2seventy bio has hired oncologist and former Turnstone Biologics exec Steven Berstein, M.D., to be its chief medical officer, effective Monday.
Bernstein spent more than four years at the Fierce 15 winner Turnstone Biologics, a clinical-stage company focused on viral immunotherapies against cancer. He initially served as SVP of clinical research and development before climbing the ladder to chief translational officer.
Prior to that, Bernstein worked at Bristol Myers Squibb as chair of the company’s immuno-oncology, translational research and development program and as head of integrated science, translational medicine.
The hire charts the path forward for 2seventy after its recent split from bluebird bio to focus on oncology program. Initially announced in January 2021, the spinoff was finalized last November, and bluebird will continue to work on treatments for severe genetic diseases.
Bluebird and BMS collaborated on the companies’ FDA-approved cell-based gene therapy Abemca for treating relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. The regulatory nod covers use after four or more lines of therapy, and in its first nine months on the market, the drug brought in $164 million in revenue.
Abemca, which is now a part of 2seventy’s pipeline, is also in clinical trials as a treatment for earlier stages of the disease. Further down the company’s roster are two treatments in phase 1 trials for lymphoma and leukemia.
Before joining BMS, Bernstein spent more than 12 years at the University of Rochester as a professor of medicine and oncology and co-director of the Lymphoma Biology Program.
The company also promoted Susan Abu-Absi, M.D., to chief technology and manufacturing officer. Abu-Absi joined bluebird in 2017 after more than 10 years at BMS.