Gaithersburg, Maryland – June 15, 2021: MaxCyte, a leading provider of platform technologies for cell engineering, today announced the appointment of Rekha Hemrajani and Yasir Al-Wakeel, BM BCh, to the company’s board of directors as non-executive directors with immediate effect. Ms. Hemrajani is appointed as a non-executive member of the Compensation Committee and Dr. Al-Wakeel is appointed as a non-executive member of the Audit Committee.
“With their expertise in business and corporate development as well as finance combined with deep life sciences industry experience, Ms. Hemrajani and Dr. Al-Wakeel bring valuable insights and perspective to our board,” said Doug Doerfler, president and CEO of MaxCyte. “We are honored to have them join us as we advance the next-generation of cell therapy discovery, development and commercialization.”
Ms. Hemrajani is a senior executive with more than 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience and has extensive expertise in all aspects of corporate strategy, corporate and business development, financing, and strategic planning. She currently serves as chief executive officer (part time) and director of Jiya Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: JYAC), where she led the $100 million initial public offering (IPO). Ms. Hemrajani has held senior management positions at numerous listed biopharmaceutical companies, including president, chief executive officer and director of Aravive, Inc (NASDAQ: ARAV), chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (NYSE: RCUS), and chief operating officer of FLX Bio, Inc, (NASDAQ: RAPT). Previously, she was vice president, head of Licensing and Mergers & Acquisitions Group for Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ONXX sold to Amgen for $10.4 billion), vice president of business development of Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL), and on the healthcare investment banking teams of Lehman Brothers, Inc. and Credit Suisse First Boston. She is currently a non-executive director of ALX Oncology Holdings (NASDAQ: ALXO).
Ms. Hemrajani received a Master of Management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a B.S. in economics and computer science from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Al-Wakeel currently serves as chief financial officer and head of corporate development for Kronos Bio (NASDAQ: KRON), where he oversees the company’s financial planning and accounting, investor relations, and business development activities. He was instrumental in the company’s $288 million IPO. He previously served as chief financial and strategy Officer at Neon Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTGN) where he played a key role in the company’s public and private financings as well as its eventual sale to BioNTech. Prior to that, he was chief financial officer and head of corporate development at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MACK), where he helped shape and execute the company’s refocused business strategy, culminating in a $1 billion asset sale to Ipsen. Prior to those roles, Dr. Al-Wakeel served in senior roles in equity research and corporate finance at Credit Suisse focused on the biotechnology sector. During his tenure in corporate finance, he was involved in more than $30 billion in strategic and financial transactions for the firm.
Dr. Al-Wakeel, began his career as a practicing physician, holding both clinical and academic medical posts in the United Kingdom. He holds a BM BCh (Doctor of Medicine and Surgery) from Oxford University and an M.A. in theology from Cambridge University.
Grant of options
As is customary for US companies, upon appointment, Ms. Hemrajani and Dr. Al-Wakeel have each been granted 80,700 options over common stock, $0.01 par, of the Company (“Options”). These Options vest over three (3) years, with initial vesting of 1/3rd of the total after twelve (12) months, and the remainder vesting monthly over the following twenty-four (24) months. The Options have an exercise price of £8.92, equal to the closing price of MaxCyte’s stock on 14 June 2021.
Ms. Hemrajani, 52, is, or has been in the previous five years, a director or partner of the following companies:
|Jiya Acquisition Corp
|ALX Oncology Holdings Inc
||Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc
|Ravinia Consulting Inc
|Hemmo Pharma LLP
|Hemmo Pharmaceuticals Private Limited
Dr. Al-Wakeel, 39, is, or has been in the previous five years, a director or partner of the following companies:
|Taha Collective, Inc
||Boston Life Sciences, LLC
MaxCyte is a leading commercial cell-engineering company focused on providing enabling platform technologies to advance innovative cell-based research as well as next-generation cell therapeutic discovery, development and commercialization. MaxCyte’s existing customer base ranges from large biopharmaceutical companies, including all of the top 10, and 20 of the top 25, pharmaceutical companies based on 2020 global revenue, to hundreds of biotechnology companies and academic centres focused on translational research. MaxCyte has granted 13 strategic platform licenses to commercial cell therapy developers. Including these strategic platform licenses, MaxCyte has granted pre-clinical and clinical licenses to academic and industry customers covering over an estimated 140 programs, of which an estimated 100 programs are for clinical use. MaxCyte was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, US. For more information, visit www.maxcyte.com.
Doug Doerfler, President and Chief Executive Officer
Amanda Murphy, Chief Financial Officer
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