Experienced Biotechnology Executive to Join Team Managing BioTime's Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Product Development
ALAMEDA, Calif.-(BUSINESS WIRE)- BioTime, Inc. (OTCBB:BTIM) announced today that Walter Funk, Ph.D. has joined its management team as Vice President for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Funk will participate in the management of BioTime's team of scientists developing numerous products from human embryonic stem cells for use in research and in novel therapies for human diseases.
Dr. Funk is an experienced biotechnology professional, having held both senior technical and executive research positions over the past 15 years. He trained in Biochemistry (Ph.D., University of British Columbia) and has published over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles. He was one of the first scientists to join Geron Corporation, and participated in the isolation of the telomerase gene which allows certain cells, such as embryonic stem cells, to proliferate without aging. Later at Geron, he worked with the world's first human embryonic stem cell lines and provided the first detailed description of their gene expression patterns through a collaboration with Celera Corporation. Dr. Funk subsequently held the position of V.P. Research at Nuvelo, Inc., where he led a team developing novel human biotherapeutics. His group identified R-spondin proteins, an important new class of human growth factors that have completed Phase 1a clinical trials, and also developed new antibodies intended for use in the treatment of human malignancies. Most recently, Dr. Funk co-founded Parallax Venture Partners, a seed-stage venture capital group, and sits on the boards of Gene Oracle, a leading provider of synthetic gene technologies and services and Phyllom, LLC, an agricultural biotech product development company.
"I am excited to join the BioTime team at such an important time in the company's development," said Dr. Funk. "The development of the ACTCellerateTM embryonic progenitor cell technology represents a fundamental advancement of cell therapeutic strategies, providing for the first time an elegantly simple means of scaling up commercial quantities of highly purified human cell types. I look forward to helping BioTime execute a strategic plan to push this technology towards commercialization. Our recent award of a prestigious CIRM grant will help BioTime and its collaborators make rapid progress toward this goal."
"We couldn't be more enthusiastic about Dr. Funk's decision to join the BioTime management team. He has a track record of consistently providing critical scientific expertise and executive acumen," said Michael D. West, Ph.D., CEO of BioTime. "His expertise in genomics will help us reach our goal of leading the emerging industry of regenerative medicine by providing the first detailed gene expression map of BioTime's hundreds of proprietary cell lines."
About BioTime, Inc.
BioTime, headquartered in Alameda, California, is a biotechnology company focused on regenerative medicine and blood plasma volume expanders. BioTime develops and markets research products in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine through its wholly owned subsidiary Embryome Sciences, Inc. In addition to its stem cell products, BioTime has developed blood plasma volume expanders and related technology for use in surgery, emergency trauma treatment, and other applications. BioTime's lead product, Hextend®, is a blood plasma expander manufactured and distributed in the U.S. by Hospira, Inc. and in South Korea by CJ CheilJedang Corp. under exclusive licensing agreements. Additional information about BioTime can be found on the web at www.biotimeinc.com.
ACTCellerateTM is a trademark licensed to BioTime's subsidiary Embryome Sciences, Inc. by Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
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