BioTime, Inc. Announces Board Membership Changes and Management and Board Changes at Its Subsidiary Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc.
ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 14, 2014--
BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX) announced that its Board of Directors has
appointed Deborah Andrews and David Schlachet to the Board of Directors.
David Schlachet serves as a director of several public and private
companies. Mr. Schlachet is the former Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Syneron Medical Ltd., an Israeli aesthetic medical device
company, and he has served as a director of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Mr. Schlachet’s career also includes other senior executive management
positions in the food industry, in venture capital, and in science and
research, including serving as Vice President of Finance and
Administration of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’s premier
post-graduate scientific research institute, and as Chief Executive
Officer of its technology transfer company Yeda Research and Development
Company, Ltd. Mr. Schlachet also serves as Chairman of the Board of
BioTime’s subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd.
Deborah Andrews, who will join the BioTime Audit Committee, is Vice
President-Chief Accounting Officer of STAAR Surgical Company, a leading
ophthalmic device company. Ms. Andrews joined STAAR in 1995 and served
in positions of increasing responsibility over the next eighteen years,
first as Assistant Controller, then as Vice President-International
Finance, then as Global Controller and then as Vice President-Chief
Financial Officer from 2005 until 2013. Following her appointment as CFO
in 2005, Ms. Andrews was a member of the senior executive team that
successfully led the transformation of STAAR into a rapidly growing,
profitable, and financially strong industry leader. Early in her career,
Ms. Andrews served as a senior accountant and auditor for KPMG Peat
Marwick, a major public accounting firm.
The appointment of David Schlachet and Deborah Andrews to the BioTime
Board of Directors fills two vacancies created by the resignations of
Henry L. Nordhoff and Andrew von Eschenbach last week. Mr. Nordhoff and
Dr. von Eschenbach subsequently resigned from the Board of Directors of
BioTime’s subsidiary Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (“Asterias”).
In addition, Michael D. West, who is BioTime’s Chief Executive Officer
and a member of its Board of Directors, has replaced Thomas Okarma as
President and Chief Executive Officer of Asterias. Dr. West will work
with Asterias management and its Board of Directors to better align the
company’s expenditures with available capital resources, and will
continue to explore synergistic opportunities at Asterias and BioTime
that may advance product development in a cost effective manner.
Dr. West had been Asterias’ Vice President of Technology Integration, in
which position he focused on opportunities to improve efficiencies in
Asterias and BioTime product development programs through coordination
of the companies’ respective technologies. The first steps in this
approach were taken in the original contribution of assets to Asterias,
in which BioTime provided Asterias with quantities of certain human
embryonic stem cells developed by BioTime’s subsidiary ES Cell
International Pte Ltd (“ESI”) under current good manufacturing practices
(cGMP), and nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use certain
ESI patents pertaining to stem cell differentiation technology. Asterias
scientists are already considering ways to integrate the use of the ESI
cell lines into Asterias’ product development programs.
BioTime subsequently entered into a material transfer agreement with
Asterias under which BioTime provided Asterias with the right to use
BioTime’s HyStem® hydrogel formulations which Asterias
is using in some of its research and development programs. Asterias was
also given an option to negotiate a non-exclusive sub-license to use
those hydrogels in neurological, cardiovascular and orthopedic human
cell therapy applications. Insight that BioTime has gained from its
leading PureStem® technology might help Asterias
improve the purity and efficiency of production of the hES derived
progenitor cells that it may use in some of its product development
As industry leaders in regenerative medicine, BioTime and its
subsidiaries have assembled a broad array of strategically important
stem cell technologies and assets for the development of therapeutic and
diagnostic products. With over 400 patents and patent applications owned
or licensed worldwide, Asterias is an intellectual property leader with
numerous foundational patents, and in total, the BioTime family of
companies owns or has licensed over 600 key patents and patent
“We remain committed to Asterias and to building shareholder value with
its industry leading technologies and with prudent financial
management,” said Michael D. West, Asterias’ new Chief Executive
Officer. “We also welcome our new shareholders who will receive Asterias
Series A common stock when Geron Corporation completes its distribution
of those shares to its stockholders. Asterias’ management is continuing
to evaluate the opportunities for Asterias’ stem cell assets in order to
select the best paths for the advancement of its key product programs,
including paths that can be followed with Asterias’ current financial
assets and those that would be open to us if Asterias were to obtain the
funding it is seeking in the form of research grants, cooperative
development arrangements, and new equity capital,” Dr. West concluded.
In other changes at Asterias, BioTime elected Richard LeBuhn, Robert W.
Peabody, and Judith Segall to join the Asterias Board of Directors.
Richard LeBuhn is Senior Vice President of Broadwood Capital, Inc., the
investment manager of Broadwood Partners, L.P., a private investment
fund. Mr. LeBuhn previously was Principal of Broadfield Capital
Management, LLC, a private investment firm, and has held senior
management positions with other private investment and financial
Mr. Peabody is Asterias’ Chief Financial Officer and is Senior Vice
President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of
BioTime. Judith Segall is Vice President of Administration and Secretary
of BioTime and is a long-standing member of its Board of Directors.
BioTime is a biotechnology company engaged in research and product
development in the field of regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine
refers to therapies based on stem cell technology that are designed to
rebuild cell and tissue function lost due to degenerative disease or
injury. BioTime’s focus is on pluripotent stem cell technology based on
human embryonic stem (“hES”) cells and induced pluripotent stem (“iPS”)
cells. hES and iPS cells provide a means of manufacturing every cell
type in the human body and therefore show considerable promise for the
development of a number of new therapeutic products. BioTime’s
therapeutic and research products include a wide array of proprietary PureStem®
progenitors, HyStem® hydrogels, culture media, and
differentiation kits. BioTime is developing Renevia™ (a HyStem®
product) as a biocompatible, implantable hyaluronan and collagen-based
matrix for cell delivery in human clinical applications. In addition,
BioTime has developed Hextend®, a blood plasma volume
expander for use in surgery, emergency trauma treatment and other
applications. Hextend® is manufactured and distributed
in the U.S. by Hospira, Inc. and in South Korea by CJ CheilJedang
Corporation under exclusive licensing agreements.
BioTime is also developing stem cell and other products for research,
therapeutic, and diagnostic use through its subsidiaries:
• Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a new subsidiary which has acquired
the stem cell assets of Geron Corporation, including patents and other
intellectual property, biological materials, reagents and equipment for
the development of new therapeutic products for regenerative medicine.
• OncoCyte Corporation is developing products and technologies to
diagnose and treat cancer.
• Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd. (“Cell Cure Neurosciences”) is an
Israel-based biotechnology company focused on developing stem cell-based
therapies for retinal and neurological disorders, including the
development of retinal pigment epithelial cells for the treatment of
macular degeneration, and treatments for multiple sclerosis.
• LifeMap Sciences, Inc. (“LifeMap Sciences”) markets, sells and
distributes GeneCards®, the leading human gene
database, as part of an integrated database suite that also includes the LifeMap
Discovery® database of embryonic development, stem cell
research and regenerative medicine, and MalaCards, the human disease
• ES Cell International Pte Ltd., a Singapore private limited company,
developed clinical and research grade hES cell lines and plans to market
those cell lines and other BioTime research products in over-seas
markets as part of BioTime’s ESI BIO Division.
• BioTime Asia, Limited, a Hong Kong company, may offer and sell
products for research use for BioTime’s ESI BIO Division.
• OrthoCyte Corporation is developing therapies to treat orthopedic
disorders, diseases and injuries.
• ReCyte Therapeutics, Inc. is developing therapies to treat a variety
of cardiovascular and related ischemic disorders, as well as products
for research using cell reprogramming technology.
Additional information about BioTime can be found on the web at www.biotimeinc.com.
Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating results,
future growth in research, technology, clinical development, and
potential opportunities for BioTime and its subsidiaries, along with
other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans,
or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking
statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but
not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,”
“plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates”) should also be
considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements
involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks
inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential
products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory
approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, and maintenance of
intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from
the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such
should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the
business of BioTime and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned
in the cautionary statements found in BioTime's and Asterias’ Securities
and Exchange Commission filings. BioTime disclaims any intent or
obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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Source: BioTime, Inc.
Judith Segall, 510-521-3390, ext 301