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ViaCyte Appoints Mark Foletta, former CFO of Amylin, to its Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte, Inc., a leading regenerative medicine company developing a transformative cell therapy for treatment of diabetes, announced today that Mark G. Foletta has been appointed to its Board of Directors.


Mr. Foletta is a seasoned financial executive with over 30 years of corporate experience.  He was most recently senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He joined Amylin in 2000 and served through its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb for approximately $7 billion in August 2012.  During his time at Amylin the company grew from 75 to over 1,300 employees and he was instrumental leading numerous strategic transactions with global pharmaceutical companies, as well as public and private financing transactions.  As chair of Amylin's Operating Committee, he had responsibility for business planning, forecasting and assessing performance.  He also participated in the commercial launch of three novel pharmaceutical products that generated annual revenues reaching over $700M. 

Prior to Amylin, Mr. Foletta worked 14 years at Intermark, Inc./Triton Group Ltd. where he served as senior vice president, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary.  Mark began his career in 1982 as an Audit Manager at Ernst & Young, LLP in San Diego.  He holds a B.A. in Business Economics and is a Certified Public Accountant (currently inactive).  

"We are pleased to welcome Mark to our Board of Directors," said Paul Laikind, Ph.D., ViaCyte's president and Chief Executive Officer.  "With our promising cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes, the VC-01™ combination product, expected to enter the clinic next year, we will be exploring the new strategic and/or financial transactions that will continue to fuel our growth.  Mark's many years as a senior finance executive, including 12 years in the biotechnology sector with a company focused on diabetes, will undoubtedly serve us well as we navigate our way to success."

"I am looking forward to working closely with the team at ViaCyte," said Mr. Foletta.  "VC-01 holds the promise of transforming the way patients with type 1 diabetes manage their disease.  In fact, if VC-01 performs in humans as it has in animal studies, it could effectively cure the disease for patients with type 1 diabetes and be an important new therapy for those patients with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes as well.  It is an exciting time for the company and I am pleased to lend my expertise."

Fred Middleton, ViaCyte's Chairman of the Board said, "On behalf of the board and management of ViaCyte, I want to join Paul in welcoming Mark to the team."

ViaCyte has held productive meetings with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada and is on track to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) Application to support the initiation of clinical evaluation of the VC-01 combination product in patients with diabetes in mid-2014. 

About ViaCyte

ViaCyte is a private company focused on developing a novel cell therapy for the treatment of diabetes. The Company's technology is based on the production of pancreatic beta cell progenitors derived from human pluripotent stem cells. These cells are implanted using a durable and retrievable encapsulation device. Once implanted and matured, these cells secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels. ViaCyte's goal is long term insulin independence without immune suppression, and without risk of hypoglycemia and other diabetes-related complications.

ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional operations in Athens, Georgia. The Company is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.


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