Semma bolsters executive team for Novartis players

Lundbeck taps Roche talent for newly created position
Credit: Jirsak

Semma Therapeutics has expanded and strengthened its executive leader ship team with former Novartis players.

David Lebwohl joins as Chief Medical Officer, with David DiGiusto taking on the role of Chief Technology Officer and Ann Darda as Head of Human Resources.

President and CEO Bastiano Sanna said: “Cell therapy is exciting and challenging, and their combined experience and deep expertise in the field, both scientific and organizational, will be invaluable as we continue to innovate and soon expand to clinical proof of concept. I look forward to working closely with them.”

Lebwohl brings decades of successful drug development experience, joining Semma from Novartis, where he served as Senior Vice President and Franchise Global Program Head of the CAR T team.

He led the development of Kymriah, resulting in the approval of the first BLA for a CAR T therapy worldwide.

DiGiusto has almost 30 years of experience in the scientific, clinical and regulatory aspects of cells as therapeutic agents. He has been instrumental in the creation of six GMP compliant biologics manufacturing facilities and was instrumental in the filing of over a dozen INDs.

He is a member of the NIH recombinant DNA advisory committee (RAC) and joins Semma from Stanford University.

Darda brings over 20 years of experience leading people and culture efforts that support scientific and business strategies.

Most recently, she served as the Global Head of Talent Management and Organisational Development for Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research (NIBR), where she led talent strategy and supported divisional business initiatives.