Therapy Areas
Hege, Shah and Viney Named to Graphite Bio Board of Directors
4 May 2021 - - US-based gene editing company Graphite Bio, Inc has appointed Dr. Kristen Hege, Smital Shah and Dr. Jo Viney to its board of directors, the company said.

Dr. Hege is a renowned physician scientist and a pioneer in advancing cell therapies through clinical development to regulatory approval. Shah is a proven executive leader with over two decades of senior management experience in the biopharma and investment banking industries.

Dr. Viney is a renowned immunologist and entrepreneur with a distinguished track record in drug discovery and development.

Kristen Hege, M.D., is senior vice president of early clinical development of hematology/oncology and cell therapy at Bristol Myers Squibb where her team is responsible for advancing the pipeline from first-in-human studies to clinical proof of concept.

She joined BMS in 2019 following its acquisition of Celgene. Notably, Dr. Hege led the development of Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel; ide-cel), the first BCMA-directed CAR T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma from product concept to approval in partnership with bluebird bio.

Previously, she spent nearly ten years at Celgene, where she built the early clinical development organization and led her team in the advancement of a pipeline of small molecules, biologics and T-cell therapies.

Prior to joining Celgene, Dr. Hege held multiple executive roles at several biotech companies, including Cell Genesys, Cellerant Therapeutics and Theraclone Sciences.

In addition to her work at BMS, Dr. Hege, a hematologist-oncologist, is a Clinical Professor of Medicine of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, where she continues to manage patients with benign and malignant blood disorders.

Dr. Hege also serves on the board of directors of Mersana Therapeutics and served as a volunteer-at-large director for the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer for a three-year term from 2016-2019.

In 2015, Dr. Hege was recognized by Fierce Biotech among the Top 12 Women in Biopharma. Her career path and long history with CAR T cell development was featured in the "Turning Points" series as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Nature Medicine.

Smital Shah is chief business and financial officer of ProQR Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on rare genetic diseases.

She joined ProQR in 2014 as chief financial officer. At ProQR, her broad leadership portfolio includes responsibility for finance, investor relations and communications, business development and commercial operations.

Previously, Shah served as corporate treasurer at Gilead Sciences.

Her proven management and leadership experience in the biopharma industry is augmented by her earlier career in investment banking, where she has particular expertise in financial strategy, capital markets and business development.

Prior to Gilead, Shah spent several years in investment banking at Leerink Partners and J.P. Morgan focused on the biotech sector.

She helped raise over USD 1bn in equity capital and over USD 7bn in debt capital for emerging and established biotech companies and advised on merger and acquisition strategies.

Earlier in her career, she held various research and development positions at Johnson and Johnson. Shah is a board member and chair of the audit committee at Pliant Therapeutics.

Jo Viney, Ph.D., currently serves as president, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Pandion Therapeutics, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck and Co., Inc., where she is developing novel therapeutics designed to address the unmet needs of patients living with autoimmune diseases.

Prior to founding Pandion, Dr. Viney served most recently as senior vice president of drug discovery at Biogen.

Previously, she has also served in roles including executive director of inflammation research at Amgen, and director of autoimmunity and inflammation research at Immunex Corp. (acquired by Amgen in 2002).

Throughout her career, Dr. Viney has been an advocate for workplace inclusiveness. From 2015 2020, she served on the board of WEST, a non-profit organization supporting early to mid-career women, and was WEST's president for the 2017-2018 term.

Dr. Viney has maintained longstanding memberships with the Society for Mucosal Immunology and American Association of Immunologists. She has served numerous terms on the SMI Board and was president from 2011-2013.

Together with SMI colleagues and Nature Publishing Group, she launched the journal Mucosal Immunology.

In 2015, Dr. Viney received SMI's Distinguished Service Award. In 2020, Jo was chosen as one of FiercePharma's Fiercest Women in Life Sciences. Dr. Viney is also a member of the board of directors for Finch Therapeutics and Harpoon Therapeutics, and she serves on the Scientific advisory board for HotSpot Therapeutics.

Graphite Bio is a clinical-stage, next-generation gene editing company harnessing high efficiency targeted gene integration to develop a new class of therapies to potentially cure a range of serious and life-threatening diseases.