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iPierian Appoints Dr. Matthew J. Plunkett as Chief Financial Officer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- iPierian, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on changing the paradigm of drug discovery and development through the application of cellular reprogramming, today announced the appointment of Matthew J. Plunkett, Ph.D., as vice president and chief financial officer.

"Capital formation is critical to our long term success, and Matt's career over the last decade has given him the experience and network to help position iPierian with the investor community," said John P. Walker, chief executive officer of iPierian. "In addition, his scientific background will enable him to articulate the truly unique contribution of cellular reprogramming in shaping the future of drug discovery and development."

Prior to joining iPierian, Dr. Plunkett spent nine years at Oppenheimer & Co., most recently as Managing Director where he lead the firm's biotechnology investment banking practice for the West Coast. His investment banking experience includes over 60 completed biopharmaceutical transactions, including initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, convertible debt, private placements, M&A and financial advisory assignments. Previously, he worked as a research scientist at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and at Axys Advanced Technologies. He received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked in the lab of Dr. Jonathan Ellman to develop synthetic methodology for the synthesis of structurally diverse small-molecule combinatorial libraries for drug discovery and lead optimization. He received a B.S. with honors in Chemistry, with a History concentration, from Harvey Mudd College.

About iPierian

iPierian is a South San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the industrialization of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technology with the mission of creating new therapeutics through cellular reprogramming and directed differentiation of patient cells. iPierian is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Highland Capital Partners, MPM Capital and FinTech Global Capital. The initial focus of the company is in neurodegeneration, particularly spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease as well as in cardiovascular disease, where iPierian has a collaboration with The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Dr. Deepak Srivastava, the institute's director. iPierian plans to enhance its partnership efforts to further expand into metabolic diseases. Earlier this year, the company announced a formal collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University to develop and improve methods of deriving iPS cell lines in order to advance iPS cell technology.

Because iPS cells are believed to be able to grow indefinitely in culture and to differentiate into many cell types, iPS cells have great potential for disease research, preclinical drug testing and cell-based therapy. iPierian's approach places the patient at the forefront of the drug discovery process in order to reduce drug development time and increase the probability of success for drug candidates. iPierian plans to use precise human disease models to find new molecular targets and develop proprietary therapeutic small molecule or biologic drugs for its own pipeline to treat specific diseases.

SOURCE iPierian, Inc.
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