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iZumi Bio Appoints Dr. Berta Strulovici as Chief Technology Officer and Dr. Dushyant Pathak as Vice President of Business Development
Date:5/6/2009

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- iZumi Bio, Inc., a biotechnology 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, today announced the appointments of Berta Strulovici, Ph.D., as chief technology officer (CTO) and Dushyant Pathak, Ph.D., as vice president of Business Development.

"The appointments of Drs. Strulovici and Pathak at iZumi are a critical part of our ability to execute on our business strategy as we continue to expand our management team. Berta's deep drug discovery expertise across a wide range of therapeutic areas and technologies, including stem cell technology, will accelerate iZumi's goal of making drug discovery and development faster, more efficient and informed," said John P. Walker, chief executive officer of iZumi. "Dushyant's proven track record in creating alliances with both pharmaceutical partners and research institutions will be instrumental to iZumi's partnering and commercial strategies."

Prior to joining iZumi, Dr. Strulovici served as vice president, Basic Research at Merck Research Laboratories and head of Automated Biology at Merck & Co. At Merck, she was responsible for molecular target identification and led the worldwide development and execution of the early discovery pipeline across all therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Merck in 1996, she held positions at Tularik, Inc. and Syntex Research. Dr. Strulovici received her Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and conducted her work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Pathak joins iZumi from Cellexicon, Inc., where he served as president and chief business officer. He previously held senior management positions at Renovis, Inc., Centaur Pharmaceuticals, and BioProtocol, Inc. Dr. Pathak has more than ten years experience closing strategically important corporate deals resulting in productive alliances with major pharmaceutical partners and research institutions. Dr. Pathak was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund postdoctoral fellow and an associate research scientist at Yale University's Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He completed his doctorate degree at Northwestern University and received his MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

About iZumi Bio

iZumi Bio is a South San Francisco-based biotechnology company initially 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. Izumi was founded in 2007 and is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Highland Capital Partners. 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 iZumi has a collaboration with The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Deepak Srivastava, M.D. iZumi is also collaborating with the laboratory of Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University on the research, development and application of iPS technology with the goal of advancing drug discovery and enabling cell-based therapies.

Because iPS cells have stem-cell-like properties and have the potential to differentiate into any cell type, iPS cells are considered to be of great potential for disease research, preclinical drug testing and cell-based therapy. iZumi's approach places the patient at the forefront of the drug discovery process, which could reduce drug development time and increase the probability of success for drug candidates. iZumi plans to use cellular reprogramming, including its iPS technology, to find new molecular targets and develop proprietary therapeutic small molecule or biologic drugs for its own pipeline to treat specific diseases.


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SOURCE iZumi Bio, Inc.
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