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Fate Therapeutics Appoints Sarah Cooley, M.D., M.S. as Senior Vice President, Clinical Translation

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 20, 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 Sarah Cooley, M.D., M.S., a leading expert in the field of natural killer (NK) cell receptor immunogenetics and in the clinical development of NK cell cancer immunotherapies, has joined the Company as Senior Vice President, Clinical Translation. Dr. Cooley brings to Fate Therapeutics more than 12 years of leadership in the field of NK cell clinical research and development, having most recently served as Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Cooley will be responsible for leading translational medicine across the Company’s cell-based cancer immunotherapy programs and for early clinical development of certain of the Company’s NK cell product candidates.

“We are thrilled that Sarah brings to Fate Therapeutics a career-long focus on treating cancer patients with first-in-class NK cell cancer immunotherapies,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. “Sarah has deep expertise in translational medicine, and her leadership will prove valuable in interrogating and assessing data from the clinical trials of our off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived NK cell product candidates. Her passion for NK cell biology and patient-oriented research is an excellent fit as we seek to integrate our findings into our clinical and product development strategies.”

“I’m excited to join Fate Therapeutics at this time as the Company launches ground-breaking clinical studies of FT500 and FT516, which are the first two iPSC-derived cell therapies cleared for clinical investigation in the United States,” said Dr. Cooley. “The Company’s iPSC product platform uniquely enables cancer patients to be treated with multiple doses of a cell product over multiple treatment cycles, including in combination with FDA-approved therapeutic agents to induce a multi-faceted immune response. This approach has the potential to drive deeper and more durable responses, and I look forward to working with the team at Fate Therapeutics and its collaborators to bring these promising products to patients.”

At the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, Dr. Cooley played a critical role in the development of translational research infrastructure, serving as the Medical Director for the Clinical Trials Office, for the Oncology Informatics Shared Resource and most recently as the Director of Investigator Initiated Research and of the Cancer Research Translational Initiative. Throughout her career, Dr. Cooley led 15 clinical trials of NK cell or immunotherapy-based cancer treatments. Dr. Cooley received an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from Cornell University and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Minnesota, where she also received her M.S. in Clinical Research from the School of Public Health. After joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2006, her clinical practice included adult Hematologic Malignancy and Blood and Marrow Transplant service.

In connection with her commencement of employment, Fate Therapeutics granted Dr. Cooley an option to purchase 120,000 shares of the Company’s common stock with an exercise price equal to $14.42, the closing price per share of the Company’s common stock as reported by NASDAQ on February 19, 2019, which was the date of commencement of Dr. Cooley’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. Cooley’s continuous employment through each vesting date. In addition, Fate Therapeutics granted Dr. Cooley an award of 30,000 restricted stock units, with each restricted stock unit equal to one share of the Company’s common stock. The vesting of the award is contingent upon certain conditions and, subject to commencement of vesting, 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. Cooley’s continuous employment through each vesting date. The option and the restricted stock unit award each were granted as an inducement material to Dr. Cooley 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-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. 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 and plans related to the Company's product candidates and research and development programs, the therapeutic potential of the Company’s NK cell product candidates, the Company’s regulatory strategy, and the Company’s plans for its intended 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.

Contact:
Christina Tartaglia
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.
212.362.1200
christina@sternir.com