“Bastiano has the perfect set of skills and experiences to lead Semma through our next phase of growth as a company after a very successful Series B financing,” said Mark Fishman, M.D., Chairman of Semma’s Board of Directors. “Few leaders have such a strong cell therapy background combined with his level of strategic and business experience.”
Dr. Sanna joins Semma from Magenta Therapeutics, where he served as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for operations, finance, clinical development and program management. Prior to Magenta, Dr. Sanna served in the leadership team of Novartis’ Cell and Gene Therapy Unit as the Global Program Head of Stem Cell Transplant and early programs, where he oversaw clinical, regulatory, CMC and commercial aspects of programs in bone marrow transplant and CAR-T cell therapies. In an earlier role, he served as Global Head of Strategic Planning and Portfolio Management at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where he was responsible for global portfolio management of all Novartis’ research programs from discovery through Phase II across all disease areas.
“It’s been a thrill to get to know Bastiano and see his passion for the potential for using cells as medicines,” said Doug Melton, Ph.D., Founder of Semma. “He is the ideal leader for Semma as we look to bring to the clinic our lead program of an encapsulated cell therapy product for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, and plan an expansion into new exciting areas of medicine.”
“Semma is a leader in regenerative medicine, and I couldn’t be more excited to lead this incredible team,” said Dr. Sanna. “By combining our deep understanding of stem cell biology with our cutting-edge device technology, we have the opportunity to expand the curative power of cell therapy to a range of clinical indications where cell replacement is necessary, and to improve the lives of millions of patients.”