Genprex Announces the Passing of its Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rodney Varner

Ryan Confer Appointed Genprex President and CEO and to its Board of Directors

AUSTIN, Texas, May 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Genprex, Inc. ("Genprex" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: GNPX), a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes, today announced with great respect and sorrow the unexpected passing last night of the Company's co-founder, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rodney Varner, due to sudden complications after a courageous battle with cancer.

Mr. Varner co-founded Genprex in 2009, and he has served on the Company's board of directors since 2012. He has served as President and CEO of Genprex since 2016. Under Mr. Varner's leadership, Genprex became a publicly traded company in 2018 and has successfully completed two Phase 1 clinical trials, opened three additional clinical trials, expanded its intellectual property portfolio, exclusively licensed new novel gene therapy technologies and has received three U.S. Food and Drug Administration Fast Track Designations and one Orphan Drug Designation.

Genprex expresses its sincere condolences to the Varner family and to Mr. Varner's friends and colleagues. Mr. Varner will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him. As a cancer patient himself, Mr. Varner was truly committed to Genprex's mission to help patients suffering with cancer and diabetes.

Genprex's Board of Directors issued the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rodney, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Rodney was an excellent company leader, with a clear mission and vision for the future of Genprex. He was dedicated and devoted to seeing Genprex succeed in developing its gene therapies. He will be remembered for his faithfulness and loyalty to Genprex, his devotion to his family, his remarkable law career, his sense of humor and love for the outdoors. We have lost a leader and a friend."

Ryan Confer, Genprex's Chief Financial Officer, pursuant to the Company's pre-existing transition plan, has been appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as President and CEO of Genprex as well as a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Mr. Confer has served in chief level roles for a variety of early-stage companies since 2008. Mr. Confer has been a part of the Genprex team since 2011, before he was appointed Chief Operating and Financial Officer in 2013 and Chief Financial Officer in 2016. Mr. Confer will continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer until a successor has been identified. The Board of Directors will continue to meet to discuss matters related to the orderly transition and take steps to ensure continuity of business priorities and operations for the Company, including the initiation of a search for a permanent hire for the Chief Financial Officer role.

About Genprex, Inc.
Genprex, Inc. is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes. Genprex's technologies are designed to administer disease-fighting genes to provide new therapies for large patient populations with cancer and diabetes who currently have limited treatment options. Genprex works with world-class institutions and collaborators to develop drug candidates to further its pipeline of gene therapies in order to provide novel treatment approaches. Genprex's oncology program utilizes its systemic, non-viral Oncoprex® Delivery System which encapsulates the gene-expressing plasmids using lipid-based nanoparticles in a lipoplex form. The resultant product is administered intravenously, where it is taken up by tumor cells that then express tumor suppressor proteins that were deficient in the tumor. The Company's lead product candidate, Reqorsa® Immunogene Therapy (quaratusugene ozeplasmid), is being evaluated in three clinical trials as a treatment for NSCLC and SCLC. Each of Genprex's three lung cancer clinical programs has received a Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the treatment of that patient population, and Genprex's SCLC program has received an FDA Orphan Drug Designation. Genprex's diabetes gene therapy approach is comprised of a novel infusion process that uses an AAV vector to deliver Pdx1 and MafA genes directly to the pancreas. In models of Type 1 diabetes, GPX-002 transforms alpha cells in the pancreas into functional beta-like cells, which can produce insulin but may be distinct enough from beta cells to evade the body's immune system. In a similar approach, GPX-002 for Type 2 diabetes, where autoimmunity is not at play, is believed to rejuvenate and replenish exhausted beta cells.

Interested investors and shareholders are encouraged to sign up for press releases and industry updates by visiting the Company Website, registering for Email Alerts and by following Genprex on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of management, are not guarantees of performance and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. These forward-looking statements should, therefore, be considered in light of various important factors, including those set forth in Genprex's reports that it files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and which you should review, including those statements under "Item 1A – Risk Factors" in Genprex's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023.

Because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the appointment and transition of management personnel and other succession plan-related activities; Genprex's ability to advance the clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization of its product candidates in accordance with projected timelines and specifications; the timing and success of Genprex's clinical trials and regulatory approvals; the effect of Genprex's product candidates, alone and in combination with other therapies, on cancer and diabetes; Genprex's future growth and financial status, including Genprex's ability to maintain compliance with the continued listing requirements of The Nasdaq Capital Market and to continue as a going concern and to obtain capital to meet its long-term liquidity needs on acceptable terms, or at all; Genprex's commercial and strategic partnerships, including those with its third party vendors, suppliers and manufacturers and their ability to successfully perform and scale up the manufacture of its product candidates; and Genprex's intellectual property and licenses.

These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as predictions of future events and Genprex cannot assure you that the events or circumstances discussed or reflected in these statements will be achieved or will occur. If such forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. You should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by Genprex or any other person that Genprex will achieve its objectives and plans in any specified timeframe, or at all. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Genprex disclaims any obligation to publicly update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

Genprex, Inc.
(877) 774-GNPX (4679)

GNPX Investor Relations

GNPX Media Contact
Kalyn Dabbs

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SOURCE Genprex, Inc.

Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:GNPX

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