Pedro Lichtinger has been appointed president and chief executive officer of BioTime’s subsidiary Asterias Biotherapeutics, which was created for the acquisition of Geron Corp.’s clinical-stage stem cell therapeutic assets. Asterias’ lead clinical programs are its AST-OPC1 cell therapeutic for spinal cord injury, and its AST-VAC2 allogeneic dendritic cell cancer immunotherapy platform.
Mr. Lichtinger has served as a director of BioTime since August 2009, where he led the field of regenerative medicine. Mr. Lichtinger has 35 years of executive leadership experience in the pharma industry. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of Optimer Pharmaceuticals, where he led the successful registration and commercialization of DIFICID (fidaxomicin). Prior to Optimer, Mr. Lichtinger held a series of management positions at Pfizer during a 25-year career, including serving as president of Pfizer’s Global Primary Care Unit. He also led Pfizer’s European operations as president of the group covering 27 countries and all Pfizer medicines.
"Pedro has the ideal mix of skills to lead Asterias in the next stage of its growth," said Michael D. West, Ph.D., BioTime’s chief executive officer. "His experience in shepherding medicines through clinical and regulatory processes to commercialization will be invaluable as Asterias moves forward with its plans to bring two of its product candidates into clinical trials. Pedro is also a seasoned business leader and manager whose long track record in building businesses and business alliances speaks for itself.”