ViaCyte Announces New Board Members
SAN DIEGO, January 29, 2019 – ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company, today announced that following the recent $80 million Series D financing, the Company’s Board of Directors has been restructured. Adam M. Koppel, MD, PhD, a Managing Director of Bain Capital Life Sciences and Heath Lukatch, PhD, a Partner at TPG are joining, and Donald J. Elmer, Orville G. Kolterman, MD, and Franklin “Pitch” Johnson are retiring from, the Board of Directors.
“We are pleased that Adam and Heath, who were integral in our recent Series D financing, have also committed to serving on ViaCyte’s Board of Directors, providing their considerable experience in healthcare and life sciences companies, to help position the Company for success,” said Paul Laikind, PhD, President and CEO of ViaCyte, Inc. “We are also extremely grateful to Don, Orville, and Pitch for their many years of guidance and leadership on the Company’s Board of Directors, as ViaCyte has grown to become a leading company in our space with all the components to attain our goals: great technology and science, clinical stage product candidates, a strong team and patent portfolio, and top-tier partners and investors. We look forward to this coming year as we advance potential functional cures for insulin-requiring diabetes.”
Adam M. Koppel rejoined Bain Capital in 2016 as a Managing Director of Bain Capital Life Sciences. He initially joined Bain Capital Public Equity in 2003 where he worked as a leader within the healthcare sector until 2014. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Koppel was EVP of Corporate Development and Chief Strategy Officer at Biogen. Prior to initially joining Bain Capital in 2003, Dr. Koppel was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Co in New Jersey where he served a variety of healthcare companies. Dr. Koppel received an MD and PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also received an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar. Dr. Koppel graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an AB and AM in history and science. He also sits on the Boards of Aptinyx (NASDAQ: APTX), Cerevel Therapeutics, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DRNA), Foghorn Therapeutics, and Solid Biosciences (NASDAQ: SLDB).
Heath Lukatch, PhD, is a Partner at TPG in San Francisco who focuses on life sciences investments. Prior to joining TPG in 2015, Dr. Lukatch was a Partner at Novo Ventures and Piper Jaffray Ventures, a consultant at McKinsey & Company, Co-founder and CEO of AutoMate Scientific, and a bench scientist at Cetus, Chiron, and Roche Bioscience. Dr. Lukatch graduated from Stanford with a PhD in neuroscience and UC Berkeley with a BA in biochemistry. He currently is chairman of the Boards of Engage Therapeutics, Inogen (NASDA: INGN) and Satsuma Pharma, and he serves on the Boards of Adynxx, Ceribell, Flexion (NASDAQ: FLXN), Halo Neuroscience, SutroVax, and ViewPoint Therapeutics.
Donald J. Elmer represented Pacific Horizons Ventures and served on ViaCyte’s and its predecessor company’s Board of Directors from 1999 to 2018. Orville Kolterman, MD, who is well-known for his work in diabetes product development, started in 2007. Dr. Kolterman will chair ViaCyte’s Clinical Advisory Board going forward. Pitch Johnson of Asset Management Company has been an investor and board member for many years, including as in investor in ViaCyte’s predecessor companies. Mr. Johnson now becomes an emeritus board member and will continue as a board observer for ViaCyte.
Fred Middleton will remain as ViaCyte’s board Chairman, and Asish Xavier, Mark Foletta, Steve Altman, and Paul Laikind are continuing as board members. Mr. Middleton commented, “On behalf of ViaCyte’s Board of Directors, I would like to thank retiring board members Pitch Johnson, Don Elmer, and Dr. Orville Kolterman for their long and dedicated service to the Company as it managed its transition from a research to a clinical stage program and organization. Their many years of service and advice was invaluable and most appreciated by all of us during this period.”
ViaCyte is a privately held regenerative medicine company developing novel cell replacement therapies as potential long-term diabetes treatments to achieve glucose control targets and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications. ViaCyte’s product candidates are based on the derivation of pancreatic progenitor cells from stem cells, which are then implanted in durable and retrievable cell delivery devices. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other pancreatic hormones in response to blood glucose levels. ViaCyte has two product candidates in clinical-stage development. The PEC-Direct™ product candidate delivers the pancreatic progenitor cells in a non-immunoprotective device and is being developed for type 1 diabetes patients who have hypoglycemia unawareness, extreme glycemic lability, and/or recurrent severe hypoglycemic episodes. The PEC-Encap™ (also known as VC-01) product candidate delivers the same pancreatic progenitor cells in an immunoprotective device and is being developed for all patients with diabetes, type 1 and type 2, who use insulin. ViaCyte is also developing immune-evasive stem cell lines, from its proprietary CyT49 cell line, which have the potential to further broaden the availability of cell therapy for diabetes and other potential indications. ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California. ViaCyte is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF.