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Editas CEO to step down in latest executive change-up

April 24, 2022
Life sciences

A little more than a year after taking on the role, the CEO of Editas Medicines is preparing to pass the torch, continuing a series of executive changes at the gene editing company.

Effective June 1, Jim Mullen will be replaced by Gilmore O’Neill, who most recently served as the chief medical officer at another company heavily invested in gene therapy research, Sarepta Therapeutics. Mullen isn’t cutting ties with Editas, though. He will stay on as executive chairman of the company’s board of directors, a position he held before and during his time as CEO.

“Unlike some of the things that we’ve seen in the past, this is a very mindful, thoughtful transition,” said Mullen, in an interview.

Editas hit a major milestone while under Mullen’s leadership, producing data from the first clinical trial of a treatment made with CRISPR gene editing technology that works inside the body. Yet Editas, like many of its peers, has also seen its stock price fall significantly over the past year. Though investors have pulled back from the biotechnology sector on a broad scale, the impact has appeared particularly large among genetic medicine developers.

Despite its status as one of the most advanced CRISPR-focused biotechs, departures and arrivals have been fairly commonplace in Editas’ top ranks over the past several years. Executives overseeing scientific research, finance and clinical development programs have left. And two months ago, the shake-ups continued with the firing of the company’s chief medical officer, Lisa Michaels.

Editas has also had three different CEOs since 2014. Mullen, who took the reins from Cynthia Collins last February, had previously held the same position at Biogen as well as Patheon, the contracted drug manufacturer bought by Thermo Fisher. READ MORE

by Jacob Bell


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