HepaTx appoints Salah Kivlighn as new CEO

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- HepaTx Corporation, a preclinical stage company developing cell therapies for the treatment of liver disease, is pleased to announce the appointment of Salah Kivlighn, PhD as Chief Executive Office. An experienced business leader, Dr. Kivlighn will succeed Co-founder Eric Schuur, PhD and assume responsibilities on April 15th, 2021.

Dr. Kivlighn brings a rare blend of science and business acumen to HepaTx. His experience spans therapeutic classes including oncology, vaccines, immuno-oncology, and cardiovascular disease treatments and multiple aspects of drug development and commercialization. His accomplishments include: guided the discovery, evolution, and commercialization of Losartan (Cozaar®), a market-leading antihypertensive drug becoming a $3.5B franchise (Merck & Co.); co-led the development and commercialization of RotaTeq®, a required vaccine for children in the US, resulting in an $800M franchise (Merck & Co.); spearheaded the development of a Leukemia drug, LUMOXITIÒ (moxetumomab pasudotox); leading to the formation of INNATE Pharma, a commercial-stage biotech company (Medimmune / AstraZeneca). Recently Salah led sales and marketing (a new division he created) that produced an average 8.6% CAGR during his tenure at United States Pharmacopeia in generic medicine, biologics, food, dietary supplements, verification, excipients, health care quality & safety, documentary standards, and global education. Prior to USP, he was Commercial Vice President for Kite Pharmaceuticals where he defined a market and differentiating product features, thus positioning the product for launch success.

Salah received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Houston and completed fellowship training in the laboratory of Dr. Arthur Guyton. He is the recipient of many awards, among them: the Chief Executive Officer Award (AstraZeneca), and the Prix Galien Award for "Best New Biotechnology Product" for RotaTeq® (Merck & Co.).

Eric Schuur will continue his role with HepaTx as President and COO of the company, and he will be responsible for guidance of all activities related to finalization of the preclinical package and IND filing of HepaTx first clinical candidate.

Commenting on his new role, Dr. Kivlign said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to join this impressive team and to help lead HepaTx in this next exciting phase of growth". Our lead product candidate, based on HepaTx's proprietary cell based therapy has the potential to offer a much needed therapeutic option to patients suffering from chronic liver disease and save thousands of lives."

"Adding Salah is an opportunity to add someone to our team with outstanding experience taking products to market, which is exactly what we intend to do. The additional experience and smarts that he brings will enable us to dramatically accelerate progress toward the clinic and commercialization. This will allow me to focus more tightly on R&D and operations as President and COO, which will further accelerate our progress and enable us to produce more first-ever innovations," said Dr. Schuur

About HepaTx

HepaTx is a preclinical regenerative medicine company developing new types of stem cell-based treatments for patients with late-stage liver disease, a highly underserved and cost intensive market. HepaTx's proprietary process, licensed from Stanford and well protected by licensed IP, differentiates adipose stromal cells obtained from discarded lipoaspirate into functional hepatocytes. These hepatocytes are directly infused into the liver where they regenerate liver function. Learn more at https:/Hepatx.com.

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