Alessandro Riva, M.D., and Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., have bee added as new Independent Directors reports Century Therapeutics.
A former Executive Vice President at Gilead Sciences and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Riva has a reputation for leading global research and development in the biopharma sector as well as developing and registering several therapeutic compounds in oncology. Dr. Blackwell is an expert oncologist with 24 years of experience as an academic clinician and trialist, specialized in leading development strategy for novel immuno-oncology therapeutics.
“Alessandro and Kimberly each have longstanding reputations for advancing novel oncology therapeutics,” said Lalo Flores, Chief Executive Officer of Century Therapeutics. “Their collective expertise in clinical immuno-oncology asset development and regulatory approval make them timely and valued additions to the Century Board of Directors during this milestone year. I am honored to welcome them to the team.”
“Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) is a disruptive cell therapy platform that offers the potential for precise product engineering and simplified manufacturing at commercial scale,” said Dr. Riva. “Century’s diverse cell engineering capabilities have uniquely positioned the company to take full advantage of iPSC technology to deliver cell therapies with the potential to overcome many of the inherent challenges of Autologous and donor derived allogeneic cancer treatments.”
Dr. Riva is a respected oncologist with more than 25 years of experience leading therapeutic development as an executive in the biotechnology sector. He most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of Ichnos Sciences, leading the company through development of bi/trispecific antibody cancer therapeutics and biologics targeting autoimmune diseases.
Previously, Dr. Riva spearheaded the acquisition of Kite Pharma as Executive Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Therapeutics and Cell Therapy at Gilead Sciences. He was also the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Development and Medical Affairs and Novartis Pharmaceuticals as well as the President ad interim of Novartis Oncology, where he helped facilitate the acquisition of GSK Oncology.
Riva received his bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery and M.D. in Oncology/Hematology from the University of Milan.
Dr. Blackwell joins Century’s Board of Directors with nearly 20 years of experience as a practicing oncologist. She currently serves at the Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Labs and is a scientific co-founder of Cereius Radiopharmaceuticals. Prior to Tempus Labs, Dr. Blackwell directed clinical development of all pre-approval oncology agents through two significant corporate acquisitions as the Vice President of Early Phase Oncology and Immuno-oncology and Eli Lilly.
Before joining the biopharma sector, Dr. Blackwell was a practicing oncologist, Professor of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Duke University Medical Center. She also served as the Director of the Duke Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Program and leader of the Women’s Cancer Program.
Dr. Blackwell holds a B.A. in Bioethics from Duke University and earned her M.D. from the Mayo Clinic Medical School. She currently serves on the Boards of Monte Rosa Pharmaceuticals and Zentalis Pharmaceuticals.
“Century’s vertical integration of critical knowhow in protein engineering, genetic engineering, and manufacturing provides the necessary platform for optimization and further development of their iPSC-derived cell therapies,” said Dr. Blackwell. “I look forward to working with the company and my fellow board members to advance their innovative approach to cell therapy and deliver much-needed therapies to cancer patients.”