ViaCyte Appoints Michael Yang President and CEO and Provides Company Update
- Michael Yang appointed President and CEO and to Board of Directors
- Brittany Bradrick promoted to COO and CFO, and Steve White appointed CTO
- Actively recruiting patients into Phase 2 clinical trials for PEC-Encap and PEC-Direct; supports timeline for topline data in 2H 2021 and 1H 2022, respectively
- Company expands cell manufacturing capacity to support its current programs and research for new therapeutic indications
SAN DIEGO, January 27, 2021 – ViaCyte, Inc., a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company, today announced the appointment of Michael Yang to President and CEO and as a member of ViaCyte’s Board of Directors. The Company also appointed Steve White, BSc Pharm, as Chief Technology Officer, and promoted Brittany Bradrick, who joined ViaCyte in July 2020 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and CFO. These executive leadership team appointments come as the Company’s two clinical-stage product candidates, PEC-Encap and PEC-Direct, have progressed and are actively recruiting type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients for two Phase 2 clinical trials. Data are expected in the second half of this year for PEC-Encap and first half of 2022 for PEC-Direct. Additionally, ViaCyte is expanding cell manufacturing capacity and capabilities to advance PEC-Direct, PEC-Encap, and its immune-evasive cell program for diabetes (PEC-QT), which is partnered with CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc., while also exploring research into new disease areas that may benefit from cell-based therapies.
“ViaCyte is dedicated to delivering on the potential of cell therapies, for type 1 diabetes and beyond, and has developed all the technologies and expertise to achieve this goal,” said Ian F. Smith, Executive Chairperson of ViaCyte. “Over the last year, ViaCyte has added significant experience to the executive leadership team, improved its financial position, and recently initiated Phase 2 programs for T1D patients. With the appointment of Michael Yang as President and CEO, ViaCyte is positioned to drive the first cell replacement therapies to the market for type 1 diabetes and to expand its core cell manufacturing capabilities and research in new disease areas.”
“This is an exciting time to join ViaCyte as it advances toward establishing the first cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes,” said Mr. Yang. “I look forward to heading the leadership team that shares the vision of building a leading cell therapy company that can truly transform care for patients.”
Michael Yang has more than 20 years of broad commercialization and senior level leadership experience in biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, where he launched new platforms, expanded global revenues, and diversified product lines. He joins ViaCyte from Acadia Pharmaceuticals, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. During his tenure, which started in 2017, Acadia transformed the standard of care for patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis. Prior to Acadia, Mr. Yang was President of Janssen Biotech Inc., where was responsible for building Janssen’s U.S. Immunology business, generating more than $8 billion in annual revenues.
“When I looked at what could be truly transformative for diabetes, I saw that ViaCyte has continually made the scientific, manufacturing, engineering, and clinical breakthroughs necessary to realize the first islet cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes,” said Mr. White. “With the mandate to expand and build with scale, quality, and compliance, I look forward to establishing the cell manufacturing platform to support the creation of many cell-based therapies.”
Mr. White is a healthcare product development leader with more than 30 years of diverse international experience in delivering innovative products to the marketplace across biotech, medical device, and pharma. Prior to joining ViaCyte, he was Vice President, Global R&D at Baxter Healthcare, managing global product development for biopharma, pharma, and medical devices portfolio, as well as leading an innovation function to define, scout, and grow early-stage pipeline opportunities. Prior roles include General Manager of a drug delivery subsidiary within Baxter and Vice President, Product Development at Nektar Therapeutics, leading their first of a kind biotechnology combination program for diabetes. Previous to that, Mr. White held product development roles of increasing responsibilities at E. Merck KG and GSK.
ViaCyte is a privately held 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 each technology individually or together 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 type 1 diabetes patients 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 funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF. ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California.