NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – jCyte, Inc., a private biotechnology company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with retinal degenerative diseases, announced the continued expansion of the company’s executive management team with the appointment of Adrian Morris as Chief Development Officer. Mr. Morris brings to jCyte over three decades of pharmaceutical industry experience in global leadership roles in R&D, commercial strategy, marketing, and business development, including a remarkable track record of successfully guiding the development and leading the launch of numerous innovative breakthrough therapies that went on to become blockbuster assets for GlaxoSmithKline.
During Mr. Morris’ illustrious career at GSK, he guided the global clinical development programs across more than a dozen disease areas where he led the launches of some of GSK’s most successful brands, including the first combination therapy for HIV, the first influenza antiviral (Relenza), the first long-acting beta agonist (Serevent) and Advair, a global top five selling medication. Notably, Mr. Morris guided the pipeline in GSK’s most valuable therapeutic area, respiratory, where he achieved unparalleled success resulting in the approval of its five latest respiratory medicines. Given Mr. Morris’ deep scientific background, his track record of success in GSK’s Global R&D organization, his strong hands-on commercial experience in the international pharmaceutical marketplace, and Global Center of Excellence leadership, Mr. Morris was tasked by GSK’s corporate executive team with leading their global response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, as well as establishing a new global business unit responsible for the research, development, manufacture, distribution, marketing, and sales of novel genetic diagnostics.
Prior to joining jCyte, Adrian was managing director of Pharmaco Consulting, where he supported clients with developing global clinical development programs and commercial strategies across emerging therapeutic areas, with an emphasis on cell and gene therapies.
Adrian is a geneticist by training and earned his Master’s degree in Genetics from Cambridge University, UK. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, he spent his early career researching the genetic basis of inherited human diseases at Guy’s Hospital in London.
“I am thrilled to welcome Adrian to the jCyte executive management team,” said Dr. Shannon Blalock, Chief Executive Officer, jCyte. “The breadth and depth of Adrian’s scientific understanding of the human body, its function and underlying disease processes, coupled with his enviable track record of global clinical development success across more than a dozen disease states makes him an ideal selection as our Chief Development Officer. We look forward to leveraging Adrian’s global experience in research, discovery, clinical development, and commercial strategy roles developing some of the world’s most recognizable pharmaceutical brands to guide the strategic design of our clinical development program for our lead indication, retinitis pigmentosa, as well as the sequencing and design for all follow-on retinal degenerative conditions to optimize the value creation of our transformative platform jCell therapy.”
“My career evaluating the potential for novel medicines to transform patients’ lives, and guiding them through development to launch, made my decision to join jCyte very easy,” said Mr. Morris. “I believe jCell has extraordinary potential to transform the future for patients with retinitis pigmentosa and other retinal degenerative diseases, and I am excited by the role I can play as part of the jCyte team in realizing this on behalf of the patients we serve.”
jCell is a first-in-class investigational treatment for RP which has received FDA Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation. In addition to RMAT designation, jCell has received Orphan Drug designation from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
About jCyte, Inc.
jCyte, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing its first-in-class regenerative cell therapy, jCell, for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and other retinal degenerative disorders. The treatment is minimally invasive and given as an intravitreal injection. There are currently no FDA approved therapies for RP. The Company is pioneering a new era of regenerative therapies to address the significant unmet medical needs of patients suffering from a broad set of retinal degenerative diseases. For more information, visit www.jcyte.com.
Sr. Vice President, Corporate Development