RICHMOND, Calif., April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO), the leader in therapeutic genome editing, today announced that its founder and Chairman Edward Lanphier is not standing for re-election as a director nominee of Sangamo's Board of Directors at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. The announcement comes after a year-long transition period following Lanphier's retirement from Sangamo management in June 2016 after 21 years as President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Under Edward's leadership, Sangamo pioneered the field of genome editing with the development of ground-breaking technologies such as our zinc finger protein platform for therapeutic applications with the potential to fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced," said H. Stewart Parker, Sangamo director and nominee to succeed Lanphier as board chair following the Annual Meeting.
Added Dr. Sandy Macrae, Sangamo's president and CEO: "Edward tirelessly built Sangamo into a leader in the emerging field of genomic therapies. I look to build upon the foundation he established and to realize our shared vision of delivering novel and potentially curative medicines to patients with serious genetic diseases."
Lanphier's career is celebrated for the scientific breakthroughs he enabled at Sangamo and for his public policy and thought leadership in the regenerative medicine and advanced therapies field.
Lanphier founded Sangamo in 1995 as a company focused on regulation of gene expression based upon zinc finger DNA binding protein technology. He fostered scientific innovation within the company, enabling development of methods for highly efficient and specific genome editing. Sangamo's scientists were the first to demonstrate the advantages of this approach in plant and animal species, leading to new methods for the production of novel transgenic animal models and crop modification techniques and laying the foundation for research into human therapeutic uses.
Under Lanphier's leadership, Sangamo scientists were the first to evaluate the safety and efficacy of genome editing techniques in human clinical trials, including the Company's legacy clinical research into cell therapies for HIV. Technologies developed through this program now hold promise as a potential cell therapy approach for cancer and monogenic diseases, including sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia.
Lanphier also championed the development of in vivo genome editing techniques for their potential to cure genetically tractable diseases. Sangamo's zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology is the most advanced genome editing technology in development and with its demonstrated efficiency, precision and specificity has earned clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for in vivo human clinical studies. This year Sangamo is conducting the first ever in vivo genome editing clinical trials evaluating ZFN-mediated therapeutic genome editing approaches for the treatment of hemophilia B, a rare blood disorder, and two rare lysosomal storage disorders, MPS I and MPS II.
A passionate public company CEO, Lanphier developed strong relationships with a broad base of biotechnology investors and industry collaborators and kept Sangamo well financed throughout his tenure, seeking to minimize shareholder dilution and avoiding the use of debt.
Lanphier served as a member of the board of directors of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) from 2012 through 2016 and as chairman from 2014 until 2016. During his term as chairman, ARM grew to include more than 245 members and was recognized as the leading international advocacy organization for gene and cell therapies and the broader regenerative medicine sector. Lanphier heralded the promise of curing diseases through genome editing while also advocating for responsible use of the technology, leading the charge in calling for open debate and discussion of germline genome editing with an editorial published in Nature in March 2015.
"The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine would like to recognize and thank Edward for his extraordinary leadership during his tenure as chair and his commitment to expanding the influence of the organization in the U.S. and Europe. We would also like to acknowledge his significant contributions to the gene therapy and gene editing sectors throughout his 30-plus years in the industry," said Morrie Ruffin, managing director of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. "All of us in this field owe Edward appreciation and gratitude for his unwavering belief in the life-saving potential of these technologies."
About Sangamo Therapeutics
Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. is focused on translating ground-breaking science into genomic therapies that transform patients' lives using the company's industry leading platform technologies in genome editing, gene therapy, gene regulation and cell therapy. The Company is advancing Phase 1/2 clinical programs in hemophilia A and hemophilia B, and lysosomal storage disorders MPS I and MPS II. Sangamo has a strategic collaboration with Bioverativ Inc. for hemoglobinopathies, including beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease, and with Shire International GmbH to develop therapeutics for Huntington's disease. In addition, it has established strategic partnerships with companies in non-therapeutic applications of its technology, including Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and Dow AgroSciences. For more information about Sangamo, visit the Company's website at www.sangamo.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on Sangamo's current expectations. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, references relating to the potential of genome editing technology to cure diseases. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the dependence on the success of clinical trials of lead programs, the lengthy and uncertain regulatory approval process, uncertainties related to the timing of initiation and completion of clinical trials, whether clinical trial results will validate and support the safety and efficacy of ZFP Therapeutics, and the ability to establish strategic partnerships. Further, there can be no assurance that the necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained or that Sangamo and its partners will be able to develop commercially viable gene-based therapeutics. Actual results may differ from those projected in forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties that exist in Sangamo's operations and business environments. These risks and uncertainties are described more fully in Sangamo's Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and Sangamo undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.
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SOURCE Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc.