Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. has announced the appointment of Dr. Calvin Stiller and Dr. Niclas Stiernholm to the company's Board of Directors as it continues to expand upon the recent announcements of the appointments of Dr Henry Friesen as a member of the Board and Mr David Allan as Executive Chairman.
Physician, scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Calvin R. Stiller of London, Ontario is a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, was the recipient of the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in 2011 (awarded to a Canadian who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in medicine and medical science) and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2010, an organization founded by him.
Dr. Stiller is chair of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the former chair of Genome Canada and is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Stiller founded the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine, co-founded the Medical and Related Sciences Research District (MaRS), was the Chair of the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund Board and was the co-founder of four venture capital funds of over $500 million.
He serves on the boards of a number of private and public companies, was founding Chair of Trillium Therapeutics and was chair of Verio Therapeutics, a Canadian stem cell company that was acquired in 2010 by Fate Corporation, a California-based regeneration company.
Together with Robert Klein (the founder of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a state agency responsible for granting approximately $3 billion in stem cell research funding), he co-founded the Cancer Stem Cell Initiative, a Canada-California consortium that has been productive in the search for and identification of cancer stem cells.
"Dr. Stiller's impressive accomplishments have changed both research and clinical practices but, of importance to this company and to society, he has been a tireless advocate of the need to bridge the traditional chasm between discovery and development," said David Allan, Executive Chairman of Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp.
Allan continued, "We share this passion for bridging the divide and his recognition of the urgent need for companies such as Stem Cell Therapeutics to act as receptor companies for the enormous quantity of profound research in the stem cell arena will help us position SCT as the development partner of choice over time."
"I am pleased to be joining the Board of Directors of SCT at such a progressive time in its history," stated Dr. Stiller. "SCT has positioned itself importantly to expand its interests beyond the exceptional discoveries made by Dr Sam Weiss around whose work in stem cells this company was formed. I'm honored to have the opportunity to help SCT leverage on the truly extraordinary Canadian science that promises to translate into therapeutic benefit for many diseases."
Dr. Niclas Stiernholm has been the CEO of Trillium Therapeutics Inc., a leading Canadian immunology company, since 2002. Trillium has a demonstrated ability to identify and access promising early-stage opportunities and convert them into clinic-ready technologies.
Dr. Stiernholm brings a rich history of creative deal making which includes licensing and co-development agreements with major multinational biopharmaceutical companies, as well as the establishment of a broad network of external academic and industry R&D collaborations. He started his industry career with one of Canada's original biotechnology companies, Allelix Biopharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Trillium, Dr. Stiernholm served as the Executive Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer at YM BioSciences.
"With a strong academic grounding in immunology and a profound grasp of the dynamics of biotechnology companies, Nic has an exceptional ability to bridge the gap between business and science, the very element that drives our passion and expectations at SCT." said David Allan. "His understanding of the biotechnology industry and his broad relationships within it, as well as his considerable experience in identifying, evaluating and closing on new business opportunities, will stand us in good stead."
"With Dr. Stiller and Dr. Stiernholm joining Dr. Friesen and me to lead this company's next stage of development, we have assembled a team of extraordinary capability in the stem cell arena and one that could have a dramatic impact on the commercialization landscape of stem cell discoveries in this country and elsewhere" continued David Allan. "We intend to be a force in the field."
Stem Cell Therapeutics also wishes to announce the issuance of stock options to Drs. Stiller and Stiernholm and to Mr. Deane Peterson, a current Board member. SCT has issued an aggregate of 1,500,000 options to purchase common shares of the company at an exercise price of C$0.10 per share.
The options expire no later than July 18, 2016, in each case subject to applicable vesting provisions. These options were awarded in accordance with the company's Stock Option Plan.
The appointment of Drs. Stiller and Stiernholm to the Board of Directors is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.