FREMONT, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), a biotechnology company pioneering the field of regenerative medicine, today announced the appointment of Ryan Chavez to the position of Chief Financial Officer. In his expanded role, Mr. Chavez, who will also retain the title of General Counsel, will oversee all financial aspects of the company. Mr. Chavez will continue to report to Asterias' President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Cartt. Mr. Chavez joined Asterias in July 2016 as its Executive Vice President of Finance and General Counsel. "Since Ryan joined Asterias earlier this year, he has provided strong financial and legal leadership for Asterias," said Mr. Cartt. "Ryan's financial and legal background and prior experience within the healthcare industry will continue to be instrumental as we further execute on our strategy to advance the clinical progress of our therapeutic candidates. He has quickly become a key member of our leadership team, and we look forward to Ryan's many contributions in the years ahead." Prior to joining Asterias, Mr. Chavez was Vice President and General Counsel of Mallinckrodt's Autoimmune and Rare Disease Division. Before joining Mallinckrodt in August 2014, he served as Associate General Counsel at Questcor. Prior to joining Questcor in October 2012, he worked at the law firms of Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth and Rutan & Tucker. Previously, Mr. Chavez served in various financial roles at General Electric Co. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Chapman University School of Law and his B.A. with honors and distinction from Stanford University. About Asterias Biotherapeutics Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company pioneering the field of regenerative medicine. The company's proprietary cell therapy programs are based on its immunotherapy and pluripotent stem cell platform technologies. Asterias is presently focused on advancing three clinical-stage programs which have the potential to address areas of very high unmet medical need in the fields of neurology and oncology. AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) is currently in a Phase 1/2a dose escalation clinical trial in spinal cord injury.