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 therapies, today announced that Dr. Margo Roberts is joining Celyad’s Board of Director and its scientific committee.

Dr. Margo Roberts, Ph.D., served as Chief Scientific Officer at Kite Pharma Inc. (acquired by Gilead in October 2017) starting in 2013, where she built a talented research organization that played an instrumental role in the successful development of Yescarta®, and the clinical advancement of additional CAR/TCR-engineered T-cell therapies. Most recently, Dr. Roberts served as Senior Vice President of Discovery Research at Kite Pharma focusing on the development of next generation therapeutic approaches, including heading up Kite’s universal allogeneic T-cell programs.

Dr. Roberts has almost three decades of biomedical research experience in both biotechnology and academia. Prior to her tenure at Kite Pharma, Dr. Roberts was Principal Scientist and Director of Immune and Cell Therapy at Cell Genesys, Inc., where she led the development and application of CAR technology to T-cells and stem cells, culminating in the very first CAR T-cell trial initiated in 1994.  Dr. Roberts was also an associate professor at the University of Virginia, has authored over thirty scientific publications, and is the inventor on thirteen issued US patents and three published US patent applications related to CAR technology and tumor vaccine therapies. Dr. Roberts received both her Bachelor of Science degree with honors and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Leeds in England.  

Dr. Roberts’ appointment at Celyad’s Board is effective immediately.

Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad: “Margo’s experience in CAR technology is coming at a critical juncture for Celyad, as we pivot our unique approach to CAR-T from proof of concept to optimization. Margo has been instrumental in the success of Kite Pharma and the development of Yescarta®. I am thrilled that, amongst all options that Margo had, she has chosen to join Celyad. With Dr. David Gilham, Ph.D., our VP of R&D, Margo will provide input into the scientific strategy of the company. Margo will be part of our scientific quest to bring breakthrough pioneering therapies to cancer patients worldwide. “

Dr. Margo Roberts, Ph.D., added: I am honored to join Celyad’s Board of Directors at such a transformative time for the company and the field of engineered immuno-oncology. I believe that Celyad’s NK receptor-based technology as well as its non-gene edited allogeneic approach have enormous potential for the treatment of cancer, and I am very excited for the opportunity to work with the board members, David Gilham and other talented individuals associated with Celyad in this endeavour. I am really looking forward to leveraging my prior experience and on-going passion for innovative science to help advance Celyad’s pipeline and bring ground-breaking therapies to cancer patients”.

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