LifeX CEO Dr. Dietrich Stephan to take over as NeuBase Therapeutics CEO; LifeX names University of Pittsburgh's Dr. Evan Facher as interim CEO
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- LifeX™ today announced that its portfolio company NeuBase Therapeutics, Inc. has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Ohr Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OHRP) and that Dietrich A. Stephan, Ph.D., the former chief executive officer of LifeX, will lead the combined company as its CEO. In less than a year, NeuBase has gone from an idea to a company with a clear path to a NASDAQ list, validating the LifeX approach of quickly translating technology from the bench to the bedside.
The proposed merger will create a public company focused on advancing NeuBase's peptide-nucleic acid (PNA) antisense oligonucleotide (PATrOL™) technology platform for the development of therapies to address severe and currently untreatable diseases caused by genetic mutations.
"LifeX provides expertise and resources that will help entrepreneurs translate life sciences innovation into the marketplace, creating solutions for large unmet health needs," said Rob A. Rutenbar, Ph.D, senior vice chancellor for research at the University of Pittsburgh. "This merger to create NeuBase Therapeutics, Inc. is exciting, tangible proof of the success of the LifeX initiative, and we are thrilled that Dietrich will be at the helm to advance this groundbreaking work."
Dr. Stephan's previous role as CEO of LifeX will be assumed by Evan Facher, Ph.D., Pitt's vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship and director of the Innovation Institute. Dr. Facher will serve in an interim capacity while a national search for a permanent CEO gets underway.
"The LifeX Labs portfolio companies are tackling some of the largest unmet needs in global health," said Dr. Facher, whose 20-year career includes corporate fundraising, merger and acquisition leadership, and various management roles in both drug and device companies. "I'm excited to take on this additional role as interim CEO and continue to work with innovative companies pursuing translational work."
The LifeX Board of Directors will now be chaired by Dr. Rutenbar, who is an original director, along with Diego Miralles, M.D., the CEO of Vivideon Therapeutics. They will be joined by Steven Reis, M.D., associate vice chancellor for clinical research, health sciences, who brings a wealth of translational experience to the board. Dr. Reis is the director of Pitt's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which supports biomedical discovery and the translation of advances in the lab to clinical practice.
LifeX Labs is a startup accelerator that helps entrepreneurs develop their technology. At LifeX we believe the biggest investment opportunity is creating novel types of solutions that result from the convergence of different silos of expertise and address global unmet health needs. LifeX takes an active and engaged approach to venture funding to ensure entrepreneurs get the guidance, resources and support needed to tackle these prevalent, notoriously intractable and horrific diseases. For more information, please visit: www.lifexventures.com.