FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Richard E. T. Smith, Ph.D.
bluebird bio, Inc
Pure Communications, Inc.
bluebird bio Appoints Two New Members to its Board of Directors
Wendy Dixon, Ph.D., and David Schenkein, M.D.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 6, 2013 -- bluebird bio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming the lives of patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases using gene therapy, today announced that Wendy Dixon, Ph.D., and David Schenkein, M.D., have joined the company’s board of directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Dixon and Dr. Schenkein to our board,” said Nick Leschly, chief bluebird. “Both have demonstrated clear leadership and expertise within their respective fields. Wendy has extensive experience in all aspects of drug commercialization, while David has a proven track record in innovative oncology drug development and hematologic transplantation. Their experiences will be invaluable to bluebird as we advance multiple gene therapy programs towards the market.”
Dr. Dixon was chief marketing officer and president of global marketing at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company from December 2001 until May 2009 and served on the CEO’s executive committee. From 1996 to 2001, she was senior vice president, marketing – USHH at Merck, and prior to that she held executive management positions at West Pharmaceuticals, Osteotech, Inc., and Centocor, Inc., and various positions at SmithKline & French Pharmaceuticals (now GSK) in marketing, regulatory affairs, project management and as a biochemist. Dr. Dixon is also on the board of directors of Incyte Corporation, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., Alkermes, Inc., and Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and previously served as a director of Dentsply International and Ardea Biosciences, Inc.
Since 2009, Dr. Schenkein has been chief executive officer at Agios Pharmaceuticals. He has a proven track record in drug development and one of the deepest oncology skill sets in the industry. He has led the development of several first-in-class cancer therapeutics through all stages of development, including the submission and approval of numerous NDAs, sBLAs and INDs. Prior to joining Agios, Dr. Schenkein served as senior vice president, clinical hematology/oncology at Genentech with responsibility for leading the medical and scientific strategies for the development BioOncology portfolio, as well as overseeing the BioOncology clinical science and medical science liaison functions. While at Genentech, he also served as an adjunct professor of medicine at the Stanford University Cancer Center. Before his tenure at Genentech, Dr. Schenkein served as senior vice president of clinical research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. While there, he led the clinical development of the drug candidate, Velcade® (bortezomib), which was approved during his tenure and has since become a blockbuster cancer therapy, significantly helping the lives of cancer patients. Prior to Millennium, he was director of the Cancer Center and Lymphoma Service at Tufts Medical Center.
About bluebird bio
bluebird bio is developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic and orphan diseases. bluebird bio has two clinical-stage programs in development, one for childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD) and one for beta-thalassemia major/severe sickle cell disease, and an early stage oncology program in partnership with Celgene Corporation. Led by a management team with extensive industry experience, bluebird bio is privately held and backed by top-tier life sciences investors. Its operations are located in Cambridge, Mass., San Francisco and Paris, France. For more information, please visit www.bluebirdbio.com.