Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium - Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and Nasdaq: CYAD), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of CAR-T cell-based therapies, today announced that Dr. Maria Koehler and Mr. Dominic Piscitelli have been appointed as independent members to its Board of Directors, effective as of March 24 and May 6, respectively.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Maria Koehler and Mr. Dominic Piscitelli to our Board of Directors given the tremendous industry experience and wealth of knowledge both will offer Celyad as we continue to build an oncology-focused organization rich with expertise,” said Filippo Petti, Chief Executive Officer of Celyad. “We look forward to Maria’s strategic advice as we continue to advance key elements of our developmental pipeline and expand on the clinical evidence supporting our CAR-T programs. In addition, Dominic’s broad financial, operational and strategic experience will provide the company with essential guidance as we look to build a competitive oncology business.”

Dr. Koehler said, “Celyad is at a pivotal moment in its history and I am excited to be joining the Board at this time. I look forward to bringing my experience as an oncologist with a broad understanding of drug development to Celyad and its robust pipeline of CAR-T candidates for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

Mr. Piscitelli stated, “The advancements that Celyad is making in its clinical and preclinical CAR-T programs has positioned the company as an exciting company to watch throughout the cell therapy landscape. I believe the opportunity to further leverage the company’s underlying technology platforms and intellectual property provides tremendous opportunities to drive long-term shareholder value.”

Dr. Koehler has more than 20 years of experience in oncology drug development. She currently serves as Chief Medical Officer at Repare Therapeutics. Prior to her current role, she was Chief Medical Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. She previously served as Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for Pfizer Oncology, spearheading major acquisitions and strategic portfolio decisions. As the Pfizer Oncology Integrated Development Leader, she was integral in the development of IBRANCE® (palbociclib) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Her professional experience includes academic clinical work in Poland, Germany and the United States, and executive positions at AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

In addition to her extensive pharmaceutical executive experience, Dr. Koehler is also known for a number of accomplishments in academia, including serving as an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the director of Bone Marrow Transplant at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Her advisory roles included scientific and strategic support for NCI[1], ASCO[2], EORTC[3] and Breast Cancer IMPAKT[4] Scientific Boards, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. from the Silesian Medical School in Poland.

Mr. Piscitelli brings more than 20 years of industry experience, including debt and equity financings, in-licensing transactions, acquisitions, marketing partnerships and commercial product launches, including playing a part in the commercials launches of XTANDI® (enzalutamide) and Tarceva® (erlotinib).  Since September 2019, Mr. Piscitelli has served as the Chief Financial Officer of ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded clinical stage oncology company. Prior to joining ORIC, from 2017 until 2019, he was Chief Financial Officer of AnaptysBio, where he helped raise over $500 million in an IPO and follow-on financings.

From 2012 until 2017, Mr. Piscitelli was Vice President of Finance, Strategy and Investor Relations at Medivation and played a key role in its acquisition by Pfizer Inc. in 2016. Prior to his tenure at Pfizer, he served as Senior Director of Collaborations and Operations Finance at Astellas Pharma. Mr. Piscitelli also served in various roles, and ultimately as the Vice President Treasury & Management Finance, at OSI Pharmaceuticals and played a significant role in their acquisition by Astellas in 2010. Mr. Piscitelli began his career with KPMG and is a certified public accountant. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from Hofstra University.


[1] NCI: National Cancer Institute
[2] ASCO: American Society of Clinical Oncology
[3] EORTC: European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer
[4] IMPAKT: IMProving cAre and Knowledge through Translational research

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