ViaCyte Appoints Dr. Jon Wilensky as Head of Surgery
Accomplished surgeon and researcher brings leadership to optimize subcutaneous delivery approaches as the company advances type 1 diabetes islet replacement therapies in the clinic
SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2021 – ViaCyte, Inc., an innovator in cellular therapy and regenerative medicine, announced today that it has appointed Jon Wilensky, MD, MBA, FACS, as Head of Surgery. Dr. Wilensky will be responsible for training surgeons and advancing innovative approaches for ViaCyte’s pancreatic islet cell replacement therapies.
Dr. Wilensky is a board-certified plastic surgeon and joins ViaCyte after having functioned in an advisory capacity to the company since 2014. He formerly served as the lead surgeon for clinical trials involving both implantable continuous glucose monitors and ViaCyte’s implantable cell therapy pipeline. In prior roles, Dr. Wilensky has consulted for numerous other early- and mid-stage companies developing related technologies. Previously, he served in teaching and practice positions with University of California-San Diego School of Medicine in both the Plastic Surgery and Endocrinology/Metabolism Divisions.
“Jon’s substantial experience and expertise in plastic surgery, implantable biotechnologies, and cell-based therapeutics is a significant asset,” said Howard Foyt, MD, PhD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer at ViaCyte. “We look forward to his contributions as we seek to optimize all aspects of the implantation procedure for patients with diabetes.”
Dr. Wilensky received his MD from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed his residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of Michigan Health System. Designated as an Emerging Leader in Biotechnology, he received a fellowship to complete his MBA from the University of California-San Diego Rady School of Management, with an emphasis on Technology Commercialization, Disruptive Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He resides in San Diego and will be reporting directly to Dr. Foyt.
“ViaCyte is at the leading edge of the cell therapy field by combining state-of-the-art cell engineering and device integration technologies to provide cell replacement therapies as a functional cure for diabetes,” said Dr. Wilensky. “I am excited to be part of this team focused on providing better outcomes for patients through first-in-class regenerative medicine therapies.”
ViaCyte is a privately held clinical-stage regenerative medicine company developing novel cell replacement therapies based on two major technological advances: cell replacement therapies derived from pluripotent stem cells and medical device systems for cell encapsulation and implantation. ViaCyte has the opportunity to use these technologies to address critical human diseases and disorders that can potentially be treated by replacing lost or malfunctioning cells or proteins. The Company’s first product candidates are being developed as potential long-term treatments for patients with type 1 diabetes to achieve glucose control targets and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications. To accelerate and expand the Company’s efforts, ViaCyte has established collaborative partnerships with leading companies, including CRISPR Therapeutics and W.L. Gore & Associates. ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.viacyte.com and connect with ViaCyte on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.