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Longeveron Announces Board of Directors Planned Transitions

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  • Richard Kender, retired SVP of Business Development and Corporate Licensing for Merck & Co., Inc., has been appointed to the Longeveron Board
  • Dr. Roger Hajjar, former head of R&D at Ring Therapeutics, has been nominated as a candidate for the Board, subject to election at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders
  • Neha Motwani, former managing director and senior healthcare investment banker at William Blair, Truist, and Oppenheimer and Company, also has been nominated as a candidate for the Board, subject to election at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders
  • Existing directors, Dr. Joshua Hare and Ursula Ungaro, have been nominated as candidates for re-election to the Board, subject to election at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders
  • Jeffrey Pfeffer and Cathy Ross have voluntarily resigned from the Board

MIAMI, May 10, 2024 – Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN), a clinical stage regenerative medicine biotechnology company developing cellular therapies for life-threatening and chronic aging-related conditions, today announced planned transitions on its Board of Directors. Richard Kender, a retired Senior Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Licensing at Merck & Co., Inc., has joined the Longeveron Board of Directors. Mr. Kender spent his entire professional career at Merck in various corporate roles of increasing responsibility and was involved in more than 100 business development and licensing transactions. Mr. Kender was appointed by the Longeveron Board of Directors to fill the Board position vacated by Jeffrey Pfeffer who has voluntarily resigned and whose Board seat was not up for re-election in the upcoming Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

The Board of Directors has also nominated Roger Hajjar, MD, former head of R&D at Ring Therapeutics, and Neha Motwani, a former senior healthcare investment banker, as nominees for the Board, along with existing directors Joshua Hare and Ursula Ungaro, subject to their respective elections at the Company’s upcoming 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Cathy Ross, who joined the Longeveron Board in February 2021 and whose term was expiring next month at this year’s annual meeting, voluntarily resigned from the Board in advance of the meeting.

These transitions are part of the planned Board refreshment process at Longeveron, with a focus on bringing in new, relevant, experienced leaders over time to add to the knowledge base and experience provided by current and departing Board members.

“On behalf of the entire Board and the Longeveron organization, I want to recognize and thank Jeffrey and Cathy for their leadership, service and countless contributions,” said Joshua Hare, M.D., Co-founder, Chief Science Officer and Chairman of the Board. “Their guidance and insights were critical to Longeveron navigating complex challenges and advancing our cellular therapy research. We wish them well in their future endeavors.”

“Richard is a wonderful addition to our Board,” said Wa’el Hashad, Chief Executive Officer. “His industry experience and successful leadership of biopharmaceutical licensing transactions will bring tremendous value to Longeveron as we continue to advance Lomecel-B™, our proprietary cellular therapy that has generated positive data across multiple clinical trials. I look forward to collaborating with him to advance these important therapeutic development programs.”

“I am excited to join the Longeveron Board at this important and exciting time for the company,” said Mr. Kender. “The promise of cellular therapy, and Lomecel-B™ in particular, positions the Company to potentially profoundly impact patients’ lives for the better by addressing numerous unmet medical needs across multiple devastating diseases.”

Roger Hajjar, M.D., is an internationally recognized scientist whose cardiac gene therapy discoveries have spurred clinical trials for heart failure, and whose methodologies for cardiac-directed gene transfer are currently utilized by investigators around the world. He was recently head of R&D at Ring Therapeutics and was appointed as the inaugural director of the Gene and Cell Therapy Institute at Mass General Brigham. He has initiated multiple clinical trials in gene therapy for a variety of cardiovascular diseases, authored over 500 publications and received numerous awards for his achievements in the field of cardiac gene therapy. Dr. Hajjar is a co-founder of several biotechnology companies and was involved in the creation of multiple gene therapy companies at Flagship Pioneering, Cambridge, MA.

Neha Motwani has over 25 years of healthcare investment banking experience, most recently having served as Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking at William Blair. She previously held investment banking roles of increasing responsibility with Truist Securities, Oppenheimer and Company, Stifel Financial and Cowen and Company, where, collectively, she completed transactions raising over $6.8 billion. Ms. Motwani earned her B.A in political science from Columbia University.

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