Be Bio Announces Appointment of Jay Backstrom, M.D., M.P.H., to Board of Directors

Recent Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development at Acceleron and former Chief Medical Officer at Celgene joins an industry leading team, bringing over 30 years of multidisciplinary life science leadership expertise

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Be Biopharma (“Be Bio”), whose mission is to pioneer the emerging new class of engineered B cells as medicines, today announced that Jay Backstrom, M.D., M.P.H., former Head of Research and Development at Acceleron, has joined Be Bio’s Board of Directors. Dr. Backstrom joins a rapidly growing team of scientists, drug developers, and business leaders whose track records have led to the creation and development of some of the industry’s most impactful cell and gene therapies.

“Jay’s exceptional clinical development acumen adds an important skill set to our Board of Directors as we develop our B cell medicine platform towards the clinic,” said Joanne Smith-Farrell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Be Bio. “I’m excited for Jay to join the team and to benefit from the breadth and depth of his drug development knowledge as we advance our science for the benefit of patients with serious, life-threatening diseases.”

“I look forward to joining Be Bio’s Board of Directors and supporting this pioneering B cell therapy company through the next phase of growth and development towards the clinic,” said Jay Backstrom, M.D., M.P.H. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the company as we advance transformative science that will unleash the immense power of the B cell, endeavoring to make a substantial impact on patients across a variety of life-threatening diseases.”

Dr. Backstrom joins the Be Bio team with over 30 years of experience in research and development. He recently served as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development at Acceleron and was previously Chief Medical Officer (and Head of Regulatory Affairs) at Celgene, where he joined in 2008 as Vice President of Clinical Research and Development, with a focus in hematology and oncology. Prior to Celgene, he served as Vice President of Global Medical Affairs and Safety at Pharmion. Dr. Backstrom began his career at Marion Merrell Dow and continued as part of its successor companies including Hoechst Marion Roussel. Prior to his professional career in the biotech industry, Dr. Backstrom served as Staff Physician and Medical Director of the Samuel U. Rodgers Community Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Backstrom holds an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine and received post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital. He also earned a Master’s in Public Health from Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

About Be Biopharma

Be Biopharma is a leader in developing B cells as medicines, treating disease with the human body’s native protein factories. We precisely engineer B cells to harness their intrinsic drug-like properties – remarkable protein production, selective tissue targeting, and fine control of their cellular environment – to forge a new category of cell therapy. These medicines are designed to be durable, allogeneic, re-dosable, and administered without toxic conditioning, creating new avenues to halt or reverse severe diseases like cancer, autoimmune conditions, and enzyme deficiency. Founded by Longwood Fund and B cell engineering pioneers David Rawlings, M.D., and Richard James, Ph.D., Be Biopharma is re-imagining medicine based on the power of B cell therapy. Be Bio was founded in October 2020 by Longwood Fund with a $52 million Series A investment led by Atlas Ventures and RA Capital, joined by Alta Partners and Takeda Ventures. For more information, please visit Be Biopharma.


Marin Bergman
Ten Bridge Communications

Melissa Kendis