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Poseida Therapeutics Establishes Scientific Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. (“Poseida”), a San Diego-based company translating best-in-class gene editing technologies into lifesaving therapeutics, announced the creation of the company's scientific advisory board with several key appointments. The scientific advisory board will provide guidance on the application of Poseida’s gene editing technology platform towards the development of next generation CAR T-cell immunotherapies and gene therapies.

"We have recruited an exceptional group of experts to our scientific advisory board, each one with a reputation for excellence in their respective fields,” said Eric Ostertag, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Poseida Therapeutics. "The diverse backgrounds of our SAB members are reflective of the diverse capabilities of our gene editing technology platform, and these individuals bring valuable perspective on multiple opportunities at our finger tips, including gene editing applications for cancer immunotherapies and for rare genetic diseases."

The inaugural members of Poseida Therapeutics’ scientific advisory board are:

George Church, Ph.D., is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and a director of the Center for Computational Genetics. With degrees from Duke University in chemistry and zoology, he co-authored research on 3D-software and RNA structure. His doctoral degree from Harvard in biochemistry and molecular biology included the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984, which initiated his involvement in the Human Genome Project as a research scientist at newly-formed Biogen Inc. and a Monsanto life sciences research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. He invented the broadly-applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods and array DNA synthesizers.  He is a leader in the gene editing space, with specific expertise in the optimization of CRISPR-based technology.

Malcolm Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., is the founding director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, The Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. He is a professor in the departments of pediatrics and medicine in the section of hematology-oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. In his prior work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, he conducted one of the first human gene therapy studies, using a retroviral vector to transduce bone marrow stem cells. His work now focuses on increasing the activity and the safety of T lymphocytes directed to cancer cells by their native or synthetic receptors. He has also served as president of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, president of the American Society of Gene Therapy and editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Therapy.

Bruce Scharschmidt, M.D., was most recently senior vice president as well as chief medical and development officer at Hyperion Therapeutics, where he was responsible for the development of RAVICTI®, which was approved for the treatment of urea cycle disorders in the United States in February 2013, Europe in 2015 and Canada in 2016. Hyperion was acquired by Horizon Pharma in May of 2015. Previously, he held senior positions at Novartis, Chiron and the University of California, San Francisco, where he was chief of gastroenterology, professor of medicine and a National Institute for Health-funded investigator for two decades. He is the author of over 200 research and review articles on liver biology and disease, and he has served as associate editor of Gastroenterology, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, he is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Clinical and Translational Science Program at Northwestern/Feinberg School of Medicine, president of Northwestern University’s Medical Alumni Board, a member of the National Board of Directors of the Am Liver Foundation from 2005-2013 and prior chair of the Translational Team for the J David Gladstone Institute, where he is currently a member of the President’s Council Executive Committee.

Don L. Siegel M.D., Ph.D., is the professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Division of Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). He serves as the medical director of the blood bank and transfusion service, the apheresis, infusion and hematopoietic stem cell collection and processing units and the cellular engineering GMP facilities. As medical director for Cell Therapies at UPenn Medicine, Dr. Siegel is responsible for all clinical aspects related to the collection of investigational cellular products from patients, the use of such cellular products in the manufacture of targeted therapies and the preparation of cellular products prior to administration into patients. In these clinical roles, Dr. Siegel has worked with his UPenn clinical and scientific colleagues to establish an internationally-recognized cellular therapy program in the areas of oncology, infectious diseases and autoimmunity. His work is credited with a number of first-in-human clinical trials, including first use of lentiviral-transduced CAR-T or TCR T cells in cancer, first use of RNA electroporated T cells in cancer and first use of zinc finger nuclease genome edited T cells or lentiviral transduced TCR T cells for the treatment of HIV. Dr. Siegel received an undergraduate degree in biophysics from Brown University, a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard University and a medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

About Poseida Therapeutics Inc.

Poseida Therapeutics is translating best-in-class gene editing technologies into lifesaving treatments. The company is developing CAR T-cell immunotherapies for multiple myeloma and other cancer types, as well as gene therapies for orphan diseases. Poseida is also partnered with Janssen Biotech to develop allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies using Poseida’s gene editing platform. Poseida has assembled a suite of industry-leading gene editing technologies, including the piggyBac™ DNA Modification System, XTN™ TALEN and NextGEN™ CRISPR site-specific nucleases, and Footprint-Free™ Gene Editing (FFGE).  For more information visit

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