Novoheart Recruits Notable Pharma Industry Executive, Bernard Fermini, Ph.D. as Chief R&D Officer

Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novoheart (“Novoheart” or the “Company”) (TSXV: NVH; FWB: 3NH), a global stem cell biotechnology company, announced today that it has appointed Bernard Fermini, Ph.D. as Chief Research & Development Officer.

Dr. Fermini has been a leading figure and expert in cardiac safety pharmacology for over two decades. Having received a Ph.D in Biophysics from the University of Sherbrooke (Canada), he joined the Montreal Heart Institute where he led a research team focusing on electrophysiology of the atrial chambers of the heart. He moved to Merck before joining Pfizer for what became a 17-year tenure. At Pfizer, he held positions of increasing responsibilities including Co-chair of the Global Safety Pharmacology Department. He began collaborating with the Novoheart team while at Pfizer, and will be bringing his substantial expertise in safety pharmacology to complement Novoheart’s scientific team’s strengths in stem cell and tissue engineering.

Since 2013, Dr. Fermini has been the Co-chairman of the Ion Channel Working Group of the Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative headed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As Co-chairman, he oversees the research into identifying next-generation screening methods for effective detection of drug-induced cardiac arrhythmias before clinical trials. Dr. Fermini is also a Board Member on the CiPA Steering Committee and committee member of the Safety Pharmacology Society, as well as an active member of Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Cardiac Safety Committee and the Society of Toxicology. As a key opinion leader, Dr. Fermini will lead Novoheart’s industrial expansion in drug discovery and development, leveraging his extensive experience and networks in the pharma industry.

Human stem cell-derived cardiac assays are the future for drug screening, as witnessed by the rapid developments in this area and the interest shown by pharma as well as regulatory agencies such as the FDA,” said Dr. Fermini. “With Novoheart’s impressive bioengineered heart tissue technologies, I see immense potential in revolutionizing preclinical testing; I look forward to being a part of the Novoheart team to campaign for an industry-wide adoption of these next-generation, cutting-edge assays.”

We are very excited by the appointment of Bernard, with whom we have had a wonderful collaboration at Pfizer,” said Dr. Ronald Li, Co-founder & CEO of Novoheart. “With his well-recognized stature in the safety pharmacology community, the addition of Dr. Fermini to our team further validates our revolutionary technology to prospective clients who are seeking to implement it into their drug discovery and screening processes, and his endorsement will send out a powerful message to the industry. We look forward to having Bernard lead our development in the areas of drug discovery as a recognized industry expert.”

About Novoheart:

Novoheart is a global stem cell biotechnology company pioneering an array of next-generation human heart tissue prototypes. It is the first company in the world to have engineered miniature living human heart pumps that can revolutionize drug discovery, helping to save time and money for developing new therapeutics. Also known as 'human heart-in-a-jar', Novoheart’s bio-artificial human heart constructs are created using state-of-the-art and proprietary stem cell and bioengineering approaches and are utilized by drug developers for accurate preclinical testing as to the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, maximizing the successes in drug discovery whilst minimizing costs and harm caused to patients.

For further information, please contact:
Ronald Li, CEO

Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
Tel: 416-995-8651

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