Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. (“Caladrius” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CLBS), a cell therapy company combining an industry-leading development and manufacturing services provider with a therapeutic development pipeline, announces the appointment of Steven S. Myers, previously the Board’s lead independent Director, as interim Chairman of the Board, subsequent to the resignation of Robin L. Smith, M.D, as Chairman of the Board and a Director. In connection with Dr. Smith’s resignation, Dr. Smith and the Company entered into a consulting agreement under which Dr. Smith will advise the Company with respect to certain business, scientific, medical and financial matters for a term of six months. In addition, the Company announces the appointment of Robert A. Preti, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Technical Operations and Chief Technology Officer of Caladrius Biosciences, to its Board of Directors. With these changes, the Caladrius Biosciences Board remains at eight Directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Preti to the Board as we believe his in-depth knowledge of and experience with cell therapy development and manufacture will provide us with invaluable insight and guidance as we continue to build our PCT business as an important foundational asset and driver of future value for our Company,” stated David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Caladrius Biosciences. “We thank Dr. Smith for her many years of service to the Company and its Board and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Dr. Preti is the President and co-founder of PCT, a Caladrius company, and the visionary behind its successful growth and development strategy over much of the last two decades. As Chief Technology Officer of Caladrius, he is involved in assessing and directing the development of Caladrius’ cell therapy pipeline, as well as participating in setting the Company’s strategic direction.
Dr. Preti built PCT to meet a recognized need for high quality manufacturing and development services in an emerging industry. As the cell therapy field has grown, so too has PCT— the company has now served over 120 clients and performed more than 20,000 cell therapy procedures. His leadership has been instrumental in creating PCT’s client-focused model that helps bridge the gap between discovery and patient care through efficient transfer of cell-based therapies from laboratory to clinical practice to commercialization.
Before assuming his role at PCT, Dr. Preti held a number of positions within the cellular therapy and blood banking fields. From 1996 to 1999, he was the director of hematopoietic stem cell processing and applied research at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. He served in several capacities with the New York Blood Center from 1990 to 1997, including tissue bank director, director of hematopoietic stem cell processing, scientific director and associate investigator. He also worked as a research scientist for Marrow-Tech Incorporated, which went on to become Advanced Tissue Sciences (ATIS), where work in his laboratory lead to the Dermagraft product currently marketed by Organogenesis.
In addition, Dr. Preti has served on the Stem Cell Banking Committee and Cord Blood Subcommittee of the New York State Department of Health and on the New Jersey State Department of Health’s Blood Bank Advisory Committee, chairing the Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Processing Subcommittee. He has served in a leadership capacity for many professional organizations, including treasurer and founding member of the International Society of Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering, now called ISCT (International Society for Cellular Therapy). He has published and presented extensively on a variety of topics relating to cellular therapies. He recently completed a five year term as a director for AABB, and is currently Vice Chairman for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), where, among other activities, he co-chaired the Standards and Technology Committee.
Dr. Preti holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Fordham University, and a Master of Science degree and Doctorate, both in biology, from New York University.
About Caladrius Biosciences
Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. is among the first of a new breed of immunotherapy companies with proven expertise and unique experience in cell process optimization, development, and manufacturing. Caladrius combines a leading cell therapy service provider with a development pipeline based on proprietary platform technologies. This integrated approach supports the industry in bringing significant life-improving medical treatments to market.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, as of the date of this press release, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the “Risk Factors” described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 2, 2015, and in the Company’s other periodic filings with the SEC. The Company’s further development is highly dependent on, among other things, future medical and research developments and market acceptance, which is outside of its control.