Healthcare Industry News:  Savient Pharmaceuticals 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - January 17, 2006

Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. Appoints New Director and Scientific Advisory Board to Support Oncologic and Metabolic Pipeline Development

BRIDGEWATER, N.J.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Jan. 17, 2006--Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer and metabolic disorders, today announced the addition of a new director and the appointment of a scientific advisory board (SAB). These appointments, along with recent management hires and promotions, are part of a controlled growth strategy to support two drugs in clinical development, advance the company's preclinical pipeline and in-license additional drug candidates.

Herbert J. Conrad became the sixth director on the board of Sapphire Therapeutics in late 2005. Mr. Conrad has served as US president of Roche Pharmaceuticals, a company he was affiliated with for 33 years in senior marketing and executive positions, as well as on the board of directors. He has also served on the Boards of Dura, UroCor, and Sicor, and as chairman of the board for GenVec and Bone Care International. Mr. Conrad is currently on the Boards of Savient Pharmaceuticals, Celldex Therapeutics, and Symphony Evolution.

"We welcome Herb, with his more than 40 years of industry experience leading large and small pharmaceutical companies, as an important addition to our board," said Gary C. Cupit, PharmD, president and chief executive officer of Sapphire. "With ambitious plans to bring a third drug into clinical testing this year, the guidance of directors such as Herb is essential support for our management team."

"Recent explosive growth in discovery and development of drug leads plus the trend towards consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry have generated an enormous pool of undeveloped drug leads and programs," said Mr. Conrad. "I'm thrilled to help Sapphire realize the value of its approach by selecting the most attractive candidates from this pool and rapidly advancing multiple products through clinical development."

Sapphire also announced the appointment of nine medical and pharmacology experts to the company's first scientific advisory board. More detailed biographical information on these appointees is available through the Sapphire Therapeutics' web site: www.sappphirethera.com.

Philip Bell, PhD, a consultant specializing in the scientific, strategic, and tactical evaluation of drug discovery and development projects, is an expert on vitamin and hormone action, endocrine cancer therapeutics, and metabolic diseases. His more than 20-year career in pharmaceutical discovery and development culminated in a position as global therapeutic area head, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases research at Novartis Pharma Research.

Peter Blower, PhD, is currently Chairman of Biophar Consulting Ltd, a UK-based company specializing in pharmacodynamic profiling, technical drug development, and strategic marketing of novel therapeutic agents. Previously, Dr. Blower was director, neuroscience and gastrointestinal product development for GlaxoSmithKline, leading research and development studies for drugs in these therapeutic areas.

John C. Chabala, PhD, is a founder of Pharmacopeia, Inc., where he served as President, Chief Scientific Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. Previously, Dr. Chabala was vice president of discovery chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb and executive director of basic chemistry at Merck Sharp & Dohme. He is a co-inventor of ivermectin, one of the largest selling parasiticides.

David Feldman, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at Stanford University School of Medicine, was chief of the endocrinology division for 10 years. He has served on the editorial boards of Endocrinology, the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, published over 225 papers in scientific journals, and has edited two major texts on vitamin D and on osteoporosis.

Alan B. Glassberg, MD, is clinical professor of medicine and associate director for clinical care at the University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also director, hematology/oncology, and general oncology at Mount Zion Medical Center, San Francisco. Dr. Glassberg also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Randall K. Johnson, PhD, is currently a consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, focused on anticancer drug discovery and development. Previously, he was group director of the department of oncology research at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.

Alan S. Nies, MD, was most recently senior vice president, clinical sciences, at Merck Research Laboratories, responsible for clinical research and development worldwide. He is currently clinical professor in the department of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and adjunct professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University. Dr Nies is President of Nies Consulting, LP and serves on several boards of directors.

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, is professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical research in the biological sciences division at the University of Chicago. He also serves as chairman of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Dr. Schilsky is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, specializing in gastrointestinal malignancies and drug development.

Alastair J. Wood, MB, ChB, received his medical degree from St Andrew's University and Dundee Medical School in Scotland. After clinical training in Internal Medicine, he took a fellowship at Vanderbilt Medical School, joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1978. Today he is a tenured professor of medicine and pharmacology and attending physician. He was assistant vice chancellor for clinical research, and is now the associate dean.

"Our purpose in appointing a scientific advisory board is to further leverage our internal staff expertise through the hundreds of years of experience in oncology and metabolic disease that are embodied in this panel of world experts," said Dr. William Polvino, executive vice president. "We are particularly gratified to have attracted nine of the world's thought leaders across our target fields, and look forward to working closely with them to advance multiple therapeutics for various medical targets."

About Sapphire Therapeutics

Sapphire is a private biopharmaceutical company that in-licenses and develops promising small-molecule drug candidates to treat metabolic and oncologic diseases for which existing therapies are limited or marginally effective. The company's first investigational drug candidates are a series of orally active and parenterally deliverable small molecules with therapeutic potential in metabolic and oncologic diseases that were in-licensed as preclinical compounds from Novo Nordisk in May 2001. The furthest advanced of this series is RC-1291, currently in Phase II development in cancer patients with anorexia/cachexia syndrome, a common, life-threatening complication of underlying malignant disease. The second drug, RC-8800, is a small molecule that acts on the vitamin D (calcitriol) metabolic pathway, being developed as a treatment for various cancers, and is currently in Phase I development for prostate cancer. The company is advancing several additional molecules through preclinical development while actively seeking more drug candidates.


Source: Sapphire Therapeutics

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