WuXi AppTec welcomes vet of Celgene’s troubled cell therapy program to CAR-T leadership role

By | June 2, 2020

Cell and gene therapies have been all the rage for some of the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest players despite a wealth of manufacturing hiccups along the way. To capture that enthusiasm, a WuXi AppTec CDMO has expanded its offerings––and it’s appointed as its head a Celgene veteran very familiar with those manufacturing woes. 

WuXi AppTec has named David Chang, Ph.D., a veteran of Celgene’s CAR-T manufacturing team, to lead its cell and gene therapy-focused CDMO, WuXi Advanced Therapies, the company said Monday. 

Chang most recently worked as corporate vice president and head of cell therapy global manufacturing at Celgene––which was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in late 2019––where he oversaw the company’s CAR-T production network, WuXi said.

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One of those CAR-T offerings, Bristol’s ide-cel (bb2121), was sent back to the drawing board in May after the FDA refused to review its submission based on slim manufacturing details in its filing.

Before Celgene, Chang was employed as global head of engineering and strategy at Roche after a turn as VP and site head for Roche Shanghai Technical Operations. 

“WuXi (Advanced Therapies) is at the forefront of accelerating the development of life-saving advanced therapies with even greater quality, efficiency and speed, and I look forward to further enhancing our cell and gene therapy R&D and manufacturing platform,” Chang said in a release.

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Chang could not be reached separately for comment. 

Chang will come to WuXi during a period of manufacturing concerns for the CAR-T field––not the least of which stem from his previous employer. 

RELATED: Bristol Myers Squibb in hot water after FDA rebuffs CAR-T therapy on manufacturing concerns

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