Capricor Therapeutics Appoints Leland J. Gershell, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Financial Officer

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Leland J. Gershell, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Financial Officer.  Dr. Gershell brings to Capricor over 15 years of experience in the biotech sector, both within the industry and in finance as an equity research analyst and healthcare investor. He will report to Dr. Linda Marbán, Capricor's Chief Executive Officer. His appointment is effective immediately.

"Leland's experience in both the life sciences industry and on Wall Street is the ideal combination for Capricor.  He joins the team at an exciting time in our development as we have three active clinical programs investigating our cell therapy, CAP-1002, and are also investigating our naturietic peptide therapeutic Cenderitide. We also anticipate completing our preclinical development with our exosomes program this year," said Dr. Marbán. "Over the past year, Capricor has focused on strengthening its management team to meet the needs of our growing therapeutic pipeline. Leland's expertise will further enhance Capricor's management team as it builds value for its investors."

Dr. Gershell stated, "Capricor is an exciting growth story and I am delighted to be joining the Company at this pivotal time in its development. I look forward to working with Dr. Marbán and the management team to leverage my expertise to help develop the strategies that will further advance the Company's development."

Dr. Gershell comes to Capricor from Tonix Pharmaceuticals where he served as its Chief Financial Officer since early 2012. Prior to his corporate career, Dr. Gershell worked in the securities industry as an equity research analyst and covered a variety of therapeutics companies, having started with the biotechnology team at Cowen and Company. He also served as an analyst at Apothecary Capital, a healthcare investment fund. Dr. Gershell has authored numerous articles on the biopharmaceutical industry as well as peer-reviewed scientific reports, and is an inventor on patents for Merck's Zolinza®, the first histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor to receive FDA approval.  He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University and his B.A. magna cum laude in Chemistry and Asian Studies from Dartmouth College.

About Capricor Therapeutics

Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics. Our lead programs target post myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Company has two lead product candidates under investigation: CAP-1002, a cardiac cell therapy and Cenderitide, a natriuretic peptide receptor agonist. CAP-1002 is in development for the treatment of post myocardial infarction (heart attack), advanced heart failure and Duchenne muscular dystrophy associated cardiomyopathy. Cenderitide is in development for the outpatient treatment of heart failure as well as potential other indications. In addition, the Company is conducting research and development on its exosomes platform technology for cardiac diseases and other potential indications. For additional information visit

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the efficacy, safety, and intended utilization of Capricor's product candidates; the conduct, size, timing and results of discovery efforts and clinical trials; plans regarding regulatory filings, future research and clinical trials; plans regarding current and future collaborative activities and the ownership of commercial rights; scope, duration, validity and enforceability of intellectual property rights; future royalty streams, and any other statements about Capricor's management team's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "could," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," "should," "target," "will," "would" and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. More information about these and other risks that may impact Capricor's business are set forth in Capricor's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16, 2015, in its Registration Statement on Form S-3, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 28, 2015, and in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 13, 2015. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Capricor as of the date hereof, and Capricor assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Contact
Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.
AJ Bergmann, Vice President of Finance

Investor Relations:
Argot Partners
Angeli Kolhatkar


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SOURCE Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.