San Diego, California and London, UK, May 25, 2023 – Replay, a genome writing company reprogramming biology by writing and delivering big DNA, today announced the appointment of Cristian Massacesi, M.D., as a member of its Board of Directors, with immediate effect.
Dr. Massacesi is a leading expert in medical oncology, with over 20 years of research and drug development experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Massacesi is the Chief Medical Officer of AstraZeneca and Alexion, where he oversees patient safety and quality assurance activities for the entire company portfolio – from investigational drugs to established products. He is also the Oncology Chief Development Officer at AstraZeneca, where he leads the global development and operations of its late-stage Oncology portfolio of innovative medicines and immunotherapies, comprising more than 160 studies spanning multiple indications. His role and responsibilities at AstraZeneca continue unchanged.
Prior to AstraZeneca, Dr. Massacesi held several other senior leadership roles. He was Vice President, and Medicine Team Leader Immuno-Oncology at Pfizer, where he led multiple development programs in lung cancer, head and neck cancer, and hematological malignancies, and supported the oncology business development and pipeline strategy.
Dr. Massacesi was also Vice President, and Senior Global Clinical Program Head for the Immunotherapy Centre of Excellence at Novartis, and the Oncology Global Development and Global Medical Affairs Paris Site Head. Prior to that, as Global Clinical Program Head, he led the company’s PI3K-inhibitors portfolio through clinical development, including registrational studies and submissions.
Dr. Massacesi began his Academic career at Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, where he worked in the Department of Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy. He holds postgraduate degrees from the School of Oncology and School of Forensic Medicine at Marche Polytechnic University and received his medical oncology training at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK, the Kaplan Comprehensive Cancer Center, NY, USA, and the European Institute of Oncology, Italy.
Dr. Massacesi has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers and 100 conference abstracts on a wide range of cancer topics and lectured on subjects that include immunotherapy clinical trials, breast cancer, and the clinical development of PI3K-inhibitors. Dr. Massacesi has authored multiple patents on cancer treatment combinations and regimens.
Adrian Woolfson, Executive Chairman, President, and Co-founder of Replay, commented: “Cristian has an exceptional reputation within the life sciences community and his extensive experience and expertise in leading oncology clinical development programs is a significant addition to Replay’s board. His breadth of industry knowledge, especially in the field of immuno-oncology, will be invaluable to Replay’s continued growth, as we build out our first-in-class portfolio of TCR-NK cell therapies and HSV-based gene therapies to address some of the most significant challenges in cell therapy and genomic medicine. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Cristian to the company and look forward to working with him as we continue to build an enduring enterprise with the potential to shape the future of the industry.”
Lachlan MacKinnon, CEO and Co-Founder of Replay, added, “Replay’s genomic medicine toolkit encompasses a broad portfolio of disruptive platform technologies to write and deliver big DNA that we are advancing within our distinct hub-and-spoke business model. Our Board brings together unrivalled expertise across a wide range of specialties that support this, and Cristian’s unique knowledge and skill set, especially within the immuno-oncology space, will be invaluable as we continue to drive the strategy forward.”
Kugan Sathiyanandarajah, Managing Director at KKR and Board Member at Replay, stated, “We are thrilled to have Cristian joining the Board. His extensive experience in oncology drug development within the pharmaceutical industry will be of immense value as Replay transitions into a clinical-stage company with the potential to significantly impact the healthcare sector.”
Commenting on his appointment, Cristian Massacesi said, “Replay has the potential to transform the future of cell therapy and genomic medicine in general through its unique portfolio of technology platforms and innovative approach to product development. I am excited to be joining as a board member and to be supporting such a strong and dynamic team. It’s a pivotal moment in the company’s development as it progresses its first-in-class, engineered TCR-NK cell therapies and HSV-based gene therapies into the clinic, and I’m pleased to be able to bring my knowledge and experience to help Replay’s mission.”
Replay is a genome writing company, which aims to define the future of genomic medicine through reprogramming biology by writing and delivering big DNA. The company has assembled a toolkit of disruptive platform technologies – including a high payload capacity HSV platform, a hypoimmunogenic cell therapy platform, and a genome writing platform – to address the challenges currently limiting clinical progress and preventing genomic medicine from realizing its full potential.
The company’s hub-and-spoke business model separates technology development within Replay from therapeutic development in a portfolio of product companies that leverage its technology platforms. For example, the Company recently incorporated a first-in-class engineered TCR-NK cell therapy product company using technology developed by Professor Katy Rezvani at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Replay’s synHSV™ technology, a high payload capacity HSV vector capable of delivering up to 30 times the payload of AAV, is utilized by Replay’s four gene therapy product companies, bringing big DNA treatments to diseases affecting the skin, eye, brain, and muscle. Replay is led by a distinguished team of academics, entrepreneurs, and industry experts.
The Company raised $55 million in seed financing in July 2022 and is supported by an international syndicate of investors including: KKR, OMX Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, and Lansdowne Partners.
Replay is headquartered in San Diego, California. For further information please visit www.replay.bio and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Dr Adrian Woolfson/Lachlan MacKinnon
Consilium Strategic Communications – Media relations
Amber Fennell/David Daley /Melissa Gardiner