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Monday, June 13, 2016 News

Promethera Biosciences Announces Expansion of the Executive Management Team and Appointment of New Chairman of the Board of Directors

Promethera Biosciences SA, a Belgian biopharmaceutical company developing a variety of cell therapies for the treatment of inborn liver metabolic diseases (ILMD) and acquired liver diseases with high unmet medical needs, today announces the appointment of a new Chairman of the board as well as a Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer.

Dr. Torsten Hombeck, Ph.D. has been appointed Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer. Dr. Hombeck will lead Promethera’s commercial and pre-commercialization activities. He will also be responsible for the general strategy of Promethera Biosciences, which includes market access, pricing and re-imbursement and regulatory filing strategies for its lead product candidate families Heparesc®, HepaStem and H2Stem.

Promethera has also appointed Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich to the board as Chairman.
Dr. Hettich replaces Dr. John Tchelingerian who has held the Chairman position from December 2014 and was subsequently appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Promethera in September 2015. Since then, he has held both roles. This enables Dr. Tchelingerian to exclusively focus on the role of CEO.

“Dr. Hombeck has extensive experience in leading commercialization activities as well as developing strategic plans for biopharmaceutical companies. He will be an excellent addition to our executive management team in an area of critical importance. His skillset will be an immediate attribute to the company as we finalize the integration of the business combination with Cytonet and prepare for a regulatory filing for Heparesc® with Health Canada prior to a potential commercial launch in selected countries,” said Dr. John Tchelingerian, Chief Executive Officer.

“In addition, the appointment of Dr. Hettich as Chairman of the Board is very important to Promethera. His investor experience in funding and building biopharmaceutical companies and guiding them through the different stages in their respective life cycles together with his professional background as a corporate lawyer will be instrumental for Promethera.”

Dr. Hombeck has nearly two decades of biopharmaceutical industry experience. He has held several senior executive positions with responsibility for business and corporate development, commercialization, strategy and finance He was a Co-CEO and Chief Business Officer at Cytonet GmbH and Co KG, spokesperson, Co-CEO and Chief Financial Officer at Agennix AG and Chief Financial officer at GPC Biotech AG. Dr. Hombeck has extensive experience in clinical and commercial drug development, as well as with regulatory filings for various drug development product candidates and financings of private and public companies including IPOs and follow ons. He received an MBA and Ph.D. in finance from the European Business School University of Business and Law in Oestrich-Winkel, Germany.

“Preparing the commercial launch of Heparesc®, is a promising opportunity for Promethera as well as for patients,” said Dr. Torsten Hombeck. “Heparesc®, combined with Promethera’s wider product portfolio can change the treatment paradigm of liver diseases. As a result, I am looking forward to working with the entire Promethera team.”

Dr. Hettich is a lawyer and partner at Rittershaus Rechtsanwälte in Mannheim, Germany and is also a co-founder and managing director of dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG. For many years he has been on boards of private and publicly traded companies in different industry sectors. Dr. Hettich is currently also the Chief Executive Officer of SRH Holding as well as an honorary professor at the Hochschule Heidelberg and an assistant lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. He studied law and political science at the Universities of Freiburg, Würzburg and Mannheim, Germany and received his Ph.D. from the University of Würzburg, Germany.

“I consider Promethera to be a highly innovative company with a promising future,” said Prof. Dr. Christof Hettich. “The next couple of years will be critical to continue to build a sustainable, commercially driven organization and I am happy to lead the board in this very important time.”

About Promethera Biosciences
Promethera is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company and the global leader and most advanced cell therapy and regenerative medicine company for the treatment of inborn and acquired liver diseases with no effective therapeutic cure.

Promethera uses allogeneic progenitor cells, stem cells and mature hepatocytes harvested and purified from non-transplantable, healthy human livers (Heterologous Human Adult Liver-derived Progenitor Cells, HHALPC and Heterologous Human Liver Cells, HHLivC). Using its three different cell products, Heparesc® (mature hepatocytes), HepaStem and H2Stem (progenitor/stem cells), Promethera develops therapeutic options for the treatment of a broad variety of liver diseases ranging from orphan indications, such as rare inborn metabolic diseases including urea cycle disorders (UCD) or inherited diseases such a1at deficiency (.1-antitrypsin)and hemophilia to large indications such as acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF), fibrosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatits (NASH). Heparesc® is a pre-commercial product candidate that has been studied in two open multi-center clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy in children with neonatal urea cycle defects. The Company is preparing for a new drug submission (NDS) for Heparesc® with Health Canada and a potential commercial launch of Heparesc® in selected countries.

HepaStem successfully completed a phase I/II clinical study in UCD and Crigler-Najjar syndrome (CNS) and is currently in phase II clinical study in UCD patients under 12 years old. Further, HepaStem will be positioned based on its mesenchymal cell (MSC) features in acquired liver diseases by end of 2016 for a phase II safety clinical trial in ACLF. H2Stem a follow-on progenitor / stem cell with hepato-biliary features will enter the clinical stage in 2017 and target inborn metabolic diseases or inherited diseases such a1at deficiency.

Founded in 2009 by Prof. Etienne Sokal and the tech transfer office (TTO) of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Sopartec, Promethera Biosciences is a spin-off of the Walloon Region-based UCL. With headquarters located in MontSaint-Guibert in the Walloon Region, Belgium and a U.S. based GMP compliant manufacturing facility in Durham, NC, Promethera Biosciences has approximately 56 employees led by an experienced and international management team.