Be Bio Appoints Leading Cell & Gene Therapy Executives, Krishnan Viswanadhan as President & Chief Operating Officer, and Brad Hartman as Chief People Officer
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 Krishnan Viswanadhan, Pharm.D., MBA, has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer and Brad Hartman has joined as Chief People Officer. They join a rapidly growing team of scientists, drug developers, manufacturing experts, and business leaders whose track records have led to the creation and development of some of the industry’s most impactful gene and cell therapies.
“I am thrilled to welcome both Krishnan and Brad to Be Bio. Krishnan brings an exceptional track record building, rapidly scaling, and effectively leading operations that have delivered multiple highly impactful cell therapy products to patients,” said Joanne Smith-Farrell, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at Be Bio. “At Be Bio, we believe people are our most important asset, and Brad’s track record of building cell and gene therapy enterprises with innovative, inclusive cultures will help us push the boundaries of what’s possible to create an unparalleled work experience.” added Dr. Smith-Farrell. “Both of these industry leaders have come to Be Bio to build something truly unique – a fantastic team and a bespoke operating environment designed especially to unleash the breadth and depth of our leading engineered B cell medicines platform on behalf of patients who need options.”
Prior to joining Be Bio, Krishnan served as Senior Vice President, Global Cell Therapy Franchise Lead at Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS). In this role, he was responsible for setting the vision and developing the integrated, enterprise-wide cell therapy franchise strategy, building core capabilities, and driving key investments to support long-term growth. He oversaw the program team leaders responsible for the cross-functional development, registration, and lifecycle management of Breyanzi® (liso-cel), a CD19 CAR T in large B cell lymphoma, and Abecma® (ide-cel), the first BCMA CAR T in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Prior to BMS, Krishnan held senior roles in Business Development & Global Alliances as well as Global Project Leadership at Celgene Corporation. He co-founded Advyzom, a boutique consulting company, and held multiple roles in leading development teams and global regulatory strategy at Hoffman-La Roche. Krishnan is a registered pharmacist and received his Pharm.D. from Rutgers University and holds a MBA from Cornell University. He currently serves as a non-executive director on the board of JW Therapeutics, a leading cell therapy company in China.
“What is remarkable about Be Bio is the unprecedented opportunity afforded by this novel B cell therapy platform to tackle a broad set of therapeutic applications that cannot be addressed by other modalities,” said Dr. Viswanadhan. “The possibilities for transforming patient lives in such a wide range of serious and life-threatening diseases, the passion of the team, and the focus on patients are truly inspiring. I am honored to join this incredible team to build a portfolio of disruptive therapies for patients and to create a truly special place to come to work each day.”
Brad joins Be Bio from FerGene where he served as the Chief People Officer leading the rapid expansion of the company in support of a first product commercialization effort for a novel gene therapy. He has spent the past 15 years building small to mid-sized biotech companies from early research stages through commercialization and has played a significant role in launching multiple innovative therapies, including Kalydeco® (cystic fibrosis), Kalbitor® (hereditary angioedema), and Incivek® (hepatitis C), which was one of the fastest blockbuster drug launches of all time. He also founded and built out his own Executive Search firm, ConnectedSearch. Brad received his BS in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and worked at both the National Cancer Institute and the Graduate School of Pharmacology at the University of Rochester in cellular pharmacology.
“There is a deeply held belief at Be Bio in the paramount importance of people, culture, and service – to patients, to each other, and to the community,” said Mr. Hartman. “I am equally awestruck by the enormous potential of this B cell platform to transform patient lives across a wide variety of serious, life-threatening diseases as I am by this team’s character, heart, and values. I am incredibly honored to join this distinguished team in building a remarkable place to work together and endeavoring to reshape the lives of so many patients and their families.”
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.