CGT Catapult appoints new board members

The Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult has appointed Sir Bruce Keogh, Professor Uta Griesenbach and Hilary Newiss as non-executive Directors to its board. The new appointments will join current board members supporting the activities of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

Knighted for his services to medicine in 2003, Sir Bruce Keogh has had a distinguished international career as a cardiac surgeon. He held the chair of Cardiac Surgery at University College London before being appointed Medical Director of the NHS in the Department of Health in 2007, subsequently migrating to become the National Medical Director of NHS England between 2013 and 2018.

He has recently become chair of the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. He was the sponsor for National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the Healthcare Commission and the National Patient Safety Agency.

He reorganised the Cancer Drugs Fund under NICE, which has subsequently helped lead to the access of Kymriah and Yescarta in the NHS.

With more than 25 years’ experience in developing advanced therapeutic medicines, Uta Griesenbach is a Professor of Molecular Medicine in the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London and President of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (2017-2021).

Uta Griesenbach is a Strategy Group Member of the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium and has been a co-Investigator on several gene therapy trials. In this role, she gained experience in all stages of translational research including vector development and GMP manufacturing, toxicology as well as clinical trial design and biomarker development.

She also was the gene and cell therapy expert advisor on the National Research Ethics Committee (2013-2018). Uta Griesenbach has been a member of the Innovate/Industrial Strategy ATMP Manufacturing Task Force (2016/17) commissioned to define conditions necessary to “anchor” commercial scale manufacturing of ATMP’s in the UK.

Hilary Newiss is a lawyer, who has specialised in intellectual property law, including patents and data in life sciences, and former partner in Denton Hall solicitors, now Dentons. Since retiring from full time legal practice, she has served on public bodies in the science, innovation, data, health and ethics fields including the Human Genetics Commission and Ethics and Governance Council of Biobank UK.

Most recently, Newiss served as a non-executive Director of the Francis Crick Institute, as well as a trustee and non-executive director of The Roslin Foundation and a legal member of the Animal Procedures Committee.

CGT Catapult chairman Dr John Brown CBE, said: "Sir Bruce, Uta and Hilary are excellent additions to the CGT Catapult board. They bring a wealth of expertise, which will be a real asset to the governance and strategy of CGT Catapult. I am confident that their direction and new perspectives, with the experience and commitment of our existing board, will have a meaningful impact in our efforts to bring life saving therapies to patients.”

Keith Thompson, CEO of CGT Catapult, commented: “We are delighted to be welcoming Sir Bruce, Uta and Hilary who each bring complementary skills and expertise to further strengthen the CGT Catapult leadership team. With a shared vision for the UK to be a global leader in the development, delivery and commercialisation of cell and gene therapies, they will help the CGT Catapult continue to grow the UK industry for cell and gene therapies.”

Sir Bruce Keogh commented on his appointment: “I look forward to serving as a non-executive director of the CGT Catapult. I hope that my experience in the oversight of the medicines supply chain into the UK and healthcare policy and pricing will be a valuable contribution to making life saving cell and gene therapies available for patients.”

Professor Griesenbach said on her appointment: “I am very happy to be joining the board of CGT Catapult as a non-executive Director and apply my experience in translational research and the development of gene and cell therapy-based treatments to the benefit of CGT Catapult and its mission of growing the cell and gene therapy industry in the UK.”

Hilary Newiss commenting on her appointment, said: “I am delighted to become a non-executive Director of the CGT Catapult board and look forward to applying my lifelong interest in innovation, and its translation to industry and benefit to society, to help drive the access of novel cell and gene therapies for patients.”

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