Celsius Therapeutics Appoints Tariq Kassum, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 11, 2019

 Celsius Therapeutics, a company translating single-cell genomic insights into precision therapeutics for patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer, today announced the appointment of Tariq Kassum, M.D., as president and chief executive officer. Dr. Kassum brings nearly 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry to Celsius. He succeeds interim CEO Alexis Borisy, who will remain chairman of the company’s board of directors.

“Since its launch just over a year ago, Celsius has been making tremendous progress, and we are very excited to welcome Tariq as CEO to lead the company through its next phase of development,” said Alexis Borisy, chairman of Celsius. “Tariq brings a highly diverse skill set incorporating corporate development, strategy and business leadership. His extensive experience in multiple settings in the biotechnology industry will be instrumental in helping guide the company going forward.”

Dr. Kassum joins the company from Obsidian Therapeutics, where he was a co-founder and served as chief operating officer and head of corporate development. During this time, Dr. Kassum helped build Obsidian into a leading platform technology company and played a central role in the company’s strategic partnership with Celgene. Prior to Obsidian, Dr. Kassum spent seven years with Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Takeda, most recently as vice president, business development and strategy for Takeda Oncology, responsible for transactions, collaborations, alliance management and strategic planning. He also led Takeda’s global corporate development efforts, where he managed multiple acquisitions and divestitures. Prior to Takeda, Dr. Kassum was an analyst covering healthcare equities for institutional investment firms, where he led diligence and investment decisions on numerous companies and pharmaceutical compounds. He began his career as an investment banker with CIBC World Markets serving clients in the biotechnology and specialty pharmaceuticals industries. He holds an M.D. from University of Toronto and an A.B. from Cornell University.

“Celsius has integrated a unique combination of technologies, including single-cell genomics, machine learning, deep biology and drug discovery, all in the service of patients with serious conditions including autoimmune diseases and cancer,” said Dr. Kassum. “I am thrilled to be joining the company at this stage as we establish the power of this multifaceted approach to drive a portfolio of transformative therapies for patients.”

About Celsius Therapeutics

Celsius Therapeutics is charting a new course of target and drug discovery by applying a systematic approach to single-cell sequencing of patient tissue, combining massive datasets, complex algorithms, and machine learning to discover first-in-class precision therapies with a transformative impact on the lives of patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer. Celsius was launched in 2018, is backed by Third Rock Ventures and GV (formerly Google Ventures), and is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.celsiustx.com.


Katie Engleman

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