Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium - Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ: CYAD), a leader in the discovery and development of engineered cell therapies, today announced the appointment of Dr. Frederic Lehmann to the newly created position of Vice President Immuno-Oncology, effective September 14, 2015.
In this role, Dr. Lehmann will be responsible for Celyad’s overall oncology franchise. His objective will be to develop and implement a growth strategy aimed at positioning the Company as a leader in engineered cell therapies for immuno-oncology applications, building upon Celyad’s lead oncology product candidate, Natural Killer Receptor NKG2D CAR T-cell.
Dr. Vincent Brichard will continue to provide strategic advice as a representative of ViaNova SPRL to explore the full potential of the immuno-oncology portfolio.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Frederic to our company,” said Christian Homsy, Chief Executive Officer of Celyad. “As an engineered cell therapy company on the cutting edge of developing immunotherapies for cancer, nothing is more critical than continuously building our capabilities and collective expertise with experienced scientific minds. Frederic brings strong experience in oncology as well as team leadership, and I expect he will move quickly to build on the opportunities in our unique immuno-oncology pipeline.”
Dr. Lehmann has extensive experience in oncology drug development spanning early to late phase, including clinical trial design, translational research, regulatory interactions, and clinical risk management. He is a physician by training and started his academic career at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Brussels, followed by a position at the Institute Jules Bordet. He then moved to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) as Medical Advisor. Dr. Lehmann began his corporate career at GlaxoSmithKline, where he led the early worldwide clinical development program for the Company’s cancer vaccines and went on to lead the research and development incubator for cancer immunotherapeutics. Dr. Lehmann qualified as an MD and has a Master’s degree in Hematology in Oncology.
“Celyad is at a key inflection point as it leverages recent scientific and clinical insights into its new Natural Killer Receptor NKG2D CAR T-cell technology platform in the emerging field of immuno-oncology. I am thrilled to take part in this critical work to potentially transform patients’ lives as we continue to evaluate the potential of NKG2D CAR T-cell and other therapeutic candidates in our pipeline,” said Dr. Lehmann.
Dr. Lehmann will be based in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium and will report directly to Christian Homsy, Chief Executive Officer.