SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwired - April 01, 2014) - Q Therapeutics, Inc. ("Q"), an emerging biotechnology company developing innovative cell therapy products for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD, has joined the Company as Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Rao is the scientific founder of Q and world renowned for his work with neural stem cells. Most recently, he served as Director of the Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also held joint research appointments at the at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) from 2011-March 2014. Previously, Dr. Rao was Vice President of Stem Cell Research at Life Technologies, Inc. (now Thermo Fisher Scientific) from 2006-2011; Stem Cell Section Chief at the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the NIH National Institute of Aging from 2001-2005; and at the University of Utah School of Medicine from 1994-2001, where he became Associate Professor with tenure in Neurobiology and Anatomy.
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Rao to the roles of Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board," noted Deborah Eppstein, PhD, Q's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to having Dr. Rao lead our efforts in expanding Q's product portfolio for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including cell products derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). He will also help forge collaborations with pharma and biotech companies. As Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, he will help identify new candidates to augment that Board. Dr. Rao's work will complement that of James Campanelli, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development, who leads development of our Q-Cells® product for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, with IND for Amyotrophis Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) targeted later this year. Dr. Rao's familiarity with cell therapy regulations will benefit the Company in the regulatory process as we prepare for clinical trials."
Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Rao stated, "Q Therapeutics is a leader in the development of glial cell therapy for treatment of neurodegenerative disease with a broad patent portfolio. Its first product, Q-Cells, is preparing to enter the clinic. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to expand the breadth of Q's cell therapy programs, both with new products and new therapeutic targets. With the maturing of iPSC technology, a chief objective is to develop new proprietary cell therapy products derived of iPSC origin and demonstrate safety and efficacy."
About Q Therapeutics, Inc.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Q Therapeutics, Inc. is a fully reporting, non-trading company engaged in developing adult stem cell therapies to treat debilitating diseases of the central nervous system. The Company's first product, Q-Cells®, is a cell-based therapeutic intended to restore or preserve normal activity of neurons by providing essential support functions that occur in healthy central nervous system tissues. Q-Cells may be applicable to a wide range of central nervous system diseases, including demyelinating conditions such as multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, cerebral palsy and stroke; as well as other neurodegenerative diseases and injuries, such as ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Huntington's disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Q Therapeutics' initial clinical target is ALS, with a first IND submission expected in 2014. The Company's proprietary product pipeline also encompasses neural cell products derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). For more information, visit www.qthera.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements in this press release regarding potential applications of Q Therapeutics' technologies constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, uncertainty of clinical trial results or regulatory approvals or clearances, need for future capital, dependence upon collaborators and maintenance of its intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Additional information on potential factors that could affect results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in Q Therapeutics' periodic reports, including the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2013 and the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.