Press Release Details

Gritstone Oncology Announces the Appointment of Veteran Legal Executive Rahsaan Thompson as General Counsel

April 6, 2020

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gritstone Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRTS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing the next generation of cancer immunotherapies to fight multiple cancer types, today announced the appointment of Rahsaan W. Thompson as its executive vice president and general counsel. Mr. Thompson joins Gritstone with over 20 years of experience as corporate counsel.

“We are excited to welcome Rahsaan to our senior executive team,” said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Gritstone Oncology. “Rahsaan has deep biopharmaceutical legal and senior executive experience. With expertise broadly across corporate matters, including intellectual property, clinical development and commercialization, Rahsaan is equipped to contribute immediately and well into the future of our organization as we work to bring innovative and meaningful therapies to patients.”

Prior to Gritstone, Mr. Thompson was the general counsel for Opiant Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for all legal aspects of corporate strategy, intellectual property, transactions, compliance and regulatory matters. Previously, as the vice president of law for Actelion Pharmaceuticals, he led the Actelion Law Department based in San Francisco, California. In this position, Mr. Thompson was responsible for overseeing the law department’s support for the Actelion U.S. business. In earlier years at Actelion, he served as associate general counsel and corporate secretary, where he led litigation, government investigations and acquisitions. Before joining Actelion, he worked for the law firm of Quarles & Brady in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Thompson was the associate general counsel at Abraxis Bioscience, before its acquisition by Celegene. Mr. Thompson also served as Corporate Counsel at McKesson Corporation.  He began his career as an assistant district attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. Mr. Thompson obtained his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and his law degree from Hofstra University. He has served on various non-profit boards and presently serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Museum of California Board of Directors as the finance committee chair.

About Gritstone Oncology
Gritstone Oncology (Nasdaq: GRTS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, is developing the next generation of cancer immunotherapies to fight multiple cancer types. Gritstone develops its products by leveraging two key pillars—first, a proprietary machine learning-based platform, Gritstone EDGETM, which is designed to predict, from a routine tumor biopsy, the tumor-specific neoantigens (TSNA) that are presented on a patient’s tumor cells; and second, the ability to develop and manufacture potent immunotherapies utilizing patients’ TSNA to potentially drive the patient’s immune system to specifically attack and destroy tumors. The company’s “off the shelf” shared neoantigen-based immunotherapy, SLATE, and its individualized neoantigen-based immunotherapy, GRANITE, are being evaluated in Phase 1 clinical studies. Novel tumor-specific antigens can also provide targets for bispecific antibody (BiSAb) therapeutics for solid tumors, and Gritstone’s BiSAb program is currently in lead optimization. For more information, please visit

Gritstone Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to the potential of Gritstone’s therapeutic programs. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Gritstone’s research and clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the drug development process, including Gritstone’s programs’ early stage of development, the process of designing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials, the regulatory approval processes, the timing of regulatory filings, the challenges associated with manufacturing drug products, Gritstone’s ability to successfully establish, protect and defend its intellectual property and other matters that could affect the sufficiency of existing cash to fund operations. Gritstone undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the company in general, see Gritstone’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 11, 2020 and any current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dan Budwick
(973) 271-6085

Alexandra Santos
Wheelhouse Life Science Advisors
(510) 871-6161


Source: Gritstone Oncology, Inc