New chairman for Cynata Therapeutics

Company News

Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company, Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP), has announced the appointment of current non-executive director Dr Paul Wotton as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The company said the Board believes Dr Wotton has the skills, focus and proven track record to help steer it through its next stage of growth as it transitions into a clinical stage company.

It confirmed past chairman Dr Stewart Washer will remain on the Board as a non-executive Director.

Cynata recently announced a strategic partnership agreement with Fujifilm that included the Japanese company investing in the company to become its largest shareholder.

Fujifilm is a world leader in the regenerative medicine field and in 2015 purchased Cynata’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology partner company, Cellular Dynamics International, for US$307m.

Cynata holds exclusive worldwide rights to the technology required to make clinically useful stem cell medicines (mesenchymal stem cells: MCSs) from these iPSCs.

Dr Wotton said he was delighted to accept the chairman’s position at Cynata and appreciated the work of Dr Stewart Washer to create a stable base for the Company’s long term growth.

“From the moment I joined the board of Cynata it has been clear that our therapeutic stem cell platform technology, Cymerus, is going to play a potentially significant role in helping to treat many challenging and life-threatening diseases such as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). I am looking forward to working with Ross Macdonald and the team as we continue to execute against our strategic plan,” added Dr Wotton.

Cynata chief executive, Dr Ross Macdonald, said he was delighted Dr Wotton had accepted the role of chairman, given his investor network and successful track record of growing and building a range of life sciences and stem cell companies.

“With our recent history of clinical trial approval success and the breakthrough deal with Fujifilm, it is critical that Cynata maintains the momentum to grow to its full potential,’’ said Dr Macdonald.

He also paid tribute to former chair Dr Stewart Washer, who is remaining on the Cynata Board as a non-executive director.

“Dr Washer is one of the visionaries of Australian biotechnology and his leadership and experience has been vital in Cynata’s growth trajectory so far.

“We are very fortunate to have him remaining on the board,’’ added Dr Macdonald.