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Centessa Pharmaceuticals Announces Expansion of Management Team and Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & LONDON–()–Centessa Pharmaceuticals (“Centessa”) today announced key additions to its leadership team and Board of Directors. Centessa has appointed Tia Bush, Chief Quality Officer; David Chao, Ph.D., Chief Administrative Officer; and Thomas Templeman, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer. In addition, Marella Thorell has been promoted from Head of Finance to Chief Accounting Officer, and Carol Stuckley has joined the Board of Directors and will serve as Chairperson of the Audit Committee. Each of their respective roles will support Centessa’s asset-centric R&D model and the continued advancement of the Company’s portfolio of programs.

We launched Centessa earlier this year with a bold vision focused on reimagining the traditional pharmaceutical research and development model in order to discover, develop and ultimately deliver impactful medicines to patients,” said Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Centessa. “Successful execution of that vision requires a robust team of like-minded, highly specialized individuals who have the know-how to get things done and bring new ideas. We are thrilled to strengthen our team with the appointments of these exceptional leaders. Each will provide significant expertise in their respective functions. I look forward to partnering with them as we deploy this model, aimed at impacting the lives of patients and society more broadly.”

  • Tia Bush, Chief Quality Officer, brings nearly 30 years of biotechnology quality experience to Centessa. Ms. Bush’s career has been spent in quality related roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen, which she joined in 1993. Most recently, Ms. Bush was Chief Quality Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Quality/Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability, in which role she was responsible for developing, maintaining and continuously improving the quality management and EHSS management systems. She led an organization of more than 1,400 quality and safety professionals. Ms. Bush currently sits on the Board of Directors for Parenteral Drug Association and USC Health Services. She holds a B.A. in biological sciences with a minor in chemistry from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
  • David Chao, Ph.D., Chief Administrative Officer, joins Centessa from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and BioMed Valley Discoveries where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of both entities. Previously, he was the President of The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a member of the Board of Directors for the American Century Companies, Head of Strategic Alliances Global Operations at the Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research, and a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Product Practice. Dr. Chao holds a Ph.D. in Biology from M.I.T. and a combined A.M. and A.B. in Biology from Harvard University.
  • Thomas Templeman, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, joins the company from Nuvation Bio, where he served as Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Operations and Quality. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Graybug Vision and Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Operations and Quality Assurance at Axovant Sciences. Earlier, Dr. Templeman served as Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations and Quality at Medivation, Vice President of Manufacturing Science and Technology at Hospira, Senior Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain at Liquidia Technologies, and in various leadership roles at Johnson & Johnson, where he worked for 13 years in several capacities. Dr. Templeman earned a B.S. in biology from the University of Santa Clara, a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Dartmouth College and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University.
  • Marella Thorell, Chief Accounting Officer, previously served as Centessa’s Head of Finance since January 2021. She joined Centessa from its subsidiary, Palladio Bioscience, where she served as Chief Financial Officer, leading Palladio’s finance operations and capital strategy and execution. Before that, Ms. Thorell served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Realm Therapeutics, including as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director. Earlier in her career, Ms. Thorell worked for the Campbell Soup Company in finance and operational roles and at Ernst & Young, LLP where she earned a CPA. Ms. Thorell earned a B.S. in Business from Lehigh University, magna cum laude.
  • Carol Stuckley, Board Member and Chairperson of the Audit Committee, is a global, strategic financial executive with proven success leading finance teams and creating shareholder value for healthcare companies. Ms. Stuckley was formerly Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President at HPS and managed its acquisition by TransUnion, Inc. Previously, Ms. Stuckley served as CFO, Vice President of Finance at Galderma North America (Nestlé Skin Health S.A.). Ms. Stuckley held a nearly 23-year tenure in multinational financial roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, most recently as Assistant Treasurer, Vice President, Finance and Corporate Officer. She currently sits on the Ipsen Board of Directors and serves as Chairperson of the Audit Committee. Ms. Stuckley holds a Master of Arts in economics and an MBA in international finance from Temple University’s Fox Business School, and a BA in Economics and French from the University of Delaware.

About Centessa Pharmaceuticals

Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc is a next-generation biopharmaceutical company that aims to reshape the traditional drug development process. The company applies an asset-centric R&D model at scale to advance a portfolio of programs led by industry leading teams. Each program is developed by one of ten Centessa subsidiaries and supported by centralized infrastructure and the Centessa management team. For more information, visit www.centessa.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements we make in this press release may include statements that are not historical facts, which are usually identified by the use of words such as “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “plans,” “projects,” “seeks,” and variations of such words or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements, including statements relating to expectations, plans and prospects regarding the clinical development plans and timing, clinical trial designs, clinical and therapeutic potential, and strategy for any of our programs reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. Although we believe that our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects as reflected in or suggested by those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations or strategies will be attained or achieved. Furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, but not limited to, the success of clinical trials, regulatory filings, and approvals. These forward-looking statements are based upon the current expectations and beliefs of Centessa’s management team as of the date of this release and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Furthermore, Centessa operates in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment in which new risks emerge from time to time. Except as required by applicable law, we assume no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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