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Izon Science Announces New Chairman And Bolsters Board Following $10.5M Investment

Tony Barclay, Izon Science chairman.

Izon Science, the world-leading manufacturer of nano-biological separation and characterisation tools, announced today that Tony Barclay has joined Izon Science’s board of directors as chairman, with Professor Merryn Tawhai, Chris Dineen and Guy Bolton joining as directors. The board appointments coincide with a $10.5M equity investment from New Zealand based private equity investor Bolton Equities.

"We are pleased to welcome some serious talent to Izon’s board with the appointment of Tony and Merryn as independent directors, and Chris and Guy representing our new investor Bolton Equities," said Hans van der Voorn, Izon Science CEO and its founding Chairman. “These individuals bring extremely valuable experience and skills that will help Izon execute on its vision to grow into a truly global business.”

Van der Voorn has stepped down as Izon’s Chairman after 15 years and remains a director. “It’s an exciting new phase for the company as we gear up to accelerate growth globally. I’m really pleased to have attracted Tony as Izon’s new chairman – he is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and capable finance professionals with an extensive background that is highly relevant to Izon.”

Izon’s new independent chairman Tony Barclay was CFO and Company Secretary of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH), from 2001 to 2018 and worked for the company for a total of 22 years. During this time Fisher & Paykel Healthcare grew to be one of the largest and most successful companies on the NZX, growing from a relatively small base to the current market capitalisation of over $20B.

Barclay says, “Hans and the Izon team have really impressed me - they are taking on the world and winning from New Zealand in a fast growing global niche for nanotech identification and separation technology. I recognise similar characteristics in the company to Fisher and Paykel Healthcare; the company is developing impressive technology that is helping move science forward globally to improve lives. The opportunity is open-ended as the company has the potential to become integral to global diagnosis and therapeutics markets.”

Professor Merryn Tawhai, FRSNZ, the Deputy Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) and Director of the Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CORE), also joins the board as an independent director. Professor Tawhai is a world expert in the application of computational modelling to improving clinical diagnosis and monitoring of pulmonary disease, particularly in the older lung. The ABI and MedTech CoRE have been particularly successful at translating highly sophisticated engineering research to commercialised medical technologies.

Professor Merryn Tawhai.

Professor Tawhai says, “Izon’s technology and tools help researchers in a wide range of fundamental nano-biological research including the bourgeoning areas of exosomes, extracellular vesicles and RNA, as researchers work to identify biomarkers for a range of cancers and diseases such as dementia. Virology is of course an important area where we are seeing a lot of activity, as researchers around the world seek to better understand COVID-19 and other viruses by using information on virus characterisation and concentrations derived from using Izon’s nano-tech tools.”

Chris Dineen and Guy Bolton join the board as representatives of Bolton Equities, founded by New Zealand businessman and entrepreneur Murray Bolton, which has invested $10.5M growth capital in Izon to help the business reach its potential. Both Bolton and Dineen sit on Bolton Equities’ investment committee and on several other investee entity boards.

Guy Bolton, Bolton Equities’ Director and President North America, brings over 25 years’ experience in business specifically in drug development, project management and technology. Bolton has held various leadership positions at established businesses including Pharmaceutical companies with senior management and director experience across drug development, project/study management, and operations. He served on the board of Transaction Services Group for 4 years and currently works on various health care technologies, which has resulted in significant exposure to business governance and trends.

Chris Dineen, CEO of Bolton Equities, is experienced in M&A, corporate finance / advisory, and execution of large-scale project finance transactions. Prior to joining Bolton Equities in November 2019, Dineen spent 10 years at Westpac New Zealand Limited where he worked in a small-team focussed on important institutional projects and transactions.

Dineen says, “Izon captured our interest as it’s developing technology that science really needs. We were impressed with its product suite’s capabilities, recent growth rates, and the management team’s approach to developing the technology in a very pragmatic way. We also saw that we could bring significant value to the business alongside our capital, leveraging Bolton Equities’ strengths in finance, tech and healthcare across key markets.”

Izon serves blue chip research customers in over 50 countries including all of the top 10 medical research companies, 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and 49 of the top 50 US universities. A particular area of interest is in extra-cellular vesicles, including exosomes, with the expectation that these will become powerful biomarkers and significantly improve healthcare globally.

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