Norfolk, VA, April 9, 2020 — ReAlta Life Sciences, Inc., a biotech company dedicated to harnessing the power of the immune system through its PIC1 technology platform to address life-threatening medical needs, today announced that it has appointed Jonathan Zalevsky, Ph.D., an immunology expert, and Christine Neikirk, a governance and marketing expert, to its board of directors. In addition, Edward “Buzz” Heidt, Jr., a founding ReAlta director, has been elected the new board chairman, in conjunction with the departure of John P. Harding, from the company’s board, to focus on his current role as chief operating officer for the Children’s Health System in Norfolk, VA.
“As we prepare for the important transition into a clinical-stage organization later this year, we have continued to evolve our board of directors to support our future growth,” said Ulrich Thienel, M.D., Ph.D., ReAlta’s chief executive officer. “We are incredibly grateful to John for his extensive support from founding to this critical point for the company, and we look forward to further leveraging Buzz’s deep healthcare and biomed insights, now as chairman. In addition, we are delighted to tap into Jonathan’s extensive experience leading scientific innovation and R&D, and Chris’ deep management and marketing expertise. The collective strength of our board and leadership team positions us well to execute our goal of bringing forward new treatments that address life-threatening medical needs.”
“ReAlta has developed a novel platform with the potential to provide game-changing treatments for a number of unmet or under-addressed conditions,” said Mr. Heidt. “The company has made great progress with its lead program for the treatment of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a devastating disease that causes birth asphyxia brain damage and for which there are no approved treatments. Having dedicated much of my career to improving children’s health, I am passionate about ReAlta’s mission and the opportunity to further support the team’s efforts to make a meaningful impact on the lives of infants, children and families.”
Mr. Heidt has served on the ReAlta board since its founding, and holds more than 50 years of experience in international trade, manufacturing and distribution. He currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Penrod Company and as a director of the North Carolina Medical Foundation. Mr. Heidt recently completed a four-year term as the chairman of the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, and previously served on the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee. Previously, he has served as national vice chairman of the American Red Cross, chairman of Physicians for Peace, chairman of the Children’s Health Foundation, and a member of the Governing Board of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, where he provided oversight for biomed operations. Mr. Heidt holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.