Bastiano Sanna, Ph.D., joined Vertex in 2019 and is the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief of Cell and Genetic Therapies. In this role, Dr. Sanna is responsible for advancing research, development and manufacturing for all of Vertex’s cell and genetic therapy programs, including sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, type 1 diabetes and, Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He also oversees the Jeffrey Leiden Center for Cell and Genetic Therapies that opened in 2022 at Innovation Square in Boston’s Seaport District. Dr. Sanna was previously the CEO of Semma Therapeutics, which was acquired by Vertex in 2019. Under his leadership, Semma’s pioneering work to develop cell therapy treatments for those living with type 1 diabetes significantly advanced.
Prior to Semma, Dr. Sanna was Chief Operating Officer at Magenta Therapeutics, where he was responsible for operations, finance, clinical development and program management. Prior to Magenta, Dr. Sanna served on the leadership team of Novartis’ Cell and Gene Therapy Unit as the Global Program Head of Stem Cell Transplant and early programs, where he oversaw clinical, regulatory, CMC and commercial aspects of programs in bone marrow transplant and CAR-T cell therapies. He also served as Global Head of Strategic Planning and Portfolio Management at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where he was responsible for global portfolio management of all Novartis’ research programs, from discovery through Phase 2 across all disease areas. Dr. Sanna currently serves on the board of directors of Adicet Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company that’s focused on designing and developing allogeneic gamma delta T cell therapies for cancer and other diseases. He received a Ph.D. in biotechnology from the University of Sassari, in Italy.