CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rubius Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering the creation of a new class of extraordinarily active, ready-to-use and life-changing cellular therapies, today announced the appointments of Francis Cuss, MB, MChir, FRCP and Catherine Sohn, Pharm.D., to its board of directors.
“Rubius made tremendous progress in 2017 and we are pleased to enhance our board with the addition of Francis and Catherine who bring the experience necessary to help position us for clinical development and commercial success,” said David Epstein, Executive Chairman of Rubius.
Francis Cuss, MB, MChir, FRCP has a strong medical background, and broad experience in both biopharma research and development. Dr. Cuss spent 14 years in leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. He is currently a member of the Novo Holdings Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Montclair State University, NJ, Board of Trustees. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Cuss spent 14 years at Schering-Plough and three years at Glaxo, holding positions of increasing responsibility in discovery, clinical research and medical affairs in both the U.S. and Europe. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Cuss was a practicing physician and has held several academic appointments, including as Adjunct Associate Professor at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He received his medical training in the U.K. and holds medical degrees from Cambridge University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (UK).
“Rubius is pioneering the development of a new class of medicines for patients with very serious diseases, and is uniquely positioned to deliver on the potential of red cell therapeutics,” said Cuss. “I have had the privilege during my career to be part of several companies translating highly innovative science into successful medicines, and I am thrilled to be able to bring that experience to Rubius as they progress development of breakthrough cellular therapies for patients in need.”
Catherine Sohn, Pharm.D., is currently non-executive Chairman of BioEclipse Therapeutics Inc, a private, immuno-oncology company and an independent Director on the Board of Directors of Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Landec Corp. Dr. Sohn holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco and serves on the board of directors of the not-for profit World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and is a member of the Investment Committee of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Previously, she was a member of the global executive team and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Business Development and Strategic Alliances at GlaxoSmithKline plc. Before that, she served as Vice President of Worldwide Strategic Product Development for the Cardiovascular, Metabolic & Pulmonary Therapeutic Areas at SmithKline Beecham (SB) Pharmaceuticals.
“I am excited to join the board of Rubius, a company committed to bringing transformative new treatment options to patients,” said Sohn. “I look forward to working with the talented team at Rubius as they continue to pioneer the next generation of cellular therapies.”
Harvey Lodish, Ph.D., a board member since 2014, will step down from the board and transition to play a key role on Rubius’ scientific advisory board.
About Rubius Therapeutics
Rubius Therapeutics, a 2017 “Fierce 15” award winner, is creating RCTs™ as a new class of medicines. Leading applications include programs in cancer, enzyme deficiency diseases and the induction of tolerance to treat autoimmune disease. The company was conceived and launched by Flagship VentureLabs®, the innovation foundry where a team of scientific entrepreneurs systematically evolve enterprising ideas based upon previously undiscovered areas of science into real-world inventions and ventures. Rubius® was founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2014. For more information please visit www.rubiustx.com.
About RCT™ Products
RCT™ products are genetically engineered, enucleated red cells that are being developed to provide allogeneic, ready-to-use cellular therapies to patients across multiple therapeutic areas. The advantages of RCT products over other therapies include immuno-privileged presentation of proteins within or on the red cell, high target avidity and affinity, and long circulation half-life. Rubius RCTs exhibit fundamentally unique and potent biology; that have been engineered to replace missing enzymes for patients living with a variety of rare diseases, to kill tumors, and to upregulate or downregulate the immune system to treat both cancer and autoimmune disorders.