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TheStreet Open House

WaferGen Appoints Ivan Trifunovich President, CEO, And Director

Stocks in this article: HLCSHOLXJNJWGBS

FREMONT, Calif., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTCBB:WGBS), an emerging genomic analysis company, today announced the appointment of Ivan Trifunovich, Ph.D., as President, CEO, and Director of the company. Dr. Trifunovich brings 20 years of life science executive experience to WaferGen.  

In connection with Dr. Trifunovich's appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, the company's Office of the President no longer holds duties of the principal executive officer. Ms. Mona Chadha will continue as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, and Mr. Don Huffman will continue as Chief Financial Officer.

"Dr. Trifunovich's leadership positions at several top life science and pharmaceutical companies make him exceptionally well qualified to take the helm of WaferGen," said Alnoor Shivji, Chairman of the Board.  "His experience at genomic analysis companies Third Wave Technologies (now a part of Hologic (Nasdaq:HOLX)) and Helicos Biosciences provides him with in-depth knowledge of our marketplace. His management positions in R&D and sales and marketing at pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Pharmacia, and Bristol-Myers add to the breadth of his insight.  He understands the market, the product landscape, and how to succeed – from strategy, to planning, to implementation.

"I would also like to thank Mona and Don for their significant contributions during the transition period and CEO search process.  They ensured that our platform continued to develop rapidly and helped to propel forward a pipeline of promising applications."

"I am excited to take the leadership role at WaferGen, whose SmartChip System is a superb technology platform addressing multiple high value applications," said Dr. Trifunovich. "As the use of next generation sequencing rapidly grows, the SmartChip System is well positioned for downstream validation of genome-wide association studies all the way to molecular diagnostics. We will focus on creating maximum value by leveraging the SmartChip platform's flexibility and throughput in well-defined applications with high market potential. It will be a pleasure to work with the WaferGen team, with its experienced Board of Directors led by enormously successful serial entrepreneur Alnoor Shivji, and the world class Scientific Advisory Board."

Ivan Trifunovich, Ph.D., is an established leader in the healthcare and life science industries, where he has held a number of executive positions and served as a strategic consultant to global multi-national companies.  Currently, he is serving as Executive Chairman, President and CEO of Helicos Biosciences (OTCQB: HLCS.PK) and will continue to serve in that role following his appointment as President, CEO and Director of WaferGen. Previously, Dr. Trifunovich served as the Senior Vice President of Third Wave Technologies, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, from December 2001 through August 2008. Prior to joining Third Wave Technologies, Inc., Dr. Trifunovich held successive positions of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing and R&D with large pharmaceutical companies. During his tenure in large pharma, he was the named inventor on multiple patents related to the semi-synthesis of TAXOL(R). Dr. Trifunovich received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at UCLA and an M.B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. 

About WaferGen and the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System
WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. is an emerging genomic analysis company in the early stage of commercialization. The company offers the transformative SmartChip Real-Time PCR System—a next-generation Real-Time PCR System for profiling and validation of gene expression patterns (biomarkers) on a single platform. The SmartChip System provides a range of high-throughput capabilities including microRNA and mRNA gene expression profiling and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. WaferGen also offers Quick-Turnaround SmartChip Custom (user-defined) Panels to enable validation studies of specific genes of interest through customization of high-throughput, real-time PCR SmartChip assay panels.

In addition, the company provides an innovative fee-based service for gene-expression profiling using the SmartChip System. For additional information, please see http://www.wafergen.com

Forward Looking StatementsThis press release contains certain "forward-looking statements".  Such statements include statements relating to the contributions of Ivan Trifunovich as President, CEO and Director, statements relating to the expected throughput levels of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, and other statements relating to future events are not historical facts, including statements which may be preceded by the words "intends," "may," "will," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "projects," "predicts," "estimates," "aims," "believes," "hopes," "potential" or similar words.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the company.  Actual results may differ materially from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements.  Factors that may cause such differences include the risks that: (i) the company may be unsuccessful in commercially developing its products or in achieving market acceptance of new and relatively unproven technologies; (ii) the company may need to raise additional capital to meet its business requirements in the future and the company may not be able to do so on reasonable terms or at all; (iii) the company's proprietary intellectual property rights may not adequately protect its products and technologies; and (iv) the company expects intense competition in its target markets, including from companies that have much greater resources than the company, and there can be no assurance that the company will be able to compete effectively.  More detailed information about the company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 and the company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2011.  Security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov.  The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts: WaferGen510-651-4450

Don Huffman, CFO don.huffman@wafergen.com

Media: Joyce Strand joyce.strand@wafergen.com

Investors: Jeff Ramson, ProActive jramson@proactivecrg.com 646-863-6893

SOURCE WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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