Novartis CAR-T chief David Lebwohl is leaving the Swiss company to join Semma Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based drugmaker developing a stem-cell cure for diabetes, according to EndPoints News.
Here are four things to know:
1. Mr. Lebwohl was recruited by Semma to serve as its new CMO. He has close ties to the Massachusetts drugmaker, which recruited another Novartis executive last year. In spring of 2017, Novartis vet Bastino Sanna joined Semma as CEO.
2. At Novartis, Mr. Lebwohl was charged with leading the company’s efforts into CAR-T therapies, a novel class of therapies that genetically alters patients’ immune cells to fight diseases.
3. Mr. Lebwohl and Mr. Sanna are not the only Novartis executives to leave the company in the last few years to join a biotech company. Karen Walker, who led the manufacturing operation at the CAR-T group at Novartis, left in early 2017 to join biotech Seattle Genetics.
4. Novartis isn’t the only big pharma company to lose top execs to the booming biotech industry. However, the company has been losing more execs than most, according to the report.
Date: December 24, 2018