CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– ElevateBio, a cell and gene therapy technology company focused on powering transformative cell and gene therapies, today announced that Margo Roberts, Ph.D., has joined the company as a Strategic Scientific Advisor. Dr. Roberts will provide her leading immunology research, drug discovery, and development expertise to the company as it builds out a comprehensive immunotherapy platform on behalf of its portfolio companies and strategic partners.
“As one of the leading pioneers who established the field of CAR-T cell research, Margo brings an unparalleled depth of cellular immunotherapy science and drug development experience that will prove to be invaluable to ElevateBio as we set our ambitions on bringing powerful cell and gene therapies to patients,” said Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ElevateBio, President of ElevateBio BaseCamp, and Chief Executive Officer of LifeEDIT Therapeutics. “We look forward to partnering with Margo in this capacity as she works closely with our R&D teams and portfolio companies who are advancing novel cellular immunotherapy programs to treat a wide range of diseases with high unmet need.”
Dr. Roberts has more than three decades of biotech and academic immunology experience and led early development and application of CAR technology to T-cells and stem cells, advancing the first CAR T-cell clinical trials. Most recently, she served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Lyell Immunopharma, Inc., where she oversaw clinical development of novel CAR- and TCR-based T cell therapies for solid tumors from discovery through IND-enabling development. Prior to her position at Lyell, she served as CSO at Kite Pharma (acquired by Gilead Sciences), where she built a research organization that played an instrumental role in developing the CAR-T therapy Yescarta®, and the clinical advancement of additional CAR/TCR-engineered T-cell therapies. Following her role as CSO, Dr. Roberts served as senior vice president of Discovery Research at Kite to focus on the development of next-generation therapeutic approaches, including heading up Kite’s universal allogeneic T-cell programs. Dr. Roberts was recently recognized as a top R&D leader by Endpoints News named to the Top 20 Women Leaders in Biopharma 2020 list.
Dr. Roberts commented, “It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to bring my experience as a molecular, developmental, and experimental biologist to advance ElevateBio’s highly integrated immunotherapy programs. On a personal and professional level, I am looking forward to having the opportunity to once again partner with my long-time colleague and friend, Mitch Finer, along with the impressive leadership and research, development, and manufacturing teams at ElevateBio as the company is taking bold steps to change the face of cell and gene therapy through a multi-platform approach to developing highly innovative medicines.”
Before her tenure at Kite, Dr. Roberts was principal scientist and director of Immune and Cell Therapy at Cell Genesys, Inc., where she was at the forefront of CAR T development moving the first CAR T into human clinical trials in 1994. Dr. Roberts was also an associate professor at the University of Virginia, has authored more than thirty scientific publications, and is the inventor on thirteen issued U.S. patents and three published U.S. patent applications. Dr. Roberts received both her Bachelor of Science degree with honors and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Leeds in England.