Sangamo's SVP and Chief Technology Officer Michael Holmes is resigning to join an unnamed biotech startup. His departure comes just two months after Curt Herberts, then Sangamo's chief business officer, left to lead business development at Senti Biosciences.
Holmes is capping a short stint as CTO—while he joined Sangamo as a scientist in 2001, he was appointed to the CTO spot earlier this year, coincidentally at the time Herberts stepped down. His resignation, announced Friday, will be effective July 20. Sangamo named Edward Rebar, who has led the development of its zinc finger protein technology, to take Holmes' place.
"I'm very pleased to announce Ed Rebar's promotion to chief technology officer," said CEO Sandy Macrae in a statement. "During his tenure at Sangamo, Ed has led the development and optimization of our core zinc finger technology. In the field of genome editing he is recognized as a leader and a strong voice for setting very high standards for editing technology being developed for therapeutic use."
We'll have to wait and see where Holmes ends up, but Herberts left Sangamo for Senti Biosciences, a synthetic biology company focusing on making cell and gene therapies "smarter."
Before he left, Herberts spearheaded a number of deals for Sangamo, including one with Gilead that saw the genome-editing biotech receive $150 million up front, with another $3 billion up for grabs in milestone payments. The duo is using Sangamo's zinc finger nuclease technology to create both autologus and allogeneic, or off-the-shelf, cell therapies for cancer treatment.
But it hasn't been all smooth sailing for Sangamo. The company disclosed in April that it had found a breach in one of its executives' company email accounts. The hacker was able to access sensitive and secret information on the company and, potentially, its partners, Sangamo said in an SEC filing. An investigation by an "incident response team" found no evidence that personal patient information leaked, but that Sangamo's own info "was accessed and may have been compromised as a result of the incident."