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Names Industry Veteran, Joseph Vallner, Chairman/CEO
Lumera Corporation (NASDAQ:LMRA), a leader in the emerging field of nanotechnology, today announced that it has formed a wholly owned subsidiary known as Plexera Bioscience LLC. The new subsidiary will serve as the operations unit of Lumera's bioscience business and will be led by Joseph Vallner, Ph.D., as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Tim Londergan, Ph.D., who is the division's current manager, as President and Chief Operating Officer. Lumera has engaged Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. to assist the company in evaluating partnering and financing alternatives over the coming months.
In early 2006, Lumera created a separate bioscience operating unit within the company to facilitate its drive toward successful market commercialization and the transition from a research and development company. Plexera will remain focused on providing the life sciences market with tools, content, and methods to simplify and accelerate proteomic discovery for therapeutic antibodies as well as predictive biomarkers.
"The formation of Plexera clarifies the purpose, business requirements and market opportunities of both Plexera and Lumera to our investors, customers, and prospective partners," said Tom Mino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lumera.
Joseph Vallner, a current Lumera board member, will head the subsidiary as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Vallner brings extensive bioscience experience to the job, having worked for 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry as both an academician and as a business leader.
"As a Lumera board member, I've had the opportunity to witness first hand the talent and commitment to succeed on the part of Tim's team. Now, as Chairman and CEO, I look forward to helping Plexera reach its full potential," said Vallner.
Most recently, Vallner served as Chief Executive Officer of Capnia, a private pharmaceutical development company. From 1999 until 2006, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Cell Genesys, where his responsibilities included research and development as well as clinical, regulatory, manufacturing, and operations. While at Cell Genesys, he also served on the California Healthcare Institute Board of Directors. Dr. Vallner also held various positions including Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at Sequus Pharmaceuticals, where he was instrumental in leading the company to the launch of two products including Amphotec® and Doxil®, a cancer therapeutic, which is now a $400+ million product. Sequus was subsequently acquired and merged into Alza Corporation. He obtained a Ph.D. in pharmaceutics, an M.S. in physical chemistry, and B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His academic career included a post as Assistant Professor then Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics at the University of Georgia.
As Plexera's President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Tim Londergan will lead the subsidiary's day-to-day operations. In 2000, Dr. Londergan became Lumera's first employee as a senior chemist. Over the past six years he has been a key driver in the development and marketing of Lumera technology and bio-related products to both research and commercial institutions. As Director of the Bioscience Business Unit, he has also played an important role in establishing Lumera partnerships with the key institutions such as Harvard Medical School, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Institute of Systems Biology. Londergan earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Southern California.
"We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Vallner agree to join the company as Chairman and CEO bringing his breadth of experience as a business leader in the sector and expect that his understanding of running bioscience centered businesses will have an immediate impact," continued Mino. "We are also grateful to have the continued leadership of Tim Londergan. In his new, expanded role, we expect Tim to be at the forefront of the continued progress of the company."
Rounding out the management team is a group of seasoned professionals bringing experience from successful companies such GE Healthcare, Bio-Rad, Thermo-Nicolet Instrument Corporation, ICOS, Life Technologies, and Spacelabs. The team includes Dr. Michael Cicirelli, Director of Application Development; Ronald Dudek, Director of Business Development; and Todd Schwoerer, Director of Operations.
About Lumera Corporation
Lumera is a leader in the emerging field of nanotechnology. The company designs proprietary molecular structures and polymer compounds for the bioscience and communications/computing industries, both of which represent large market opportunities. The company also has developed proprietary processes for fabricating such devices.
Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the company’s forward-looking statements include the following: market acceptance of our technologies and products; our financial and technical resources relative to those of our competitors; our ability to keep up with rapid technological change; government regulation of our technologies; our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights and protect our proprietary technologies; the ability to obtain additional contract awards and to develop partnership opportunities; the timing of commercial product launches; the ability to achieve key technical milestones in key products; and other risk factors identified from time to time in the company’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
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Hélène F. Jaillet, Ph.D.
The Summit Group Communications
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