Organovo Holdings, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on delivering three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology, announced that Richard A. Heyman, Ph.D. has been nominated to be elected to the Company's Board at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on Aug. 21.
Dr. Heyman is an experienced life science executive who is currently chief executive officer of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which he co-founded in 2009. In June 2013, Aragon announced a definitive agreement with Johnson and Johnson whereby Aragon will be acquired for up to $1 billion dollars in total transaction value. Previously, Dr. Heyman was Chief Scientific Officer at Kalypsys, Inc., where he conducted drug discovery in therapeutic areas such as metabolic diseases, pain, and inflammation. In 1999, he co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics, a company that developed compounds targeting nuclear receptors for the treatment of metabolic diseases. X-Ceptor was acquired by Exelixis in 2004. Before X-Ceptor, he was VP of Research at Ligand Pharmaceuticals and was project leader for multiple discovery programs, including the successful identification and development of Panretin and Targretin, retinoids approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He received a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota and a BS in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.
"The election of Richard Heyman to our Board will be another key step forward for Organovo. Dr. Heyman has deep experience in life sciences, scientific knowledge in drug discovery, and a proven ability to guide companies to success in developing novel pharmaceuticals. These will strongly assist our efforts to strategically leverage our unique capabilities in building human models of disease," said Keith Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Organovo.
Dr. Heyman is expected to replace Andras Forgacs on the Organovo board when Forgacs's board term expires at the same Aug. 21 meeting. Forgacs is a founder of Organovo and has served as a director of the Company since its inception.
"As a founder of Organovo and a board member for six years, Andras Forgacs has had a powerful impact in shaping the success of our company. His passion for moving the company forward, his insights and guidance, and his ability to create opportunities for the company to grow have been vitally important contributions. We expect to continue to have a strong relationship with Andras," said Keith Murphy, Organovo chief executive officer.
"Having been a part of Organovo since its earliest conception, I am extremely proud of what the company has achieved to date. It has been a pleasure to serve on the Organovo board and to push the company forward in unlocking the tremendous potential of 3D bioprinting," said Andras Forgacs. "Dr. Heyman's accomplishments and experience will make him an excellent addition to Organovo's board of directors."
Following Dr. Heyman's election to the Board, Organovo's Board will increase the current majority of independent directors on the Board from three to four out of five members. The Company's Nominating Committee has formally endorsed Dr. Heyman's candidacy in the Company's Proxy Statement, which can be reviewed on the Company's website under SEC filings.
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