Unicyte AG, a pioneering leader in human liver stem cells and nano-extracellular vesicles, announced today the appointment of Prof. Jonathan Knowles to its Scientific Advisory Board.

The board works closely with Unicyte’s management team to accelerate the company’s regenerative stem cell and extracellular vesicles programs for treating diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetic nephropathy and cancer. In addition, it provides scientific advice for the collaboration between Unicyte and Italy’s University of Turin in order to foster innovation and new research programs.

"We are excited to welcome Prof. Jonathan Knowles to our Scientific Advisory Board, as he has not only the scientific expertise but also the experience of developing highly innovative technologies in both pharma and biotech companies," said Florian Jehle, CEO of Unicyte and Vice President, Technology & Innovation Management within Research & Development at Fresenius Medical Care.

Jonathan Knowles is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Immunocore Ltd. and of the Access Committee of Genomics England. He is a Visiting Professor of Translational Medicine at the University of Oxford and formerly a distinguished Professor of Personalized Medicine at the University of Helsinki and at EPFL Lausanne. As Head of Research from 1997 to 2009 he had oversight of Research and Development for the Roche Group. He also served as a director on the boards of Genentech and of Chugai Pharmaceuticals, and from 1987 to 1997 was Director of the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology. Jonathan Knowles holds a 1st class honors degree in Biology from the University of East Anglia in England and a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Jonathan Knowles said: “I am excited to join Unicyte’s Scientific Advisory Board and to support the company as it is anticipating first partnerships for commercialization. Unicyte has a unique adult stem cell platform that overcomes the cost constraints of many alternative approaches and has significant market potential, especially in large indications such as diabetes. Also, I am very interested in the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles, and Unicyte has a lead in this area.”

Unicyte originated from the long-standing research collaboration between Fresenius Medical Care, the world's leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases, and Prof. Giovanni Camussi, a leading expert in nano-extracellular vesicles and stem cells at the University of Turin. Now an independent affiliate of Fresenius Medical Care, Unicyte has a broad preclinical pipeline focusing on kidney and liver disorders, diabetes and oncology, and will work with partners when needed to advance these therapeutic programs.

Dr. Daniel Gau, Unicyte’s Head of Business Development, said: “Prof. Knowles will make an outstanding and valued addition to our Scientific Advisory Board, helping Unicyte to identify new areas of focus and potentially disruptive therapies for the benefit of our patients.”