CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Editas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT), a leading genome editing company, today announced that it named Judith R. Abrams, M.D., as the Company’s Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Abrams is a leading drug development clinician who has brought multiple medicines from clinical stage development to regulatory approval.
“We are delighted to have Judith join our leadership at this important juncture for the Company with the recent initiation of the Phase 1/2 Brilliance trial of EDIT-101 (AGN-151587) for the treatment of patients with Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10),” said Cynthia Collins, President and Chief Executive Officer, Editas Medicine. “Her impressive global clinical experience and her drug development expertise will be instrumental in advancing our mission to develop and deliver transformative medicines to people living with serious diseases.”
“Editas Medicine is playing a crucial role in the development of a new class of medicines through CRISPR-based genome editing. It is an exciting time to join the team as we are enrolling the first ever clinical trial to investigate an in vivo CRISPR-based experimental medicine,” said Judith Abrams, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Editas Medicine. “I am thrilled to join Editas Medicine during this pivotal time and look forward to advancing the EDIT-101 clinical program as well as additional experimental medicines in our pipeline including, EDIT-301 for the treatment of sickle cell disease and future engineered cell medicines for the treatment of cancer.”
Dr. Abrams has more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles in the biopharmaceutical industry managing portfolios of products across all phases of global clinical development. Dr. Abrams joins Editas Medicine from EMD Serono Research and Development Institute, Inc., where she served as the Franchise Lead, Immunology and Neurology, Global Drug Safety Innovation.
Among her prior roles, Dr. Abrams served as Chief Medical Officer at CorMedix Inc.; Head of Otezla (Apremilast) Global Clinical Submission Team at Celgene Corporation; Vice President, Medical & Science Inflammation at Novo Nordisk, Inc.; Vice President of Clinical Development at NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Franchise Medical Leader for Reproductive Medicine, Urology, Anti-Infective, Wound Healing and Immunology, Inflammation & Pulmonary Global Drug Development at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development; Head, Early Clinical Development for Arthritis, Bone Metabolism & Women’s Health at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Therapeutic Area Head, Bone & Joint Diseases and Inflammation at Amgen, Inc.; and Project Team Leader for Orencia (Abatacept) at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute.
Dr. Abrams received her M.D. degree and completed fellowships in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Abrams completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in Molecular Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she subsequently became a member of the clinical faculty. Dr. Abrams is Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine.
In connection with Dr. Abrams’ appointment, the Editas Board of Directors approved a stock option grant and a restricted stock unit award to Dr. Abrams. The stock option grant and the restricted stock unit award were granted as inducements material to Dr. Abrams entering into employment with Editas Medicine, in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The inducement grants to Dr. Abrams consisted of a stock option to purchase up to 150,000 shares of Editas Medicine common stock, exercisable at a price of $21.61 per share, equal to the closing price per share of Editas Medicine’s common stock as reported by Nasdaq on the date of grant. The stock option vests over four years, with 25 percent of the shares vesting on the first anniversary of Dr. Abrams’ employment start date, and the remainder vesting ratably at the end of each subsequent month thereafter, subject to Dr. Abrams’ continued service relationship with Editas through the applicable vesting dates. The restricted stock unit award is for 25,000 shares of Editas Medicine’s common stock and vests as to 25 percent of the shares on each one year anniversary of Dr. Abrams’ employment start date until the fourth anniversary of the Dr. Abrams’ employment start date, subject to Dr. Abrams’ continued service to Editas Medicine through the applicable vesting dates.
About Editas Medicine
As a leading genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1 (also known as Cas12a) genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. For the latest information and scientific presentations, please visit www.editasmedicine.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘continue,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘potential,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘would,’’ and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the Company’s plans with respect to the Brilliance Phase 1/2 clinical trial for EDIT-101 (AGN-151587). The Company may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including: uncertainties inherent in the initiation and completion of pre-clinical studies and clinical trials and clinical development of the Company’s product candidates; availability and timing of results from pre-clinical studies and clinical trials; whether interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial or the results of future trials; expectations for regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products and availability of funding sufficient for the Company’s foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements. These and other risks are described in greater detail under the caption “Risk Factors” included in the Company’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other filings that the Company may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise.