RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., March 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:KOOL), formerly known as ThermoGenesis Corp., today announced that Dr. Mahendra Rao has been appointed to the Company's board of directors effective April 1, 2014. His appointment brings the Company's number of directors to six.  

Dr. Mahendra Rao has worked in the stem cell field for more than 20 years in private industry, academia, government and regulatory affairs. He received his medical degree from Bombay University in India and his Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology. Following postdoctoral training at Case Western Reserve University, he established his research laboratory in neural development at the University of Utah.

Currently, Dr. Rao serves as the Director of the National Institute of Health's Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH CRM). As founding director of NIH CRM in 2010, and under Rao's leadership since that time, the NIH has become a recognized leader in regenerative medicine, having established international collaborations, led an effort to harmonize regulations, developed a novel crowd-sourcing methodology making cell lines available world-wide, and having formed an international panel to develop standardized quality control tests vital to advancing the field.  Dr. Rao's appointment to the Cesca Board follows his planned departure from the NIH in March 2014.

Prior to joining the NIH, Dr. Rao spent six years as the vice president of Regenerative Medicine at Life Technologies in Carlsbad, California. He co-founded Q Therapeutics, a neural stem cell company working on the development of cellular therapy to treat multiple sclerosis. He also served internationally on advisory boards for companies involved in stem cell processing and therapy; on committees, including as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Cellular Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee chair; and as the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and International Society for Stem Cell Research liaison to the International Society for Cellular Therapy.

"We are very fortunate to have Dr. Rao join the Cesca board," said Matthew Plavan, Chief Executive Officer of Cesca. "With the recent consummation of the Cesca merger, the timing couldn't be better to bring Mahendra aboard with his extensive experience and knowledge in the stem cell arena as well his broad relationship reach within the regulatory bodies so important to our growth plan," he continued.  

"I look forward to working with the board and supporting management's strategy," Dr. Rao stated. "Cesca's approach to developing stem cell therapies is unique and compelling and their commercialization method has the potential to change the way we deliver safe, curative, and cost effective care."

Dr. Rao previously served on the Company's Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011. He resigned from the board upon taking his Director position at the National Institute of Health, as required per government rules and regulations. 

About Cesca Therapeutics

Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (www.cescatherapeutics.com) is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of autologous cell-based therapeutics for use in regenerative medicine. We are also a leader in developing and manufacturing automated blood and bone marrow processing systems and companion disposable products that enable the separation, processing and preservation of cell and tissue therapy products. These include:

-- SurgWerKsPlatform, a proprietary stem cell therapy point-of-care kit system for treating vascular and orthopedic indications that integrate the following indication specific systems:

  • Cell harvesting
  • Cell processing and selection
  • Cell diagnostics
  • Cell delivery

-- AXP® AutoXpress® Platform (AXP), a proprietary family of automated devices that includes the AXP and the MXP® MarrowXpress® and companion sterile blood processing disposables for harvesting stem cells in closed systems. The AXP device is used for the processing of cord blood.

-- The MarrowXpress Platform (MXP), a derivative product of the AXP and its accompanying disposable bag set, isolates and concentrates stem cells from bone marrow. Self-powered and microprocessor-controlled, the MXP contains flow control optical sensors that volume-reduces blood from bone marrow to a user defined volume in 30 minutes, while retaining over 90% of the MNCs.

-- The Res-Q™ 60 (Res-Q), a point-of-care system designed for the preparation of cell concentrates, including stem cells, from bone marrow aspirates and whole blood for platelet rich plasma (PRP).

-- The BioArchive® System, an automated cryogenic device, used by cord blood stem cell banks in more than 30 countries for cryopreserving and archiving cord blood stem cell units for transplant.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to that Cesca Therapeutics Inc. will provide unmatched world-class capability and service to its clients. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. A more complete description of risks that could cause actual events to differ from the outcomes predicted by our forward-looking statements is set forth under the caption "Risk Factors" in ThermoGenesis annual report on Form 10-K and other reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, and you should consider each of those factors when evaluating the forward-looking statements.

Cesca Therapeutics Inc.
Web site: http://www.cescatherapeutics.com
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