HOUSTON, May 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders, today announced the appointment of Shane M. Ward as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Ward, who will report to CEO Rick Fair, will lead the legal, compliance, and corporate governance functions for the Company.
“We are pleased to have Shane join Bellicum’s executive team,” said Bellicum’s President & CEO Rick Fair. “His expertise in managing public company governance and in navigating the legal and regulatory requirements for development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products will be vital as we advance our CAR-T and TCR pipeline.”
Commented Mr. Ward: “I am thrilled to join Bellicum and work with the team to advance its controllable cell therapy pipeline and prepare for the potential commercialization of BPX-501 in Europe. I believe that Bellicum’s novel platform, designed to address efficacy and safety limitations of current generation cellular immunotherapies, is very exciting and can enable treatment for a broad range of cancers.”
Mr. Ward is an attorney and corporate executive with more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience, having served as in-house counsel for large and small public companies. In his most recent position as General Counsel for Versartis, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company, Mr. Ward built the company’s legal, compliance, and quality assurance teams in preparation for potential commercialization of a novel fusion protein therapeutic. Previously, he was Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Dynavax Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company developing immunotherapeutics for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Earlier in his career, he held leadership roles at Human Genome Sciences and Gilead Sciences, in which he managed teams providing legal support for numerous commercial products in a range of therapeutic areas. He began his legal career as an Associate with the FDA practice group of Sidley Austin, an international law firm. Mr. Ward earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors has approved inducement awards to Mr. Ward, which will be granted effective on his start date. The inducement awards consist of a stock option to purchase up to 120,000 shares of the Company's common stock priced at the closing price of the Common Stock on the grant date of May 29, 2018, and a restricted stock unit for 10,000 shares of common stock. The stock option and restricted stock unit award will be granted subject to the terms of the Company’s 2014 Equity Incentive Plan. One-fourth of the shares subject to the stock option award will vest on the one-year anniversary of Mr. Ward’s start date and the remainder of the shares will vest in a series of 36 successive equal monthly installments thereafter, and 25% of the shares subject to the restricted stock unit award will vest on each anniversary of Mr. Ward’s start date, in each case subject to his continuous service with the Company through each such vesting date and subject to potential vesting acceleration under certain circumstances pursuant to the terms of Mr. Ward’s employment agreement with the Company.
About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders. Bellicum is using its proprietary Chemical Induction of Dimerization (CID) technology platform to engineer and control components of the immune system. Bellicum is developing next-generation product candidates in some of the most important areas of cellular immunotherapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and CAR-T and TCR cell therapies. More information can be found at www.bellicum.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Bellicum may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “designed,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: our intentions to advance and expand our pipeline, and our intentions to make a regulatory filing for BPX-501 in Europe, and if successful, commercialize that product in Europe. Various factors may cause differences between Bellicum’s expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and our report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. Any forward-looking statements that Bellicum makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Bellicum assumes no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Alan Musso, CFO
BMC CommunicationsBrad Miles
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.