FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST) today announced the appointment of pharmaceutical industry veteran Stephen L. Cartt as President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. In addition, the Company announced the appointment of Don M. Bailey to its Board of Directors. Mr. Bailey, who previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. until its sale for $5.6 billion in 2014 to Mallinckrodt, plc, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Asterias. Both appointments are effectively immediately. Mr. Cartt replaces Pedro Lichtinger, who served as President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors since June 2014. Mr. Bailey succeeds Alfred D. Kingsley as Chairman. Mr. Kingsley will remain on the Asterias Board of Directors.
"Steve Cartt and Don Bailey have superb track records of creating substantial shareholder value over time by building successful, high growth pharmaceutical businesses, advancing products through the development process, and commercializing therapies that address conditions with high unmet therapeutic needs. In addition, Steve and Don have an extraordinary history of success working together to build significant shareholder value," said Mr. Kingsley. "Our Board is excited that both Steve and Don are joining Asterias in its efforts to realize the full potential of its AST-VAC1, AST-VAC2, and AST-OPC1 clinical programs. The Board also wishes to thank Pedro Lichtinger for his leadership through a crucial phase of the Company's development."
"During the past year and a half as a member of the BioTime Board, I've had the opportunity to learn about the exciting potential of the Asterias AST-VAC1, AST-VAC2, and AST-OPC1 clinical-stage programs," said Mr. Cartt. "I look forward to working with the Asterias team, Don and the Board to further the company's clinical development of these important treatments. We believe that over time, these efforts have the potential to build significant returns for our shareholders."
Mr. Cartt began his career in the pharmaceutical industry with ALZA Corporation where he held a variety of R&D and commercial positions. He moved to Elan Pharmaceuticals and served as Senior Director of Strategic Marketing before joining Questcor in 2005. At Questcor, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer prior to being appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2012. Questcor experienced high growth in revenues and earnings during this period, while its market valuation increased more than 200 fold from less than $25 million in 2007 to $5.6 billion at the time of its sale in 2014. After the acquisition of Questcor in August 2014, Mr. Cartt served in a transitional role as Chief Operating Officer of Mallinckrodt's AutoImmune and Rare Diseases Business Unit until October 2014. Mr. Cartt has been a member of the BioTime, Inc. Board of Directors since November 2014, a position from which he has resigned in conjunction with accepting the CEO position at Asterias, a publicly traded subsidiary of BioTime (NYSE MKT: BTX). He holds a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
Mr. Bailey brings to Asterias substantial management, board, and corporate governance experience. From 2006 through 2014, Mr. Bailey served on the Board of Directors of Questcor, was its President and CEO from 2007 through 2014, and at various times, chaired or was a member of several board committees including Questcor's Strategic Initiatives Committee. Since the sale of Questcor, Mr. Bailey has served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Portfolio Committee of Mallinckrodt. He is also a director, audit committee chair, and a member of the Transaction Committee of Biotie Therapies Corp., a public pharmaceutical company headquartered in Turku, Finland. Biotie went public in the U.S. through an IPO in June 2015 and entered into a Combination Agreement with Acorda Therapeutics in January 2016. Previously, Mr. Bailey served as the non-executive chairman and chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of STAAR Surgical Company, an ophthalmic products company, from 2005 through June 2014. In addition to his public company experience, he serves on the board of the Argyos School of Business at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. and is a Founding Board member of the University of California Irvine's Institute for Applied Innovation. Mr. Bailey is also a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University.
Asterias will report results for its fourth quarter and full year 2015 in March. Further information on the release and the conference call will be provided as timing is finalized.
About Asterias Biotherapeutics
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The company's proprietary, industry leading platforms are based on its pluripotent stem cell and dendritic cell immunotherapy technologies. Asterias is focused on developing therapies to treat conditions in several medical areas where there is high unmet medical need and inadequate available therapies. AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) is currently in a Phase 1/2a dose escalation clinical trial in spinal cord injury. AST-VAC1 (antigen-presenting autologous dendritic cells) has demonstrated promise in a Phase 2 study in acute myelogenous leukemia. AST-VAC2 (antigen-presenting allogeneic dendritic cells) represents a second generation, allogeneic approach to dendritic cell vaccines. Additional information about Asterias can be found at www.asteriasbiotherapeutics.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development, and potential opportunities for Asterias, 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" and "potential") 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 businesses of Asterias, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in Asterias's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Asterias disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc.