Healthcare Industry News:  pharmacogenomic 

Biopharmaceuticals Regenerative Medicine Personnel

 News Release - February 22, 2007

VistaGen Therapeutics Names Dr. Matthew W. Kalnik as Executive Vice President

Seasoned Biopharmaceutical Executive Will Head Business Development Initiatives for Emerging Stem Cell Technology Leader

BURLINGAME, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc., a platform-enabled biopharmaceutical company using embryonic stem cell technologies for drug discovery and development, has named Matthew W. Kalnik, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President, Head of Business Development.

Dr. Kalnik is a pharmaceutical and biotechnology executive with 17 years of global experience in drug discovery, development and commercialization. Prior to joining VistaGen, he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development & Licensing at Genaissance, Executive Director, Global Business Management, Head of pharmacogenomics Commercialization and Director of Technology Acquisitions, Group Research at Pharmacia/Pfizer, and Senior Director, Technology Development at Daiichi Medical Research. He has also authored over a dozen primary research papers. Dr. Kalnik commented, "I am very pleased to join VistaGen because of its strong management team and leading embryonic stem-cell based platform that is already delivering a rich set of novel, functionally-relevant targets and drug candidates in metabolic and neurological diseases. VistaGen's toxicity assessment capabilities are unique to the industry and will enable clinically-relevant biological screens to be introduced earlier in the process, helping us and our biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners to manage the high risk and cost of drug development."

"Dr. Kalnik adds significant expertise to our team at this critical point in VistaGen's growth," said H. Ralph Snodgrass, Ph.D., VistaGen's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are now well-positioned to leverage our core embryonic stem cell technologies to establish multiple strategic drug discovery and development partnerships and predictive toxicology collaborations involving fully-differentiated, functional human heart, nerve, liver and insulin-producing beta-islet cells. Dr. Kalnik is the right person to lead our corporate outreach program that is focused on commercializing our stem cell platform in collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide."

VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. is a platform-enabled, biopharmaceutical company pioneering the use of embryonic stem cells ("ES Cells") as proprietary biological systems for drug discovery and development. VistaGen's core technology is an ES Cell-based platform that could offer a renewable source of breakthrough small molecule drugs and protein therapeutics for a wide variety of diseases, including diabetes and multiple neurological disorders such as neuropathic pain, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. VistaGen's customized ES Cell-based biological assays and screening systems help discover, validate and prioritize novel drug targets, as well as identify the biological function and potential therapeutic utility of new small molecule drug and protein therapeutic candidates with greater efficiency compared to traditional industry techniques. VistaGen recently announced positive results from preclinical studies of AV-101, its lead drug candidate, in animal models of neuropathic pain, as well as studies relevant to Parkinson's disease. These preclinical studies suggest that AV-101, a first-in-class prodrug, has the potential to treat pain caused by nerve damage associated with diabetes, viral infections, injuries, and cancer, and potentially the symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease.

Source: VistaGen Therapeutics

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