Key Pharmaceutical Executive Joins Mesoblast

NEW YORK and MELBOURNE, Australia, March 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB; USOTC:MBLTY) today announced that Jonathan R. Symonds, CBE, the former Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG, has joined the Company to support the implementation of corporate finance and strategic objectives.

Mr Symonds was Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG from 2009 to 2013, partner and managing director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2009, and Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca PLC from 1999 to 2007. He previously held positions as Group Finance Director at Zeneca and partner at KPMG. From 2004 to 2007, Mr Symonds was a Director of Diageo PLC and chairman of the audit committee. Other previous roles include Director and audit committee chairman of Qinetiq PLC, Chairman of the 100 Group of Finance Directors, Joint Chairman of the Business Tax Forum, board member of the Accounting Standards Board, and founder of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation Research, all in the United Kingdom. In 2007, he was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for service to industry.

Mr Symonds said: "I am very pleased to be able to provide my support to Mesoblast, the sector leader in regenerative medicine, at this pivotal stage in the company's growth. I strongly believe that the field of regenerative medicine has tremendous potential as a source of new medicines."

Chief Executive Silviu Itescu said: "Mesoblast's executive leadership will be significantly enhanced by the addition of Jon Symonds. His extensive pharmaceutical industry experience and strategic corporate skills will be very valuable assets as we leverage our technology platforms to build out a multi-product biopharmaceutical company."

About Mesoblast

Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB; USOTC:MBLTY) is a world leader in the development of biologic products for the broad field of regenerative medicine. The Company's proprietary technologies include its highly purified, immunoselected Stro-1/Stro-3 positive Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs), culture-expanded Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), Dental Pulp Stem Cells (DPSCs), and expanded Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs). Mesoblast's protein technologies are based on factors derived from its proprietary cellular platforms, including Stromal Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1). Mesoblast's allogeneic or 'off-the-shelf' regenerative medicine products are being developed for the treatment of conditions with significant unmet medical needs. Product development focus is in four major and distinct areas - systemic diseases with an underlying inflammatory and immunologic etiology; cardiac and vascular diseases; orthopedic diseases of the spine; and improving outcomes of bone marrow transplantation associated with oncology or genetic conditions.

CONTACT:Julie Meldrum Global Head of Corporate Communications Mesoblast Limited T: +61396396036 E: julie.meldrum@mesoblast.comSource: Mesoblast