Precision BioSciences Announces Organizational Changes to Senior Management

DURHAM, NC–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Precision BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: DTIL), a clinical-stage gene-editing company developing ex-vivo CAR T allogeneic and live gene-editing therapies, today announced promotions and organizational changes that impact responsibilities within the company’s leadership team that reports to Michael Amoroso, Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Cindy Atwell, formerly senior vice president of business development and alliance management, has been promoted to chief commercial officer and will continue to oversee the business development and alliance functions with additional responsibility for project and portfolio management. Jeff Smith, Ph.D., co-founder and former chief technology officer, has been promoted to chief research officer and will assume responsibility for managing and directing the company’s research programs and reporting directly to the CEO. Derek Jantz, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer will spend his time partnering with Michael Amoroso to formulate company strategy and manage relationships with external stakeholders, including current collaboration partners and potentials. Additionally, Dr. Jantz informed the Board that he is stepping down from the Board to focus his time, effort and energy on his new role, which reduces the number of management members serving on the Board. and strengthens the company’s corporate governance.

“Derek, Jeff and Cindy have made significant contributions to Precision, each demonstrating their commitment to the company, to our partners and, most importantly, to patients around the world who need new treatment options. Derek and Jeff have built Precision from the ground up, optimizing the ARCUS gene-editing platform for therapeutics, and building R&D teams skilled in our cell and gene-editing businesses. Cindy has also been instrumental in Precision’s growth by successfully entering into gene editing research collaboration agreements with leading industry partners, Novartis and Lilly,” said Michael Amoroso, CEO. “Derek’s demonstrated leadership and strategic focus , Jeff and Cindy have contributed significantly to the company’s ability to advance our live and ex-vivo candidates for gene editing. With these new organizational changes at this point in our company lifecycle, Precision BioSciences is poised to continue to take significant steps towards becoming a commercial enterprise to improve the lives of patients in need.

“I am very excited about the next chapter of Precision BioSciences and excited about my new role,” said Dr. Jantz. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Michael to formulate the company’s strategy as well as to forge strong external collaborations to ensure the continued success of ARCUS, which we believe to be the gene editing platform the most precise and versatile. As a co-developer of the technology, I derive great personal satisfaction from working to bring ARCUS-based therapies to patients who need them. As such, I am very much looking forward to advancing our first live editing programs in the clinic while our main CAR T program is steadily moving towards drug approval.

Dr. Jantz led the development of Precision’s allogeneic CAR T and live publishing platforms since co-founding Precision BioSciences. Trained as a protein engineer, Derek was an early developer of zinc finger technology and has spent most of his research career designing proteins for genome editing applications. He has a doctorate. in Biophysical Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and did his postdoctoral work in the Department of Biochemistry at Duke University. He is the inventor of over 50 gene editing patents and has over a dozen publications on gene editing.

Dr. Smith is one of the true pioneers of genome editing and made some of the key observations that led to the first successful editing nucleases. Jeff earned his graduate degree from Johns Hopkins while developing and characterizing custom nucleases for genome engineering. Continuing his work in protein engineering at Duke University, Jeff helped lay the foundation for Precision’s ARCUS genome-editing technology. He is the inventor of over 75 issued foundational patents relating to the production and use of genome editing tools.

Ms. Atwell joined Precision BioSciences in 2019 as Vice President of Business Development. Now, as Chief Business Officer, she leads a team responsible for forming new partnerships, managing current collaborations, and shaping internal business processes and program management. She has 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with most of her time spent in business development and commercial roles. During her career, Cindy has led or participated in the negotiation of a number of transactions, totaling over $10 billion in value. This includes the Novartis-Precision collaboration on sickle cell disease as well as the strategic collaboration on gene editing Lilly-Precision. Prior to Precision BioSciences, she led oncology and drug distribution contracts and strategic projects at Halozyme. Over the years, Cindy has held various positions within the sales and business development organizations at AbbVie, Amylin and Impax. She was also involved in discovery research at a start-up biotechnology company early in her career. Cindy holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.

About Precision BioSciences, Inc.

Precision BioSciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to improving lives (DTIL) with its new proprietary ARCUS® genome editing platform. ARCUS is a highly accurate and versatile genome editing platform that was designed with therapeutic safety, delivery and control in mind. Thanks to ARCUS, the company’s pipeline consists of several ex-vivo “Ready-to-use” CAR T immunotherapy clinical candidates and several live gene-editing candidates designed to cure genetic and infectious diseases where adequate treatments do not exist. For more information about Precision BioSciences, please visit

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this press release that do not relate to historical facts should be considered forward-looking statements, including, without not limited to, statements regarding the clinical development and efficacy and expected benefits of Precision’s product candidates and the benefits of ARCUS and potential expansion and development using ARCUS. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by words such as “aim”, “anticipate”, “approach”, “believe”, “intend”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “aim”, “intend”, “look”, “may”, “mission”, “plan”, “possible”, “potential”, “predict”, “project”, “should”, “target” , “will”, “would”, or the negative of this and similar words and phrases.

Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, beliefs and assumptions and information currently available to Precision. These statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, including, but not limited to: Precision’s ability to become profitable; Precision’s ability to obtain sufficient financing and requirements under its current debt instruments and the effects of restrictions thereunder; risks associated with raising additional capital; Precision’s operating expenses and its ability to predict what those expenses will be; Precision’s limited operating history; the success of its programs and product candidates in which it devotes its resources; Precision’s limited ability or inability to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its product candidates; Precision’s dependence on its ARCUS technology; the initiation, cost, timing, progress, achievement of milestones and results of research and development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials; public perception of genome editing technology and its applications; competition in the fields of genome editing, biopharmaceuticals and biotechnology; the ability of Precision or its collaborators to identify, develop and commercialize product candidates; and other important factors discussed under “Risk Factors” in Precision’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2022, filing with the SEC, which are available at of the SEC at www.sec. gov and the Investors page of Precision’s website under SEC Filings at

All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and, except as required by applicable law, Precision undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

Aubrey L. Morgan