February 8, 2018

Biostage names Chinese investor as board chairman

Jason Chen.

A Chinese investor and biotech executive has been appointed to be chairman of Holliston-based Biostage's board of directors.

Jason Chen, who with a group of private Chinese investors purchased $4.1 million of the company's stock to save it from near bankruptcy, was named to the position Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, the investors will hold a majority position on the board, and Chen's appointment is pursuant to that arrangement.

Chen is senior vice president of business development at China-based Digitone Group and CEO of its subsidiary, DST Robotics Co. in South Korea.

Chen previously was the general manager of the China and Hong Kong region for Milford-based Waters Corp., where he was responsible for developing the company's marketing strategy in the Chinese market.

Simultaneous to the investment, Biostage has previously announced a shift to bring its regenerative medicine in the esophagus, bronchus and trachea field to the Asian market.

The investment group, DST Capital, was impressed with Biostage's transparency when it was evaluating the company prior to the investment, Chen said in a statement.

Chen encouraged shareholders to take a long-term view of the company. Just a few months ago, Biostage laid off 17 of its 24 its employees and was delisted from NASDAQ after an investment agreement with a Dallas firm fell through.

Thanks to the investment from DST Capital and another $100,000 from Connecticut Children's Hospital, the company was able to rehire nine employees

"We firmly believe that Biostage will be successful in both the U.S. and China markets," Chen said.

CEO Jim McGory said Chen's experience in Asia will help the company develop its business plan in that market, which he said has the world's highest incidence of esophageal cancer.

Chen's appointment comes after the resignation of board member John Kennedy.

"I believe this is the right moment in Biostage's development to allow another person with a different set of skills and experience to bring leadership to Biostage," Kennedy said in a statement. "I wish nothing but future success to the company."

The company has scheduled a conference call for next Tuesday to provide a business update.

Read more

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Biostage names regenerative medicine expert to board


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