HOUSTON, Dec. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders, today announced the appointment of Atabak Mokari as Chief Financial Officer, effective December 19. Mr. Mokari joins Bellicum after 20 years of financial leadership in life sciences, medtech and healthcare investment banking.
“We are pleased to welcome Atabak to Bellicum’s executive team,” said Bellicum’s President & CEO Rick Fair. “Atabak brings a deep understanding of capital markets and the life sciences industry, and has a proven track record of successful financial leadership. We look forward to his many contributions as we approach 2019 with several important milestones, including the MAA filing of our lead product rivo-cel in the E.U. and the expansion of clinical studies with our lead GoCAR-T candidate, BPX-601.”
Mr. Mokari joins Bellicum from IRIDEX Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed medical technology company where he served as Chief Financial Officer and VP Corporate Development. Prior to that, Mr. Mokari served as a senior healthcare investment banker at Wells Fargo Securities from September 2013 to July 2016, at UBS from September 2009 to July 2013, and at Credit Suisse from July 2005 to February 2009. Earlier in his career, Mr. Mokari served as an analyst at private equity firm Olympus Partners, and investment banking firm Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co.
Mr. Mokari earned his MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Duke University.
The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors has approved inducement awards to Atabak Mokari, which will be granted effective on his start date. The inducement awards consist of a stock option to purchase up to 300,000 shares of the Company's common stock priced at the closing price of the Common Stock on the grant date of December 19, 2018. The stock option award will be granted subject to the terms of the Company’s 2014 Equity Incentive Plan. One-fourth of the shares subject to the stock option award will vest on the one-year anniversary of Mr. Mokari’s start date and the remainder of the shares will vest in a series of 36 successive equal monthly installments thereafter, subject to his continuous service with the Company through each such vesting date and subject to potential vesting acceleration under certain circumstances pursuant to the terms of Mr. Mokari’s employment agreement with the Company.
About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company striving to deliver cures through controllable cell therapies. The Company’s next-generation product candidates are differentiated by powerful cell signaling technologies designed to produce more effective CAR-T, TCR and allogeneic T cell therapies. Its lead product candidate, rivo-celTM, is an allogeneic polyclonal T cell therapy that has shown promising clinical trial results in reducing leukemia relapse after a stem cell transplant. Bellicum’s lead GoCAR-T® candidate, BPX-601, is designed to be a more efficacious CAR-T cell product capable of overriding key immune inhibitory mechanisms. More information can be found at www.bellicum.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things the MAA filing of our lead product rivo-cel in the E.U. and the expansion of clinical studies with our lead GoCAR-T candidate, BPX-601. Various factors may cause differences between Bellicum’s expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Any forward-looking statements that Bellicum makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Bellicum assumes no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
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Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals