SAN DIEGO, July 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ceregene, Inc. announced today that it has expanded its Board of Directors to 7 members with the election of John P. Walker as an independent Board member. Mr. Walker serves as an investment advisor to MDS Capital Corp and Executive Chairman of Guava Technologies. He also is vice-chairman of Renovis Inc and a Board member of Geron Corp. and several other private companies. Mr. Walker brings over 30 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience to Ceregene. His previous experience includes being Chairman and CEO of Bayhill Therapeutics; Chairman of Intramed, (now part of Baxter); Chairman and Interim CEO of Centaur Pharmaceuticals, (now part of Renovis Inc.); Chairman and CEO of AXYS and its predecessor company Arris Pharmaceutical, (now part of Celera); Chairman of Signal Pharmaceutical, (now part of Celgene); Chairman and CEO of Vitaphore Corporation, (now part of Union Carbide); Chairman of Microcide Corporation; and President of The Hospital Company of American Hospital Supply Corporation. "Ceregene's refined focus on the delivery of nervous system growth factors using a gene therapy delivery platform and their accomplishments to date make them a very exciting company and I am pleased to join their Board and help further their advancement as they continue their clinical trials in neurodegenerative disorders," stated John Walker. "We believe that Mr. Walker's vast experience in all aspects of biotech company development, from start-ups to product licensure and sales, will complement our current strong Board of Directors," stated Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D., Ceregene's president and CEO and director. Mr. Walker will join the current Board whose members include its chairman, Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., chairman and CEO of Cell Genesys, Dennis Henner, Ph.D. of MPM Capital; David Mack, Ph.D. of Alta Partners, Eugene Step, past president of the pharmaceutical division of Eli Lilly and Mark Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurosciences, University of California, San Diego. Ceregene, Inc. is a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on the development of gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. Ceregene is in the clinic with CERE-110, an AAV2 based vector expressing nerve growth factor that is being tested as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. CERE-120 for Parkinson's disease has regulatory approval and will be tested in the clinic shortly and CERE-130 is in late preclinical development for ALS. Ceregene was launched in January 2001 and is a minority-owned subsidiary of Cell Genesys, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEGE), which is headquartered in South San Francisco, CA. Ceregene closed a $32M Series B financing in August 2004 that was co-led by Alta Partners and MPM Capital. Contact: Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D. President and Chief Executive Officer Ceregene, Inc. 858-458-8808
SOURCE Ceregene, Inc.