AtheroNova Appoints Dr. Randolph M. Johnson as Chief Operating Officer

IRVINE, Calif., April 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AtheroNova Inc. (OTCBB:AHRO), a biotech company focused on the research and development of compounds to safely regress atherosclerotic plaque and improve lipid profiles in humans, today announced that Randolph M. Johnson, Ph.D. has joined the Company as Chief Operating Officer.

"We are pleased to announce that Dr. Johnson has joined AtheroNova's management team, bringing his talents and leadership to AtheroNova's efforts to develop our platform of systemically available bile acids for the treatment of cardiovascular disease," stated Thomas W. Gardner, CEO of AtheroNova. "Dr. Johnson is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with strength in drug discovery, R&D and in the operational aspects of running companies in this industry. As we accelerate our research into synthetic and analog versions of our compounds for enhanced efficiency as well as expanded intellectual property claims, Dr. Johnson's expertise will be invaluable. Everyone on the AtheroNova team is looking forward to Dr. Johnson's contributions to the Company's first-in-class compounds for atherosclerosis regression and lipid modulation technology."

Dr. Johnson has established a successful track record in pharmaceutical research and development and operations with 25 years of experience in the biotech, pharmaceutical, drug delivery and medical device businesses in both start-ups and preeminent global companies. He has experience in successful entrepreneurial financing, corporate funding alliances/joint ventures and IPO launches. His in-depth scientific experience is heavily concentrated in the areas of cardiovascular disease, oncology, endocrinology, and neurology. Most recently, Dr. Johnson served as the Chief of Technology Development and Vice President of Research at KAI Pharmaceuticals where he contributed to an equity exit and acquisition by AMGEN in a $315 million all-cash deal for the Velcalcetide (AMG-416) program, a novel peptide to treat patients with chronic kidney disease.

Prior to AMGEN/KAI, Dr. Johnson served as Senior Vice President of Research and Preclinical Development for Cellgate, providing leadership in the R&D of novel molecular transporters and polyamine analogs for hyperproliferative diseases before the company was acquired by Progen, a public Australian pharmaceutical company. Dr. Johnson was a founding member at DURECT Corporation, a drug delivery/medical device spin-out from Alza Corp, successfully participating in an IPO in September 2000 and served as Vice President and Director of Pharmacology and Toxicology. At Roche Bioscience, Dr. Johnson held Department Head positions in the Neurobiology and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry departments providing scientific leadership for drug target discovery programs for analgesia and neurodegenerative diseases. At Syntex Research, he directed R&D efforts for neurotrophic factors for CNS diseases and contributed to the small molecule development of the serotonin receptor (5-HT3) antagonist, Aloxi® for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. At Genentech, Dr. Johnson contributed to understanding the signaling of HER2/neu receptor that eventually helped contribute to the development of Herceptin® for breast cancer.

Dr. Johnson was initially recruited into the pharmaceutical industry by Genentech from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where he was an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, where he completed his postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with specialization in Pharmacology from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Distinguished Graduate Doctorate Alumni), and an M.A. in Biology, B.S. in Zoology from California State University at Long Beach. He has authored over 120 scientific publications, abstracts and book chapters, and is an inventor on eleven U.S. and international patents.

About AtheroNova

AtheroNova Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, research, development and licensing of novel compounds to safely reduce or regress atherosclerotic plaque deposits and improve lipid profiles in humans. In addition to its lead compound AHRO-001, AtheroNova plans to develop multiple applications for its patented and patents-pending therapies in market sectors that include: Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke and Peripheral Artery Disease, all of which have been linked to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis and its related pharmaceutical expenses for these indications cost consumers more than $41 billion annually in the United States alone. For more information, please visit www.AtheroNova.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes "forward-looking statements". These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of AtheroNova's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; significant fluctuations in expenses associated with clinical trials, failure to secure additional financing, the inability to complete regulatory filings with the Food and Drug Administration, general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; AtheroNova's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of AtheroNova's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

AtheroNova undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in AtheroNova's 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).

CONTACT: Company Contact: Thomas Gardner, CEO Tel: (949) 476-1100 or Mark Selawski, CFO Tel: (949) 476-1100 Investor Contact: Michael Rice LifeSci Advisors LLC Tel: (646) 597-6979Source:AtheroNova Inc.