Experienced industry clinician brings deep expertise in oncology development including advancement of allogeneic cell therapy to first-in-human trials
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – April 27, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off ‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Cherry Thomas, MD, as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Thomas has broad experience in the clinical development of cell therapies. She initiated a first-in-human clinical trial of an allogeneic cell therapy during her previous role as senior vice president of clinical development at Caribou Biosciences. Dr. Thomas’ experience in oncology clinical development also includes leadership roles at Array BioPharma/Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Amgen.
“Cherry’s extensive experience in oncology and cell therapy drug development, clinical expertise, and impressive track record make her an ideal fit as we advance our innovative CAR-NK programs,” said Alvin Shih, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio. “We welcome Cherry at a pivotal time in our evolution, as we build the capabilities to become a clinical-stage company.”
“I am excited to bring my clinical development experience with allogeneic cell therapies to a talented Catamaran team that has built a leading-edge platform for CAR-NK cell therapies,” said Dr. Thomas. “I look forward to the opportunity to guide the clinical advancement of the Catamaran’s promising pipeline of allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies, potentially becoming off-the-shelf treatments for patients with solid tumors.”
Dr. Thomas has extensive pharmaceutical and biotech industry experience and expertise in the clinical development of oncology therapeutics including allogeneic cell therapies. Dr. Thomas joins Catamaran from Caribou Biosciences where she served as senior vice president of clinical development. In this role, she initiated and built Caribou’s clinical development program and advanced the company’s first allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy into the clinic. Prior to Caribou, she held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership in U.S. and global clinical development and medical affairs at Array BioPharma/Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Amgen. Dr. Thomas received her MD from the University of California, Irvine, and completed her residency at the University of Michigan in radiation oncology and is a licensed physician and surgeon. She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.
About Catamaran Bio
Catamaran Bio is developing novel, off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies designed to treat a broad range of cancers, including solid tumors. Our proprietary capabilities enable us to harness the natural cancer-fighting properties of NK cells and enhance and tailor their effectiveness with the power of synthetic biology and innovative non-viral cell engineering. We are using our TAILWIND™ platform, an integrated suite of technologies, to specifically address the end-to-end methods of engineering, processing and manufacturing NK cells and rapidly advance our pipeline of CAR-NK cell therapy programs. Our team combines experienced biopharmaceutical leadership with founding scientists who are pioneers in NK cell biology, engineering, manufacturing and clinical application. Catamaran is backed by leading financial and corporate investors, including SV Health Investors, Sofinnova Partners, Lightstone Ventures, Takeda Ventures, Astellas Venture Management, and the UMN Discovery Capital investment program. For more information, please visit www.catamaranbio.com and follow us on LinkedIn and @CatamaranBio on Twitter.
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network