SAN DIEGO, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Ceregene Inc. announced the promotion of Raymond T. Bartus, Ph.D. to senior vice president and chief operating officer. Dr. Bartus previously held the position of vice president for research and development within the company. "I am pleased to announce the promotion of Ray Bartus to senior vice president and chief operating officer which reflects his broad responsibilities and key contributions to our business as we continue to develop CERE-110 for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, CERE-120 for Parkinson's disease and CERE-130 for ALS," stated Jeffrey M. Ostrove Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Ceregene. "In addition, Ray brings to Ceregene extensive biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience at the executive level and a proven track record of biopharmaceutical development." "Ray's capabilities extend well beyond his expertise in the neurosciences and his leadership has helped Ceregene achieve each of its milestones in a timely fashion. The Board is very pleased to recognize his contribution with this promotion," said Stephen A. Sherwin M.D., Chairman of Ceregene and Chairman and CEO of Cell Genesys Inc. Ray Bartus joined Ceregene in December 2002 as vice president for research and development. He previously served for 10 years as senior vice president for preclinical research and development at Alkermes and has over 30 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. As senior vice president and chief operating officer of Ceregene, Ray's responsibilities include all aspects of Ceregene's research, development and manufacturing activities, and the clinical and regulatory programs in three clinical indications of great unmet medical need. In an additional promotion, Mehdi Gasmi, Ph.D. has been promoted to the position of Director, Product Development. "Mehdi has played a pivotal role in the development of the AAV-based vectors expressing nervous system growth factor genes, and was the project leader for the CERE-120 (AAV-Neurturin) team that completed all the preclinical studies and the manufacturing for this Parkinson's disease product," stated Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D. Ceregene, Inc. is a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on the development of gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. Ceregene is currently in the clinic with CERE-110, an AAV vector expressing nerve growth factor that is being tested as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. CERE-120 and CERE-130 are both in late preclinical development for Parkinson's disease and ALS, respectively. 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. Statements made herein about Ceregene and Cell Genesys, other than statements of historical fact, including statements about clinical programs are forward-looking statements and are subject to a number of uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made including risks associated with the success of research and development programs, clinical trials, the regulatory approval process for clinical trials, competitive technologies and products, patents, continuation of option agreements and the need for additional financings. For information about these and other risks that may affect Ceregene and Cell Genesys, please see the Cell Genesys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003 dated March 4, 2004 as well as Cell Genesys' reports on Form 10-Q and 8-K and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Ceregene, Inc.