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iZumi Bio, Inc., Appoints John Walker as Chief Executive Officer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- iZumi Bio, Inc., announced today the appointment of John P. Walker as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the company's Board of Directors. Walker was most recently the Chairman and CEO of Novacea, Inc. which merged with Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc. in January 2009.


iZumi Bio is focused on the development of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology to transform drug discovery and enable the promise of regenerative medicine.

"This is an exceptionally exciting time to be joining iZumi Bio, as we are seeing an increasing interest in the promise of stem cells to transform many aspects of the pharmaceutical industry," said Walker. "iZumi Bio has a leading position in industrializing the potential of iPS cells. Our goal is to create fully annotated, disease specific human cell lines that will fundamentally change the way in which small molecule drug discovery and development will be conducted in the future."

He continued, "Additionally, the development of these differentiated cell lines will enable the development of patient specific and cell replacement therapies."

Prior to joining Novacea, Walker, serving as a consultant and investor, was Executive Chairman and Principal Executive Officer of Renovis Inc.; Chairman and Interim CEO of Guava Technologies; KAI Pharmaceuticals and Centaur Pharmaceuticals; and Chairman and CEO of Bayhill Therapeutics. From 1993 to 2001, he was Chairman and CEO of Arris Pharmaceuticals and its successor corporation AXYS Pharmaceuticals Inc., and previously was Chairman and CEO of Vitaphore Corporation.

Walker began his career with American Hospital Supply Corporation, where he last served as President of the American Hospital Company. His many board experiences have included serving as Chairman of Signal Pharmaceuticals and Microcide Pharmaceuticals Inc., and a director of Geron Corporation, Discovery Partners Inc., and several other private companies.

"We are very pleased to have John joining iZumi Bio as CEO," explained Beth Seidenberg M.D., a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Chairperson of iZumi Bio. "His considerable experience across a wide range of companies, therapeutic areas and technologies, including human embryonic stem cells, will help accelerate the full realization of iZumi Bio's iPS technology."

Walker received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program, J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Affymax, Inc., Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Evotec AG.

About iZumi Bio, Inc.

iZumi Bio, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Highland Capital Partners. iZumi Bio is using the power of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) to transform drug discovery and enable the promise of regenerative medicine. In June 2008, iZumi Bio announced a broad regenerative medicine and cardiovascular disease partnership with The Gladstone Institutes. The name iZumi, which in Japanese means "fountain of youth," was chosen to honor the Japanese origins of iPS technology. iZumi Bio is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SOURCE iZumi Bio, Inc.
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