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Former President of BMS Joins board of Biomatters

Media information: 20 September 2004

Former President of Bristol-Myers Squibb Joins board of Biomatters

Fast-moving bioinformatics software company Biomatters has completed the formation of a high-powered board with a real coup: securing Aki von Roy, former EU-president of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Aki von Roy was the only non-American on both the corporate and the pharmaceutical operating boards of Bristol-Myers Squibb, an organisation with sales of US$2.2 billion and more than 7,500 employees.

He is now based in New Zealand, where in June this year as CEO of Proacta Therapeutics, he raised $12.8 million capital for Proacta for its anti-cancer product development. He has since stepped down from Proacta as CEO.

On Biomatters' board, he joins Ross Mathieson, one of the founders of New Zealand's leading software exporter Peace Software, and Greg Casagrande, a former divisional General Manager of Ford Motor Corporation, Japan.

In just three months Biomatters, an incubator resident in The ICEHOUSE, has secured Series A finance, leveraged a six-figure government grant, conducted its first overseas export trip and formed a scientific advisory board spanning Auckland, Oxford and Silicon Valley.

Biomatters' CEO Daniel Batten says having a broad range of relevant board experience was critical. "IT in the 90s was about improving business operating efficiency, ecommerce mania and Y2K projects. This decade will be about using IT to improve world health by unlocking the secrets of the human genome, and improving the quality of disease research. That is the space our product is in, which is why we sought a board strong across biotech, IT, and financial management.

"Ross is someone I view as instrumental in the direction of Peace Software - it was his vision that saw them enter the utility market they now dominate, and we are very lucky to have Greg, who has an impressive record in financial management through America and the Asia Pacific at a very high corporate level. Recently we set up a UK branch of Biomatters so we could support overseas markets and linking with international networks in Venture Capital and Pharma was the next logical part of our strategy to go global with our products" says Batten.

While Batten acknowledges it has been a time of rapid growth, everything is proceeding very much according to plan, with a firm vision of sustainable global business development, and ethical product development.

Later this year, Biomatters will take on new developers. "Our vision is that by having a New Zealand development centre and a global reach for our products, we will continue what we have started, which is not just about keeping top talent in New Zealand, but bring it back from overseas."

Batten says he is even more excited about the road ahead. "A prototype of our second product is due for release in September. We've had a group of biological and computer scientists who are leaders in their field working on this product: we pinpointed some bottlenecks in the disease research, and have worked out how to overcome them in way we think will excite bio-science around the world.

- Ends -


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