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President and CEO of Velcura Therapeutics Inc. Named the 2008 Grant Thornton Leader and Innovator of the Year

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Michael W. Long recently was named the third-annual Grant Thornton Leader and Innovator of the Year. The "Leader & Innovator" award recognizes and rewards leaders and innovators in the state of Michigan who have demonstrated or created unique ideas, products or abilities that generate a better quality of life in our communities. Nominees were recognized this month at a ceremony at Lawrence Technological University for their proven, successful leadership of Michigan companies, community organizations and enterprises.

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"The importance of these men and women to Michigan's future cannot be overestimated," Lewis N. Walker, Lawrence Tech president, said about the 44 nominees. "These profilees and their innovative accomplishments prove that our state continues to be a global source of technological and societal advancement. We are delighted to join with our partners WWJ and Grant Thornton LLP to help recognize the successes of this remarkable group."

"Grant Thornton LLP believes the strength of Michigan is dependent on people in communities across the state that show their leadership through innovation, perseverance and professionalism - traits found in all the nominees," said Paul Wolber, managing partner at Grant Thornton LLP. "For these reasons we are blessed to be able to publicly recognize all their efforts and hard work, and we especially congratulate Dr. Long for being selected the Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year."

In accepting the award, Dr. Long noted that the State has done a lot to foster and support Innovation and that Michigan has some of the best colleges and universities in the nation, but stressed that more must be done to encourage students to stay here after they graduate.

Dr. Long received his undergraduate degree in biology and master's and doctoral degrees in human physiology from Wayne State University's School of Medicine. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center and sabbatical training at one of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute laboratories. A professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan until 2003, Dr. Long left the university to lead his biotechnology firm dedicated to fighting bone disease. He led the development of 15 patents at U-M, as well as three recent patents at Velcura. Dr. Long has served on multiple national grant review committees at the National Institutes of Health and other national organizations. He speaks at many scientific conferences, has been a reviewer for numerous scientific publications and authored more than 70 articles.

"Life sciences and biotechnology are strongly growing fields in Michigan and will provide novel therapies and medical devices to cure diseases," Dr. Long said. "It's a very exciting time to be in the field." More than 250 million people in the world suffer from bone diseases and Velcura Therapeutics is developing highly differentiated therapies such as VEL-0230, which just ended a successful Phase I clinical trial. These diseases have an overall 18.5 percent growth rate and the market for their treatment is expected to reach $65 billion by 2030.

Additional information about Leader & Innovator award is posted at and each spring a Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year is selected from among weekly honorees profiled in co-sponsor WWJ News Radio 950's Great Lakes IT Report.

About Velcura Therapeutics, Inc.

Velcura Therapeutics Inc. is an early stage biotechnology company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Velcura's research focus is to understand human bone disease and to discover novel therapeutics that restore bone health. Velcura develops highly differentiated therapies for bone disease; specifically, therapies that restore the balance between bone building and bone loss activities in a single molecule. Velcura uses its patented platform technologies to discover and optimize these compounds. More information is at
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Michael W. Long, Ph.D.

SOURCE Velcura Therapeutics, Inc.
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