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Top Ranked Equity Analyst Joins Vital Therapies, Inc.

SAN DIEGO, March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vital Therapies, Inc., a development stage biotechnology company focused on allogeneic cellular therapy for acute liver failure, today announced that it has appointed Duane Nash, MD, JD, MBA, as the company's Chief Business Officer and Medical Director. Dr. Nash joins Vital Therapies, Inc., from Wedbush PacGrow Life Sciences where he was Senior Vice President in Equity Research. According to STARMINE® / Thomson Reuters, Dr. Nash is currently ranked first among 66 equity research analysts nationwide who publish in the biotechnology market, based on prior 12 month return on recommendations.    

Dr. Nash received a BA in Biology from Williams College, an MD from Dartmouth Medical School, a JD from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA from the University of Oxford.  He completed his internship in General Surgery at the University of California at San Francisco, where he served as a member of the liver transplant team.  Dr. Nash also practiced as an attorney for six years, most recently at the law firm of Davis Polk, where he focused on intellectual property litigation and corporate matters.  

"Liver failure poses a staggering unmet need both in the United States and worldwide," said Dr. Nash.  "Fortunately, Vital Therapies' ELAD® has shown unique promise, with preliminary data suggesting it may improve survival among patients with acute liver failure.  I'm honored to play a role in the company's upcoming pivotal trials where we hope to confirm preliminary findings, and also in ELAD's subsequent commercialization."    

"We are delighted Dr. Nash is joining our program to commercialize ELAD in USA, EU and worldwide," said Terry Winters, PhD, Vital Therapies, Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "His unique mix of skills and experience in the life sciences will be invaluable in helping to transition the company to the public markets and in implementing our upcoming pivotal studies for marketing approval. His intimate knowledge of both clinical practice for liver disease and the breadth of new technologies under development is a compliment to the potential of ELAD in liver therapy."

About Vital Therapies, Inc.

Vital Therapies, Inc. is a private development-stage biotechnology company based in San Diego, California.  The company is developing ELAD®, an extracorporeal liver support system which functions by processing toxins and synthesizing proteins and metabolites that are the key processes of normal human liver function, and represents the first human allogeneic cellular therapy for acute liver failure.  Vital Therapies has completed seven clinical trials including a pivotal trial in China, which was used to file for marketing approval in China and which remains pending.  A US/EU pivotal trial plan to secure BLA and MAA approval has received written guidance from FDA and EMA. The first protocol under this plan, for a survival trial in acute alcoholic hepatitis, has been allowed by FDA. The trial should start soon.

About ELAD

ELAD is a bedside system whose central component is four cartridges containing 440 grams of immortalized human liver cells and 32,000 hollow fibers.  The patient's plasma flows inside of the hollow fibers to allow two-way transfer of metabolites.  During ELAD therapy the cells metabolize toxins and synthesize proteins and other liver specific products essential for life. The ELAD cell cartridges are produced at VTI's GMP-compliant facility in San Diego, California.

ELAD is a trademark of Vital Therapies, Inc.

STARMINE is a trademark of Thomson Reuters

SOURCE Vital Therapies, Inc.
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