News Release

January 24, 2024

ReAlta Life Sciences Strengthens Board of Directors with Appointment of Two Accomplished Biotechnology Innovators

New appointments bring deep research and development expertise and technology innovation to support continued advancement of ReAlta’s EPICC Technology Platform

Norfolk, VA – January 24, 2024 – ReAlta Life Sciences, Inc. (“ReAlta” or the “Company”), a mid-stage clinical biotech company dedicated to saving lives by rebalancing the inflammatory response to address life-threatening diseases, today announced the appointment of two experienced R&D leaders, John Baldoni, PhD and Eric Van Gieson, PhD to its Board of Directors, effective immediately.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Baldoni and Dr. Van Gieson to our Board of Directors and look forward to their expertise as we continue to advance our EPICC platform beyond our current portfolio,” said Buzz Heidt, Chairman of ReAlta’s Board of Directors.  “John and Eric bring a wealth of experience driving technology innovation to guide ReAlta in the further development of our novel, dual-targeting platform, and the rest of the board and I look forward to working with them closely,” said ReAlta Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD.

John Baldoni, PhD

Dr. Baldoni has over 43 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including 29 years at GSK R&D and 11 years on GSK’s Executive Leadership Team as SVP of Platform Technology and Science. Dr. Baldoni’s Platform Technology and Science team supported the development of small molecules, biopharmaceuticals and cell and gene therapy modalities from discovery through commercialization. Dr. Baldoni stepped away from that leadership role in 2017 to start the first AI-driven drug discovery unit at GSK. After retiring from GSK in 2019, he spent a year as the Chief Technology Officer of a stealth AI-enabled drug discovery startup.  Dr. Baldoni conceptualized and serves as the CEO of the non-profit ATOM Research Alliance (ARA), an open membership public/private partnership organization utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches to expedite drug discovery for public benefit. John was also the first Chair of the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, an organization formed to foster improved healthcare by responsible investment, invention, and innovation in artificial intelligence. In addition, Dr. Baldoni is an independent consultant, whose clients include emerging, cutting-edge drug and diagnostic healthcare companies and established companies seeking new strategic direction. Dr. Baldoni has participated in the research and development of scores of commercial products and is a proponent of seeking, integrating, and implementing innovative approaches to drug discovery and development.  Dr. Baldoni received his PhD in biological chemistry from Penn State University in 1980.

Eric Van Gieson, PhD

Dr. Van Gieson has over 25 years of experience in developing medical technology in therapeutics, diagnostics and critical care with leadership roles in industry, academia, and Government.  Most recently, Dr. Van Gieson served as a Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he initiated programs to use host-based methods to mitigate the impacts of emerging diseases, as well as to optimize human performance.  At DARPA, Dr. Van Gieson deployed multiple products into clinical use in therapeutic and diagnostic applications, enabling a new diagnostic paradigm that harnesses the epigenome with AI/ML-based biological pathway analyses. This work has led to new technologies that can both diagnose and prognose diseases, guide healthcare decisions, optimize human performance, and enable discovery of new medical therapies based upon host pathway modulation. In addition, Dr. Van Gieson created programs at DARPA to prevent traumatic brain injury with molecular prophylaxes. Eric’s diverse roles in industry have included Chief Technology Officer at the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI, a STRATCOM UARC) as well as Director of Biosurveillance and Diagnostics at MRIGlobal. In these positions, Dr. Van Gieson worked together with private and interagency partners to develop a novel patient transport system, known as the Containerized BioContainment System (CBCS). This platform ultimately received an R&D 100 award and is currently in use by the Department of State, Department of Defense, and has served critical roles in transport of civilian/military patients in both Ebola and COVID-19 outbreaks.  Dr. Van Gieson also served as Chief of the Diagnostics, Disease Surveillance, and Threat Detection Division within the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and as Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL).  Dr. Van Gieson received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

About ReAlta Life Sciences

ReAlta Life Sciences, Inc. is a mid-stage clinical biotech company dedicated to saving lives by rebalancing the inflammatory response to address life threatening acute inflammatory and rare diseases. The Company’s EPICC peptides are based on research into the human astrovirus, HAstV-1, which causes a non-inflammatory, self-limiting gastroenteritis unique among viruses by inhibiting components of the innate immune system. ReAlta’s therapeutic peptides leverage these virus-derived mechanisms to rebalance complement and inflammatory processes in the body. The company’s pipeline is led by RLS-0071, which has received IND clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute graft-versus-host disease, and IND clearance, Orphan Drug Designation, and Fast Track Designation by the FDA, and Orphan Drug Designation by the European Medicines Agency, for the treatment of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The company launched in 2018 and is located in Norfolk, Virginia. For more information, please visit

Media and Investor Contact:

John Rickman

Chief Financial Officer


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