Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium – Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ: CYAD), a leader in the discovery and development of engineered cell therapies, with clinical programs in cardiovascular disease and immuno-oncology, today announced that Prof. William Wijns, as Chairman of the CHART-1 Steering Committee, will oversee the scientific committee in charge of the data analysis and data dissemination plan for the trial. In order to avoid any potential conflict of interest Prof. Wijns will resign from the Board of Celyad.
Prof. William Wijns has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company since 2007 and is also a co-founder of the Company. From April 2016, he will step down from the Board to chair the independent experts’ committee. Prof. Wijns does not have any remaining interest in the company.
Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad: “William has been at the heart of the C-Cure® program since 2004. It is of critical importance that the data that CHART-1 will generate are analyzed with the most stringent standards and be immune to any possible interpretation of conflict of interest. Now that our lead clinical program in cardiovascular disease is close to delivering its results, we thought that William’s extensive expertise, and his present or past roles at the European Society of Cardiology, the World Heart Federation, the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions as well as (Euro)PCR would guarantee a rigorous scientific analysis of the CHART-1 data, as well as a sound and extensive data dissemination plan.”
Prof. William Wijns: “It is great to see the fruition of many years of research, from the early concepts that our team at the Cardiovascular Research Center Aalst pioneered back in the early 2000, through the development of the bench research conducted at Mayo Clinic by Prof Andre Terzic and Dr Atta Behfar, and on to the clinical development lead by Dr Jozef Bartunek and all the other CHART-1 steering committee members. We are looking forward to the analysis of this groundbreaking trial and Celyad’s decision to appoint an independent scientific committee ensures that this is done to the highest standards. I am honored and pleased to accept this function, and the consequence of that decision is the natural move to step down as Board member of Celyad. I am grateful for the support of the management and the Board of Celyad that, through the years, has led the company to its current position of leader in the cell therapy space. I am excited by my new role, which will see the culmination of many years of research of this promising technology. “