CRISPR Therapeutics Strengthens Executive Leadership Team with Key Appointments

gene editing
gene editing

-Naimish Patel, M.D., appointed to Chief Medical Officer-

-Julianne Bruno, M.B.A., promoted to Chief Operating Officer-

ZUG, Switzerland and BOSTON, May 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CRISPR Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRSP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases, today announced the appointment of Naimish Patel, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, effective May 28, 2024. Dr. Patel is an experienced drug developer who has worked across a wide range of disease areas, including his most recent leadership role as the Global Development Therapeutic Area Head of Immunology and Inflammation at Sanofi. In addition, the Company also announced the promotion of Julianne Bruno, M.B.A., to Chief Operating Officer, effective as of May 23, 2024. She currently serves as the Company’s Senior Vice President and Head of Programs & Portfolio Management.

“I’m thrilled to welcome a transformational leader of Naimish’s caliber to the executive team at CRISPR Therapeutics,” said Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CRISPR Therapeutics. “His extensive drug development experience and proven leadership will be critical as we expand our portfolio and advance multiple assets in our pipeline.”

Dr. Kulkarni added: “Additionally, I am very pleased to announce Julie’s promotion and I look forward to her continued contributions as we scale the Company. Since joining CRISPR Therapeutics in 2019, Julie has been a valuable member of the leadership team and has led several important and impactful cross-functional initiatives including our collaboration with Vertex. With this strengthened executive team, combined with our significant progress to date, CRISPR Therapeutics remains well positioned to rapidly advance our programs and deliver on our mission to develop transformative medicines for patients suffering from serious diseases.”

“CRISPR Therapeutics’ compelling and innovative platform, exciting clinical assets and impressive manufacturing capabilities position the Company to potentially bring several transformative therapies to patients with significant unmet medical need,” said Naimish Patel, M.D., “I am incredibly excited to join the CRISPR leadership team and help bring these therapies to patients in need.”

Dr. Patel joins CRISPR Therapeutics from Sanofi, where he most recently served as the Global Development Therapeutic Area Head of Immunology and Inflammation. Previously, he was the Global Program Head for Dupilumab at Sanofi, leading multiple waves of indication expansion including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and eosinophilic esophagitis. During his time at Sanofi, Dr. Patel led the development of an industry-leading pipeline across key therapeutic areas including respiratory, dermatology, gastroenterology, and rheumatology. He also oversaw key business development and M&A activities during a rapid phase of pipeline expansion. Dr. Patel is a pulmonary and critical care physician with an extensive background in translational medicine and clinical trials.

Dr. Patel received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an M.D. from McGill University. He completed his internal medicine training at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and his fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Medicine at Harvard Medical School. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Patel was a member of the faculty at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he led an NIH-funded lab in translational immunology focused on innate defense functions of the lungs. He previously held positions in clinical development and discovery project leadership at AstraZeneca and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Julianne Bruno, M.B.A., has served as Senior Vice President and Head of Programs & Portfolio Management at CRISPR Therapeutics since March 2023. During her time at CRISPR Therapeutics since joining the Company in April 2019, she has taken on positions of increasing responsibility, including leading the hemoglobinopathies partnership with Vertex through the early clinical stage through approval. In addition, she has been responsible for program leadership of our immuno-oncology assets and the program management function across our franchises. Prior to joining CRISPR Therapeutics, Ms. Bruno worked at McKinsey & Company from August 2015 to March 2019 where she was a leader in the biotech practice and served a number of biotechnology companies on a wide range of commercial topics. She received her M.B.A. from The Wharton School and also holds an A.B. from Princeton University.

About CRISPR Therapeutics
Since its inception over a decade ago, CRISPR Therapeutics has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of gene editing, to a company that recently celebrated the historic approval of the first-ever CRISPR-based therapy and has a diverse portfolio of product candidates across a broad range of disease areas including hemoglobinopathies, oncology, regenerative medicine, cardiovascular, autoimmune and rare diseases. CRISPR Therapeutics advanced the first-ever CRISPR/Cas9 gene-edited therapy into the clinic in 2018 to investigate the treatment of sickle cell disease or transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia, and beginning in late 2023, CASGEVY™ (exagamglogene autotemcel) was approved in some countries to treat eligible patients with either of those conditions. The Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR science has revolutionized biomedical research and represents a powerful, clinically validated approach with the potential to create a new class of potentially transformative medicines. To accelerate and expand its efforts, CRISPR Therapeutics has established strategic partnerships with leading companies including Bayer and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. CRISPR Therapeutics AG is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, with its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc., and R&D operations based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California, and business offices in London, United Kingdom. To learn more, visit www.crisprtx.com.

CRISPR THERAPEUTICS® standard character mark and design logo are trademarks and registered trademarks of CRISPR Therapeutics AG. The CASGEVY™ word mark and design are trademarks of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CRISPR Therapeutics Forward-Looking Statement
This press release may contain a number of “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements made by Drs. Kulkarni and Patel in this press release, as well as statements regarding CRISPR Therapeutics’ expectations about any or all of the following: (i) its plans for and its preclinical studies, clinical trials and pipeline products and programs, including, without limitation, manufacturing capabilities, status of such studies and trials, potential expansion into new indications and expectations regarding data generally; (ii) the data that will be generated by ongoing and planned clinical trials, and the ability to use that data for the design and initiation of further clinical trials; (iii) the sufficiency of its cash resources; (iv) the expected benefits of its collaborations; and (v) the therapeutic value, development, and commercial potential of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies and therapies. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Although CRISPR Therapeutics believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and they are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk. Actual performance and results may differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: the efficacy and safety results from ongoing clinical trials will not continue or be repeated in ongoing or planned clinical trials or may not support regulatory submissions; clinical trial results may not be favorable; one or more of its product candidate programs will not proceed as planned for technical, scientific or commercial reasons; future competitive or other market factors may adversely affect the commercial potential for its product candidates; initiation and completion of preclinical studies for its product candidates is uncertain and results from such studies may not be predictive of future results of future studies or clinical trials; regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products are uncertain; uncertainties inherent in the operation of a manufacturing facility; it may not realize the potential benefits of its collaborations; uncertainties regarding the intellectual property protection for its technology and intellectual property belonging to third parties, and the outcome of proceedings (such as an interference, an opposition or a similar proceeding) involving all or any portion of such intellectual property; and those risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” in CRISPR Therapeutics’ most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly report on Form 10-Q and in any other subsequent filings made by CRISPR Therapeutics with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. CRISPR Therapeutics disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, other than to the extent required by law.

Investor Contact:
Susan Kim
+1-617-307-7503
susan.kim@crisprtx.com

Media Contact:
Rachel Eides
+1-617-315-4493
rachel.eides@crisprtx.com