NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- David A. Evans Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of WellGen, Inc., passed away on June 1, 2006 following a brief illness. Dr. Evans, 54, was a well-regarded scientist and business leader in the food, biotechnology and nutrigenomics industries.
WellGen, Inc. is a privately owned biotechnology company using nutrigenomics to develop ingredients that reduce the risk and severity of disease for the food, therapeutics, and dietary supplement markets.
Richard Laster, Chairman of WellGen, said, "We are all shocked and deeply saddened by this terrible, unexpected occurrence. Dave Evans was a wonderful colleague and friend. He was highly intelligent and filled with energy and new ideas. Over the years, Dave had earned tremendous respect throughout our industry as a serious scientist and businessman, and had been doing an outstanding job guiding WellGen towards a very promising future. We will greatly miss him."
Mr. Laster stated that the Board of Directors will meet soon to decide on the longer-term leadership of the Company. In the interim Mr. Arthur Finnel, WellGen's Chief Financial Officer, will assume day-to-day operating responsibilities for the Company.
Dr. Evans joined WellGen in 1999 as CEO and President. From 1981-1999, Dr. Evans was with DNA Plant Technology Corporation, where he was Co-Founder and EVP of Business and Product Development. While at DNAP, he was on the Board of Directors of several joint ventures with DuPont, Union Carbide, and others. He introduced several new products into DNAP's $300 million produce operation, from research through production to market introduction.
Dr. Evans earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Genetics, and completed the PMD at Harvard Business School. He was formerly Assistant Professor, State University of New York, and Research Manager, Campbell Soup Co. Dr. Evans was an inventor on 12 US patents and published over 100 scientific papers. He was an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Biology at Rutgers University from 1983-1994.
In addition to his business activities, Dave pursued many interests. He was an avid birder, completed the 2005 New York City Marathon and played racquetball daily.
WellGen, Inc., based in New Brunswick, NJ, and located on the campus of Rutgers University, is developing products for food, therapeutics, and dietary supplement markets. WellGen's technical platform is a method of screening the effect of food and related substances on the expression of genes associated with human health conditions. The company has developed proprietary substances that help reduce risk and severity for a variety of diseases. For more information, please visit our website at www.wellgen.com.