Cell therapy player Fate Therapeutics sees CSO and 12-year veteran Shoemaker retire

Cell therapy player Fate Therapeutics sees CSO and 12-year veteran Shoemaker retire

Fate Therapeutics’ long-standing Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Shoemaker, Ph.D., will be leaving the cell therapy biotech this summer.

The biotech, which uses an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform and is targeting off-the-shelf cell therapies for cancer, says he “advised the company that he is retiring as of June 30, 2021,” coming off a 12-year stint, spending half that time as its CSO.

Bob Valamehr, Ph.D., chief research and development officer of Fate and scientific leader of its iPSC product platform since January 2010, will “continue to lead all research and development activities,” according to a statement.

“I am proud and grateful to have worked alongside such a talented and dedicated team at Fate Therapeutics as we achieved several first-of-kind landmarks in the field of cell therapy, including the first-ever treatment of patients with iPSC-derived cell-based cancer immunotherapies,” said Shoemaker.

“I look forward to watching Fate Therapeutics continue its strong legacy of innovation and leadership in bringing multiplexed engineered iPSC-derived NK cell and T-cell therapies to patients with cancer.”

Fate’s work on iPSCs has gained new resonance in recent years as efforts to develop allogeneic cell therapies have revealed the need for renewable sources of cells. In iPSCs, Fate has access to cells that could fit the bill, leading it to advance a pipeline of off-the-shelf therapies spearheaded by clinical-phase NK candidate FT500 and enter into a collaboration with Ono Pharmaceutical.

Ono isn’t its only collaborator: A year ago, Johnson & Johnson penned a $50 million upfront pact with Fate to collaborate on up to four CAR NK and CAR-T cell therapies. The deal, which also features $3 billion in milestones, tasks Fate with using its iPSC platform to develop drugs based on four targets picked out by J&J.

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