Cynata Therapeutics announces CEO succession and board changes

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Australian clinical-stage cell therapy company Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) has announced the appointment of Dr Kilian Kelly as its new CEO and managing director.

Dr Kelly, who succeeds the recently retired Dr Ross Macdonald, has been the company's chief operating officer since May 2019, joining the company in 2014.

The company also announced that Dr David Atkins has joined its board of directors.

Dr Atkins is the managing partner of BioScience Managers, an international healthcare investment firm and a major Cynata shareholder.

Dr Stewart Washer will step down from his position as a non-executive director.

Chair Dr Geoff Brooke said, “The appointment of Kilian as managing director and CEO reflects the exciting growth and maturation of Cynata, and comes at a crucial time, further positioning the leadership team to effectively develop the Company’s rich and diverse clinical pipeline.

"Kilian joined the company in 2014 and since then has demonstrated an extraordinary capability in swiftly progressing its ground-breaking cell therapy products from the laboratory to clinical trials.

"Notably, Kilian oversaw the development of CYP-001, Cynata’s lead Cymerus product for acute graft-versus-host disease. He expertly navigated a complex regulatory, manufacturing and clinical pathway, leading to a highly successful clinical trial in this disease. His knowledge of the Company’s platform technology and experience in the pharmaceutical industry will be essential as we advance the pipeline and progress our engagement with potential commercial partners.

“Dr Atkins’ 30 years of international experience in product development and commercialisation across biotech, pharma and medical devices brings substantial life sciences and financial expertise to the Cynata Board, strengthening its capabilities.”

“With Kilian's exceptional track record in rapidly advancing cell therapies and Dr Atkins' wealth of knowledge and experience, we are confident in our ability to further develop our clinical pipeline and maximise the potential of our platform technology.

“I would like to thank and extend the Board's sincere appreciation to Stewart and Ross who, as founding Chairman and founding CEO, respectively, drove Cynata’s IPO in 2013 and continuously made enormous contributions to building the Company and its technology. We value their significant contributions, leadership and dedication, which has been instrumental in fostering a culture of innovation and operational excellence at Cynata. We wish them both well.” said Dr David Atkins.

“Cynata is the leading company worldwide in the development of iPSC-derived MSC therapeutic products. With a robust clinical pipeline, the Company has multiple active and near-term product development and partnering avenues. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help guide the Company’s ongoing success as a pioneering biotechnology company at the forefront of developing innovative cell therapies and regenerative medicines.”