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$2.5 Million Gift Aims to Help Children Survive and Thrive

Dr. David Wessel Named IKARIA® Distinguished Professor of Critical Care Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center

Washington, DC (Vocus) March 24, 2010 -- On Tuesday Children’s National Medical Center appointed David L. Wessel, MD, as the first IKARIA® Distinguished Professor of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Wessel is the division chief and senior vice president of hospital-based specialties and is internationally known for his pioneering work in caring for infants with heart disease.

The $2.5 million endowment was created by IKARIA, a biotherapeutics company whose acute care products and therapies address the significant unmet needs of critically ill patients.

“The dedication of the health care professionals who work in the critical care environment is our constant inspiration,” said Daniel Tassé, chairman and chief executive officer of IKARIA. “Caring for critically ill patients demands commitment, passion and perseverance, and we are honored to have the opportunity to recognize the outstanding work of Dr. David Wessel, who has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in this area.”

Edwin K. Zechman Jr., president and CEO of Children’s National, said, “We are grateful for IKARIA’s generosity and commitment to improving the care of our most vulnerable patients. This partnership will be life-changing – and life-saving – for so many.”

Dr. Wessel said, “We are convinced that refining critical care treatments will improve long-term physical and developmental outcomes for our young patients. At Children’s National Medical Center, our goal is for children to not only survive, but thrive.”

Educated and trained in medicine at Oxford, Yale and Harvard, Dr. Wessel joined Children’s National Medical Center in July 2007. Prior to joining Children’s National he was professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and senior associate in cardiology and anesthesia at Children’s Hospital Boston. He is board certified in anesthesiology, pediatrics, pediatric cardiology and pediatric critical care medicine.

An experienced scientist and clinical researcher with over 100 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Wessel has made seminal contributions to the field of critical care medicine. Widely viewed as the “father of pediatric cardiac intensive care,” he has trained a vast number of practicing clinical leaders in the field. Dr. Wessel has also been listed as one of the “Best Doctors in America” continuously since the inception of the ranking.

Dr. Wessel is married and has four children.

Contact Stacy Williams, 301-565-8523, stwillia(at)cnmc(dot)org

About Children’s National Medical Center
Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a proven leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit

About IKARIA Holdings, Inc.
Ikaria Holdings, Inc. is a biotherapeutics company whose acute care products and therapies address the significant unmet needs of critically ill patients. The company’s lead product, INOMAX® (nitric oxide) for inhalation, is the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of hypoxic respiratory failure in term and near-term newborns, and also is marketed in Canada, Europe, Latin America, Australia, Japan and Mexico. Ikaria is engaged in new and ongoing clinical development of INOMAX and hydrogen sulfide. Ikaria acquired the North American rights to terlipressin, a potential treatment for hepatorenal syndrome Type 1, as well as the exclusive worldwide licenses to BL-1040, a potential breakthrough treatment for preventing pathological cardiac remodeling following acute myocardial infarction, and to a portfolio of investigational compounds focused on vascular leakage for a range of critical care conditions, such as acute lung and kidney injury. Ikaria is headquartered in Clinton, N.J., with research facilities in Seattle, Wash., and Madison, Wisc., and a manufacturing facility in Port Allen, La. For more information, visit


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