Gamida Cell Announces Changes to Board of Directors
Gamida Cell, a cell therapy pioneer working to turn cells into powerful therapeutics, today announced the resignation of Chairman Robert Blum, and the Board of Directors has elected Shawn Cline Tomasello as Chairwoman, effective immediately.
“On behalf of my fellow board members and Gamida Cell’s employees, I want to thank Robert for his dedicated service to this company,” said Abbey Jenkins, Gamida Cell President and Chief Executive Officer. “Robert has been a tireless advocate for Gamida Cell for the past five years and has provided strong oversight through many critical decisions. Shawn is a highly respected and seasoned biotech executive with tremendous experience in all dimensions of our industry, including corporate strategy and commercialization of innovative hematology, oncology and cell therapies. We look forward to her leadership as we approach our May 1 FDA target action date for omidubicel and, if approved, shift our focus to commercialization.”
Shawn Cline Tomasello joined Gamida Cell’s Board of Directors in June 2019, bringing extensive experience in leading successful commercial activities at several pharmaceutical companies and providing key strategic guidance on company boards. Most recently, she served as Chief Commercial Officer of Kite Pharma, now part of Gilead Sciences, where she oversaw the global commercialization of Yescarta®, the first approved CAR-T therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and was a key executive in the Kite/Gilead acquisition for $11.9 billion in August 2017. Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Tomasello was Chief Commercial Officer and had responsibility for medical affairs at Pharmacyclics. While at Pharmacyclics, the company’s market cap increased from $8 billion to $19 billion, and it was ultimately acquired by AbbVie for $21 billion. Ms. Tomasello has extensive strategic experience in building world-class organizations working across all relevant encompassing functions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Murray State University and currently also serves on the public boards of AlloVir, TCR2 Therapeutics, Inc. and 4D Molecular Therapeutics.
“I’m excited to take on the role of Chairwoman,” said Ms. Tomasello. “Gamida Cell is at an inflection point, with the potential FDA approval of omidubicel in the near term. This company has a therapy that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients, and an executive team that I’m confident can execute an effective launch.”
In addition, the company announced the resignations of Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag and Dr. Naama Halevi-Davidov. Both joined the Board in January 2022. Dr. Cohen-Dayag chaired the Science and Technology Committee and served on the Nominating and Governance Committee. Dr. Halevi-Davidov was a member of the Audit Committee.
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