PHILADELPHIA and OXFORD, United Kingdom, Nov. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq:ADAP), a leader in T-cell therapy to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., to its Board of Directors as an independent Non-Executive Director effective from November 14, 2016. Dr. Zaks will also serve as a member of the Remuneration Committee. "We are very pleased that such a high caliber individual as Tal Zaks is joining our Board of Directors," said Dr. Jonathan Knowles, Adaptimmune's Chairman. "He brings extensive research and development and commercialization experience to augment our existing Board members' expertise and support the advancement of our clinical programs." "I am honored to join Adaptimmune," commented Dr. Zaks. "I am impressed by the Company's achievements, which include trials of its SPEAR T-cell therapies across multiple cancers allied to substantial research expertise and a prestigious network of partners. I look forward to working with the team as we translate our science and technology into effective therapies for cancer patients." Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D. has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Moderna Therapeutics, Inc. since March 2015. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Oncology at Sanofi Inc, where he was responsible for all aspects of oncology drug discovery, development and commercialization. Dr. Zaks began his industry career at GlaxoSmithKline in the genetics research group, where he built the oncology translational medicine team and led translational research on lapatinib as well as the in-licensing and clinical development of foretinib. In addition to his industry work, Dr. Zaks is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has served as a volunteer physician at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, treating patients with genitourinary cancers. Dr. Zaks received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ben Gurion University in Israel and conducted post-doctoral research at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Pennsylvania.