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ViaCyte, Inc. (Formerly Known as Novocell, Inc.), Names Anthony Gringeri Chief Development Officer


5/13/2011 11:27:45 AM

SAN DIEGO, May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte, Inc., a preclinical cell therapy company focused on diabetes, today announced the appointment of Anthony ("Tony") Gringeri as Chief Development Officer. Dr. Gringeri brings to ViaCyte more than 20 years of experience successfully leading product development and strategic partnering. His track record includes biologics and gene therapies, which were new technologies to both U.S. and European regulators at the time of their development.

Dr. Gringeri spent over 14 years at Amgen in various executive positions, managing diverse functions including serving as Vice President, Product Development, Executive Director, Scientific Operations, Vice President, Scientific Outreach and Licensing Operations, and Vice President, Project Management & Strategic Planning. Early on Dr. Gringeri was the Product Development Team Leader overseeing Amgen's blockbuster drug, ARANESP® (darbepoetin alfa), an erythropoiesis stimulating protein biologic drug (medicines whose active substance comes from a biological source). ARANESP® is used to treat anemia, a deficiency in the number of red blood cells, caused by chronic kidney failure in patients both on dialysis and not on dialysis. ARANESP® is also used to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy used to treat some types of cancer. Worldwide ARANESP® sales have reached over $3 billion annually in the last three years.

Most recently, Dr. Gringeri was the Chief Operating Officer for Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (AMT), a Netherlands-based company engaged in human gene therapies for orphan diseases related to metabolic disorders, liver diseases, blood diseases, and disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems. AMT in 2010 submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for their lead product GLYBERA®, a gene therapy for the treatment of lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD), to the European Medicines Agency (EMA, formerly known as EMEA). The MAA is in the validation stage and once approved, GLYBERA® will be the first gene therapy product to be marketed in Europe. Dr. Gringeri was responsible for the planning and execution of all major aspects of corporate strategy and operations, including regulatory affairs and doubling the size of the company pipeline.

Dr. Gringeri received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester.

"ViaCyte is addressing a first of its kind macro-encapsulated stem-cell-derived therapeutic for diabetes, and the team is increasingly recognized for its scientific and IP leadership," said Mr. Gringeri. "With my over 20 years of experience in developing lead products for public and private companies, I look forward to working with ViaCyte to develop the combination product for approval in the U.S. and Europe, and ultimately providing this cellular therapy to patients globally."

"We are delighted to have Tony's talent, vision, and successful development and regulatory leadership experience on ViaCyte's team, at a time when we are initiating our pre-clinical IND-enabling studies," said John West, President & CEO of ViaCyte.

About ViaCyte, Inc.

ViaCyte is a preclinical therapeutic company focused on diabetes. Our therapy is based on pancreatic beta cell progenitors (Pro-Islet) derived from human pluripotent stem cells. These cells are implanted using a durable and retrievable encapsulation device. Once implanted and matured, these cells secrete insulin in response to blood glucose levels. The Company's goal is long term insulin independence without immune suppression, and without hypoglycemia and other diabetes-related complications.

ViaCyte is a private company headquartered in San Diego, California, with additional operations in Athens, Georgia. The Company is funded in part through the support of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

SOURCE ViaCyte, Inc.


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