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ViaCyte to Expand Board of Directors with Two New Appointments
SAN DIEGO, July 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company, today announced the appointment of Paul J. Hastings and Ian F. Smith to the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Hastings, who is currently President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nkarta Therapeutics, has more than 35 years of leadership experience in biopharmaceuticals. Mr. Smith, who most recently was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has more than 20 years of finance and operating experience for public companies in the biopharmaceutical industry.
"We welcome Ian and Paul to ViaCyte's Board of Directors as the company advances two of its groundbreaking cell replacement therapy candidates for diabetes through clinical trials, with the third not far behind," said Fred Middleton, Chair of ViaCyte's Board of Directors. "Ian has the strategic and broad operational leadership coupled with the capital markets and financial expertise all-important for ViaCyte's corporate growth, and Paul has a depth of experience in leading biopharmaceutical companies from early-stage through late-stage drug development and commercialization, bringing transformative new medicines to patients."
Mr. Hastings commented, "I am impressed with the dedication, leadership, innovation, and focus on patients at ViaCyte. I look forward to collaborating with the other Board members and providing operating input, working with the management team on regulatory, development, and eventually commercial strategies as ViaCyte is performing the important clinical studies necessary to deliver a potential functional cure to patients with type 1 diabetes."
Mr. Smith said, "ViaCyte is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine and cell replacement therapies and has advanced its platform to potentially establish the first cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes. The company has received funding from leading healthcare investors, patient advocacy groups, and other collaborations, providing financial support to create and build new and important medicines for diabetes patients. Of course, there is more work to be done, and I am excited to join the Board at this point to provide my experience and expertise as ViaCyte grows the breadth of its business."
At Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Smith held responsibility for a wide range of core functions, including Corporate and Business Development, Finance and Accounting, Investor Relations, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations and Global Operations, Facilities, and Information Systems. Prior to joining Vertex in 2001, Mr. Smith served as a partner in the Life Science and Technology Practice Group of Ernst & Young LLP, an accounting firm. Additionally, Mr. Smith has served as a member of the Board of Directors of multiple publicly-traded and privately-held biopharmaceutical companies. He received a B.A. with honors in accounting and finance from Manchester Metropolitan University and is a Certified Public Accountant and also a Chartered Accountant of England and Wales.
Most recently, Mr. Hastings was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining OncoMed in 2006, he served as CEO of QLT, Inc. Before QLT, Mr. Hastings served as President and CEO of Axys Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Celera Corporation in 2001. From 1999 to 2001, he served as the President of Chiron BioPharmaceuticals, a division of Chiron Corporation. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of LXR Biotechnology. Mr. Hastings also held a series of management positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corporation, including serving as President of Genzyme Therapeutics Europe and President, Genzyme Therapeutics. Mr. Hastings also held senior Marketing and Sales positions for Synergen, Inc. and Hoffmann-La Roche. He is currently Lead Director of Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Chair of the Board at Proteon Therapeutics, Director of Nkarta Therapeutics, and Vice Chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Mr. Hastings received a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island.
ViaCyte is a privately held regenerative medicine company developing novel cell replacement therapies as potential long-term diabetes treatments to achieve glucose control targets and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications. ViaCyte's product candidates are based on the derivation of pancreatic progenitor cells from pluripotent stem cells, which are then implanted in durable and retrievable cell delivery devices. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other pancreatic hormones in response to blood glucose levels. ViaCyte has two product candidates in clinical-stage development. The PEC-Direct™ product candidate delivers the pancreatic progenitor cells in a non-immunoprotective device and is being developed for type 1 diabetes patients who have hypoglycemia unawareness, extreme glycemic lability, and/or recurrent severe hypoglycemic episodes. The PEC-Encap™ (also known as VC-01) product candidate delivers the same pancreatic progenitor cells in an immunoprotective device and is being developed for all patients with diabetes, type 1 and type 2, who use insulin. ViaCyte is also developing immune-evasive stem cell lines, from its proprietary CyT49 cell line, which have the potential to further broaden the availability of cell therapy for diabetes and other potential indications. ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California. ViaCyte is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF. For more information on ViaCyte, please visit www.viacyte.com and connect with ViaCyte on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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SOURCE ViaCyte, Inc.