clinical investigation of its iPSC-derived 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 that the Company may cease or delay any planned development, manufacturing or clinical activities for a variety of reasons (including any delay in enrolling patients in clinical trials, the occurrence of any adverse events or other results that may be observed during development, or difficulties in manufacturing or supplying the Company’s product candidates for clinical testing), 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.

Christina Tartaglia
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.

Fate Therapeutics.jpg

Source: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.