Vital Therapies, Inc. Adds Two New Board Members
CEO of HeartWare International, Inc. and Former CFO of Amgen Elected
to Board of Directors
SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/16/13 -- Vital Therapies, Inc.,
a development stage biotechnology company focused on developing the
first bio-artificial liver for life-threatening acute liver failure,
today announced the election of Doug Godshall and Lowell Sears to the
company's Board of Directors.
Doug Godshall is the Chief Executive Officer and a director of
HeartWare International, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTWR) (ASX: HIN), a leading
innovator in the development and commercialization of miniaturized
circulatory support devices for the treatment of advanced heart
failure. Under Mr. Godshall's leadership, the HeartWare(R)
Ventricular Assist System, otherwise known as the HVAD(R) Pump,
received FDA approval in the United States, CE marking in the EU and
TGA approval in Australia. The device is now commercialized
internationally in 30 countries and generated record revenues of
$49.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. A U.S.
pivotal trial designed to allow potential expansion of the HVAD's
label is ongoing and a second generation system, the MVAD(R) is
preparing for initial human use in coming months.
Mr. Godshall joined HeartWare in 2006 from Boston Scientific
Corporation. During his 16 years at Boston Scientific, Mr. Godshall
held various executive and leadership positions, serving as President
of the Vascular Surgery Division, member of Boston Scientific's
Operating Committee, and Vice President, Business Development.
Lowell Sears joined Amgen in 1986 as Treasurer and Director of
Planning and then served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer from 1988 to 1994, and as Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific
from 1992 to 1994. As CFO, he was instrumental in managing Amgen's
transformation into a fully integrated global pharmaceutical company.
In 1994 he formed Sears Capital Management, Inc. (SCM), a life
science venture investment firm where Mr. Sears has helped found and
provided seed and early stage capital to 40 pharmaceutical and
medical device companies. He has served on the boards of directors of
22 companies both public and private, and currently serves as
Chairman of the Board of Cellerant Therapeutics, Inc. (private) and
SymBio Pharmaceuticals, KK (JASDAQ: 4582).
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 investigational extracorporeal liver support system which
has been studied in seven clinical trials in US, EU and Asia.
Moreover, a US/EU phase 3 trial plan designed to support potential
BLA and MAA marketing approval has received written guidance from FDA
and EMA. The first protocol under this plan, for a survival trial in
acute alcoholic hepatitis and alcohol-induced liver decompensation,
has been allowed by FDA and has begun enrolling patients. Protocols
for the second and third trials, in subjects with acute alcoholic
hepatitis who fail steroid therapy and subjects with fulminant
hepatic failure, are complete, and clinical sites are being recruited
with enrollment expected later this year. Overall, more than 40
clinical sites in USA, EU and Australia are expected to participate.
The trials are expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
If results are successful and the marketing application is granted
priority review and approved in the USA and EU, market launch could
occur on both continents before the end of 2016. Vital Therapies
retains all rights to ELAD and has no corporate partners.
ELAD represents the first developmental stage, human allogeneic
cellular therapy for life-threatening acute liver failure. The system
comprises a bedside system whose central component is four cartridges
containing 440 grams of immortalized human hepatoblastoma cells and
32,000 hollow fibers. The patient's plasma flows inside of the hollow
fibers to allow two-way transfer of metabolites. The system has been
shown to process toxins, and synthesize proteins and metabolites in
ways that mimic components of normal human liver function. The ELAD
cell cartridges are produced at VTI's GMP-compliant facility in San
About Alcohol-Induced Liver Decompensation (AILD)
AILD is a life-threatening form of liver failure precipitated by the
recent ingestion of alcohol which can occur with or without chronic
underlying liver disease. One common form is Acute Alcoholic
Hepatitis (AAH), which represents a severe inflammatory response to
toxic liver injury. AAH is associated with a 75% mortality rate in
patients with severe disease who are unresponsive to standard
therapy. Another form of AILD occurs in patients with chronic, yet
stable underlying liver disease who experience an acute
decompensation after alcohol ingestion. Therapy for AILD centers on
the use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids and the
treatment of secondary complications such as bleeding, kidney failure
and hepatic coma. Since abstinence from alcohol for 6 months is
considered a pre-requisite for inclusion on a liver transplant list,
organ transplantation is generally not available for these patients.
Each year, we estimate there are over 30,000 cases of AILD in the
ELAD is a trademark of Vital Therapies, Inc.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including
but not limited to statements regarding anticipated future closings
of the staged financing, the success of our planned phase 3 trials
and ELAD's market launch. These statements relate to future events
and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about Vital
Therapies, Inc. These statements are only predictions based on our
current expectations and projections about future events. You should
not place undue reliance on these statements. Actual events or
results may differ materially. Many factors may cause our actual
results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement. We
do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.
Co-Chairman & CEO
Vital Therapies, Inc.
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.