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Fate Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Stewart Abbot as Vice President, Translational Research

SAN DIEGO, July 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FATE), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of programmed cellular therapeutics for the treatment of severe, life-threatening diseases, announced today that it has named Dr. Stewart Abbot as Vice President, Translational Research, effective immediately.

Dr. Abbot comes to Fate Therapeutics from Celgene Corporation, where he most recently served as Executive Director, Integrative Research at Celgene Cellular Therapeutics. During his eight year tenure with Celgene, Dr. Abbot successfully led internal research and development programs for multiple novel cell therapy candidates and played a pivotal role in establishing and managing external cell-based immuno-oncology collaborations. In his role at Fate Therapeutics, Dr. Abbot will be responsible for charting the advancement of the Company's innovative pipeline of programmed cellular immunotherapeutics from discovery into early clinical development.

"We are thrilled to welcome Stewart to our leadership team during these exciting times as we rapidly broaden our internal research initiatives and expand our network of external research collaborations to further the development of programmed cellular immunotherapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer," said Christian Weyer, M.D., M.A.S., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. "Building upon his extensive experience at the forefront of novel cell-based product development, including the development of adoptive immunotherapies in the areas of auto-immunity and cancer immunology, Stewart is uniquely positioned to drive the advancement of our preclinical therapeutic pipeline."

Over the past three months, Fate Therapeutics has expanded its immunotherapy pipeline, having entered into three strategic collaborations aimed at advancing the development of programmed CD34+ cell, natural killer (NK) cell and T cell immunotherapeutics. These include a research collaboration with the University of Minnesota to develop off-the-shelf NK cell-based cancer immunotherapeutics including those derived from genetically-engineered induced pluripotent stem cells, a research collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital to accelerate the development of an adoptive PD-L1 programmed CD34+ cellular immunotherapeutic for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, and a strategic research collaboration with Juno Therapeutics to program the therapeutic profile of Juno's genetically-engineered T cell-based cancer immunotherapeutics.

"Fate's excellent scientific foundation and its ground-breaking work in cell programming provides a unique opportunity for developing novel and distinct cellular therapeutics with disease-transforming potential," said Stewart Abbot, Ph.D. "I am very excited to join Fate Therapeutics and look forward to helping advance its robust immunotherapy pipeline and pioneer the development of next-generation immunotherapeutics based on induced pluripotent stem cell technology."

Dr. Abbot joined Celgene Cellular Therapeutics (CCT) in 2007 as Senior Director for Stem Cell Research, where his group focused on the isolation, characterization and development of novel therapeutic candidates based on human placenta-derived cells. This work was key to CCT initiating clinical trials for placenta-derived cells and in building a class-leading understanding of cellular therapeutics. Prior to CCT, Dr. Abbot led General Electric's Molecular and Cellular Biology research laboratory at its Global Research Center in Albany, NY, where he established GE's expertise in human stem cell biology and developed a series of life science products and instruments. Dr. Abbot holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (Edinburgh), M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering (Glasgow) and Ph.D. in Pathology (London).

About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.

Fate Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of programmed cellular therapeutics for the treatment of severe, life-threatening diseases. The Company's lead product candidate, PROHEMA®, is an ex vivo programmed hematopoietic cellular therapeutic, which is currently in clinical development in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The Company is also developing a PD-L1 programmed immuno-regulatory cellular therapeutic for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and is leveraging its proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell platform to develop natural killer cell and T cell cancer immunotherapeutics. Fate Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.fatetherapeutics.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the therapeutic potential of programmed cellular therapeutics and any product candidates that may arise from the Company's research collaborations, including those with the University of Minnesota, Boston Children's Hospital and Juno Therapeutics, and the Company's plans to undertake certain preclinical research and development of programmed cellular therapeutics, including programmed CD34+ cell, natural killer (NK) cell and T cell immunotherapeutics. These and any other forward-looking statements in this release are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk of cessation or delay of planned research and preclinical development activities for a variety of reasons, any inability to develop programmed cellular therapeutics suitable for therapeutic applications, the risk that programmed cellular therapeutics or other product candidates that the Company may develop may not produce therapeutic benefits or may cause other unanticipated adverse effects, and the risk that the Company's research collaborations may not be successful or may be terminated for a variety of reasons. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause the Company's actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, and from time to time the Company's other investor communications. The Company is providing the information in this release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Jesse Baumgartner, Stern Investor Relations, Inc. 212.362.1200, jesse@sternir.com

Source:Fate Therapeutics, Inc