Precision BioSciences Appoints Sam Wadsworth, Ph.D. And Shari Lisa Piré, J.D. To Board Of Directors
New Directors Add Decades of Cell and Gene Therapy Development and Strategic Business Growth Experience
Precision BioSciences, Inc. a clinical stage biotechnology company using its ARCUS genome editing platform to develop allogeneic CAR T and in vivo gene editing therapies, announced that Sam Wadsworth, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Ultragenyx Gene Therapy, an operating unit of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., and Shari Lisa Piré, J.D., Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer at Plume Design, have been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.
“Sam Wadsworth brings extensive drug discovery and development experience in the gene therapy and rare disease areas, and Shari Piré is an exceptional operational and legal leader with proven business transformation experience with cell, gene, and cell-mediated gene therapy companies,” said Kevin Buehler, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Precision BioSciences. “With the appointments of Sam and Shari, in addition to Michael Amoroso and Stan Frankel, M.D. who recently joined the Precision BioSciences Board, we are building an exceptional Board with diverse business experience. As Precision enters its next phase of growth, this collective input will be important as we look to quickly advance three INDs/CTAs over the next three years and continue to advance our clinical allogeneic CAR T programs.”
Dr. Wadsworth has nearly 30 years of industry experience at Genzyme (later Sanofi Genzyme), followed by Ultragenyx Therapeutics. While at Genzyme, Dr. Wadsworth oversaw the discovery and translational research on multiple rare disease and gene therapy programs, including Genzyme’s clinical stage gene therapy program. Later at Sanofi Genzyme, he served as the head of gene therapy research and early development. In 2013, Dr. Wadsworth joined Dimension Therapeutics as Chief Scientific Officer and went on to build a fully capable IND and clinical trial phase public company that lead to the submission of four successful INDs. Following the company’s acquisition by Ultragenyx in 2017, Dr. Wadsworth continued in his role as Chief Scientific Officer of Ultragenyx Gene Therapy.
In addition to his current role as Scientific Advisor for Akuous, Dr. Wadsworth has previously been a Scientific Advisor for Genethon and the Usher IIIA Initiative, a nonprofit research consortium dedicated to finding the cause and a cure for Usher syndrome type III. Dr. Wadsworth has authored over 80 peer-reviewed papers including some of the earliest published work on adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapies and owns over a dozen patents related to AAV vectors for gene therapies. Dr. Wadsworth’s academic credentials include a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Southern Illinois University.
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Shari Piré has more than 20 years of experience as a trusted advisor to public and private companies and their owners, first at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and later, at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. While at Skadden, in New York City and Paris, France, Ms. Piré’s clients leveraged her experience for their most complex cross-border deals. At Willkie, Ms. Piré expanded the scope of her representations to include corporate and financial transactions more broadly while continuing to focus on representing businesses operating in big pharma, biotech, hi-tech and telecom.
Currently, Ms. Piré is the Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer at Plume Design, Inc., offering an open and hardware-independent Software-as-a-Service delivery platform for smart homes, small businesses and beyond, using WiFi, AI and machine learning to create the future of commercial spaces and human experiences—at massive scale. Prior to joining Plume, Ms. Piré was Chief Legal Officer at Cognate BioServices, Inc., a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with operations in the U.S., U.K. and Sweden focused on the development and manufacture of cell, gene, and cell-mediated gene therapy products. An instrumental member of the Senior Leadership Team, Ms. Piré effectively led and negotiated all transactions across each stage of the business’s evolution from small startup to its eventual sale to Charles River Laboratories. During her tenure, Ms. Piré also served as a board member to Cobra Biologics Ltd., a wholly owned gene therapy-focused CDMO that Cognate acquired under her leadership.
Ms. Piré’s academic credentials include a B.A. in French Literature from the University of California at Irvine, a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from New York Law School. Ms. Piré served as Editor of the New York Law School Law Review and is admitted to the New York and D.C. Bars. Ms. Piré also serves on two non-profit boards of directors focused on children’s underserved medical needs and pediatric healthcare, respectively.
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