CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beam Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAM), a biotechnology company developing precision genetic medicines through base editing, today announced that Gopi Shanker, Ph.D., has been appointed as chief scientific officer (CSO). Dr. Shanker is a scientific leader with more than 20 years of drug development experience as well as experience with novel genetic medicine modalities. Dr. Shanker will report to Giuseppe Ciaramella, Ph.D., president of Beam, who has broad oversight of Beam’s research, manufacturing, regulatory, quality and pharmaceutical sciences organizations.
“We are thrilled to welcome Gopi to the Beam team during this exciting time as we advance our diverse clinical and earlier-stage pipeline of base editing programs,” said Dr. Ciaramella. “Base editing has the potential to change the treatment course for a number of patients in need, and as we progress our programs, we continue to learn and further understand the breadth of possibilities. Gopi’s extensive background of leading drug discovery and development efforts, including in the area of gene therapy, is impressive, and we look forward to applying that expertise to our current and future programs.”
“The gene editing field has been of great interest to me for many years, and I’m pleased to join the Beam team, true leaders and pioneers in the space,” said Dr. Shanker. “Base editing is a highly flexible tool designed for efficient and precise modification of the genome without creating double-stranded DNA breaks, making it a compelling technology that I’m eager to further explore with this expert team. A key focus for me and my team will be progressing our base editing platform and evaluating potential new programs across each of our strategic pillars of hematology, immunology/oncology and genetic diseases.”
Dr. Shanker has an extensive background across all stages of drug development as well as multiple drug modalities, including small molecules, biologics and gene therapies for both common and rare disorders. He joins Beam from Tevard Biosciences, where he served as CSO. Prior to Tevard, he spent eight years at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he most recently served as head of neuroscience. In this role, he was responsible for strategic oversight of the entire neuroscience portfolio, which included developing a portfolio of gene therapy programs targeting neurodevelopmental disorders. During his tenure at Novartis, Dr. Shanker advanced multiple new therapeutic programs through late preclinical and clinical development, including the global regulatory approval of Aimovig®. He was also instrumental in several key partnerships, including with the Stanley Center (Broad Institute), Amgen, Sangamo, as well as the acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Shanker led several drug discovery programs at Amgen and Regeneron. He completed his Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and earned his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
About Beam Therapeutics
Beam Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BEAM) is a biotechnology company committed to establishing the leading, fully integrated platform for precision genetic medicines. To achieve this vision, Beam has assembled a platform that includes a suite of gene editing and delivery technologies and is in the process of building internal manufacturing capabilities. Beam’s suite of gene editing technologies is anchored by base editing, a proprietary technology that is designed to enable precise, predictable and efficient single base changes, at targeted genomic sequences, without making double-stranded breaks in the DNA. This has the potential to enable a wide range of potential therapeutic editing strategies that Beam is using to advance a diversified portfolio of base editing programs. Beam is a values-driven organization committed to its people, cutting-edge science, and a vision of providing life-long cures to patients suffering from serious diseases.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to: the therapeutic applications and potential of our technology; our plans, and anticipated timing, to advance our programs; and our ability to develop life-long, curative, precision genetic medicines for patients through base editing. Each forward-looking statement is subject to important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statement, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties related to: our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and commercialize our product candidates, which may take longer or cost more than planned; our ability to raise additional funding, which may not be available; our ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates; the potential impact of pandemics and other health emergencies, including their impact on the global supply chain; the uncertainty that our product candidates will receive regulatory approval necessary to initiate human clinical studies; that preclinical testing of our product candidates and preliminary or interim data from preclinical studies and clinical trials may not be predictive of the results or success of ongoing or later clinical trials; that enrollment and initiation of our clinical trials may take longer than expected; that our product candidates may experience manufacturing or supply interruptions or failures; risks related to competitive products; and the other risks and uncertainties identified under the headings “Risk Factors Summary” and “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, and in any subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.
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