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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. (NTLA) has named David Lebwohl, M.D., as its new executive vice president and chief medical officer. Dr. Lebwohl brings decades of biopharmaceutial leadership and drug development experience, and joins Intellia to lead its clinical development and regulatory organizations.
“Dr. Lebwohl joins Intellia during an exciting time for the company, as we continue to rapidly progess our first systemic CRISPR/Cas9-based therapy to the clinic. David’s vast experience in rare diseases, engineered cell therapy and clinical development complement our R&D capabilities and leadership team strength,” said Intellia President and Chief Executive Officer John Leonard, M.D. “He has been at the helm of premier development organizations that launched breakthrough oncology therapies to patients, most notably the recent CAR-T therapy, Kymriah®, and the multi-indication blockbuster, Afinitor®. Under his leadership, we look forward to the impact he can make in delivering Intellia’s CRISPR/Cas9-based treatments to patients.”
Dr. Lebwohl’s Professional and Academic Credentials
Dr. Lebwohl’s career spans three decades in the biopharmaceutical industry, successfully bringing novel medicines through all phases of clinical trials and global regulatory approvals. During his career, he has overseen multiple full-scale development programs with more than 200 clinical studies across myriad indications. He joins Intellia from Semma Therapeutics, Inc., where he was chief medical officer and led the company’s regenerative medicine efforts using stem-cell-derived pancreatic islets to cure type I diabetes starting in November 2018. Semma was acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., in October 2019. Prior to his role at Semma, Dr. Lebwohl held numerous senior-level drug development leadership positions at the global healthcare company, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Novartis), where most recently he was senior vice president and franchise global program head, CAR-T, Promacta and SEG101 Global Program Teams, responsible for the development of the breakthrough therapy Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel), approved for the treatment of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Dr. Lebwohl also was responsible for numerous other Novartis oncology drug development programs, and led the company’s Cell and Gene Therapies Unit. Under his leadership, the blockbuster drug, Afinitor® (everolimus), was approved for five indications including metastatic breast, kidney, brain and lung cancers. Prior to working at Novartis, Dr. Lebwohl spent five years at Bristol Myers Squibb, Inc., where he worked in the Oncology Clinical Development group at the company’s Pharmaceutical Research Institute. He is a well-recognized medical oncologist, with certifications in hematology and internal medicine.
Dr. Lebwohl received an undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College, and an M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and his residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications.
“I am thrilled to join Intellia’s leadership team as we propel the first systemic CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing treatment to the clinic this year,” said Dr. Lebwohl. “I am passionate about working on the next generation of treatments, like genome editing therapies, that are both game-changing for medical practice and can address the unmet needs of patients. I look forward to leading the Development organization and building on the company’s clinical capabilities.”
About Intellia Therapeutics
Intellia Therapeutics is a leading genome editing company focused on developing proprietary, curative therapeutics using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Intellia believes the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has the potential to transform medicine by permanently editing disease-associated genes in the human body with a single treatment course, and through improved cell therapies that can treat cancer and immunological diseases, or can replace patients’ diseased cells. The combination of deep scientific, technical and clinical development experience, along with its leading intellectual property portfolio, puts Intellia in a unique position to unlock broad therapeutic applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and create a new class of therapeutic products. Learn more about Intellia Therapeutics and CRISPR/Cas9 at intelliatx.com and follow us on Twitter @intelliatweets.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” of Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. (“Intellia” or the “Company”) within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, express or implied statements regarding Intellia’s ability to advance and expand the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to develop into human therapeutic products; our ability to achieve stable or effective genome editing; our ability to administer our CRISPR/Cas9 product candidates; the potential timing and advancement of our preclinical studies and clinical studies, including for our ATTR program, AML program and other programs; the timing and potential achievement of milestones to advance our pipeline, including nominating development candidates and filing INDs; the modularity of our platform and our ability to replicate or apply results achieved in our preclinical studies, including those in our ATTR and AML programs, in any future studies, including human clinical trials; our ability complete successful IND-enabling toxicology studies of NTLA-2001, our lead ATTR development candidate, and subsequently submitting an IND application in 2020 that will be accepted by the regulatory agencies; our growth as a company and the anticipated contribution of the members of our board of directors and our executives to our operations and progress; the impact of our collaborations on our development programs; the potential timing of regulatory filings regarding our development programs; and our ability to fund operations through the end of 2021.
Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs 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: risks related to Intellia’s ability to protect and maintain its intellectual property position; risks related to Intellia’s relationship with third parties, including its licensors and licensees; risks related to the ability of its licensors to protect and maintain their intellectual property position; uncertainties related to the initiation and conduct of studies and other development requirements for its product candidates; the risk that any one or more of Intellia’s product candidates will not be successfully developed and commercialized; the risk that the results of preclinical studies or clinical studies will not be predictive of future results in connection with future studies; and the risk that Intellia’s collaborations with Novartis, Regeneron or its other ex vivo collaborations will not continue or will not be successful. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause Intellia’s actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Intellia’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Intellia’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Intellia undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
Jennifer Mound Smoter
Senior Vice President
External Affairs & Communications
External Affairs & Communications