30-Year Industry Veteran to Assist Adult Stem Cell Company in Strategic Positioning and Alliance Formation
SAN DIEGO, CA–(Marketwire -01/24/12)- Medistem Inc. (Pinksheets: MEDS.PK – News) announced today appointment of Dr. Alan Lewis to the company’s advisory board. Dr. Lewis spent 15 years at the pharmaceutical company Wyeth-Ayerst, where he was Vice President of Research, leading translational research efforts in diabetes, CNS, cardiovascular, inflammatory, allergy and bone metabolism diseases. He subsequently became CEO of Signal Pharmaceuticals, a drug development company that he successfully merged with Celgene. After this success, Dr. Lewis joined Novocell, Inc. (Viacyte), a preclinical diabetes stem cell company. As CEO he helped the company raise $27 million. He subsequently became CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the largest funding body in the world for diabetes research, which in 2010 reported a revenue of > $200 million.
Critical limb ischemia, the condition that Medistem has a FDA IND for, is a complication of diabetes that causes approximately 150,000-200,000 amputations per year in the USA.
“Dr. Lewis is a true example of a ‘translational scientist.’ Not only is he an accomplished academic, with over 120 peer reviewed publications, he is one of the few people who has the gift to successfully fund and manage the process of turning science into ROI,” said Dr. Vladimir Bogin, Chairman of Medistem. “It is a great honor for us to have someone of the caliber of Dr. Lewis join the Medistem Family.”
Medistem has recently accomplished the important milestone of obtaining FDA approval to begin clinical trials. This makes Medistem’s intellectual property the youngest in the field of clinical cell therapy, given that the company’s Endometrial Regenerative Cell product was only discovered in 2007.
“I have been observing Medistem’s progression since Dr. Thomas Ichim, the current CEO, joined the company in 2007. It is quite fascinating to have watched the story evolve from discovery to clinical trials in such a short period of time,” said Dr. Lewis. “Given my previous work in the area of diabetes, I am well aware of critical limb ischemia as a devastating consequence of this disease. By working with key opinion leaders such as Indiana University’s Dr. Michael Murphy, Principle Investigator of the FDA approved study, and Dr. Hugh Taylor, Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale University, I pledge to do my best in improving the lives of these patients.”