Healthcare Industry News:  OREXIGEN Therapeutics 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - October 4, 2006

OREXIGEN(TM) Therapeutics Expands Senior Management Team as Lead Products Advance Through Late-Stage Clinical Trials

Company Transitions from Virtual Operations to 'Brick and Mortar' at Headquarters in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 4 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- OREXIGEN(TM) Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held clinical-stage neuroscience company developing a novel strategic approach to the treatment of obesity, today announced the appointments of five senior managers to advance the company's lead products, Contrave(TM) and Excalia(TM), through clinical trials, prepare for commercialization and continue to build the company pipeline. The positions include Dr. Eduardo Dunayevich, OREXIGEN's chief medical officer; Dr. Ronald Landbloom, vice president of medical and regulatory affairs; Dr. Frank P. Bymaster, vice president of neurobiology; James Lancaster, Jr., vice president of commercialization and Shannon Lee Mount, director of clinical operations. They will be headquartered in San Diego as OREXIGEN centralizes its operations in southern California.

OREXIGEN develops drug combinations for obesity based on the company's proprietary knowledge of how the brain controls appetite and weight. The company's research emphasizes long term weight control by addressing central nervous system processes responsible for the so-called diet plateau. The company's lead programs, Contrave and Excalia, are being assessed in phase III and phase IIb clinical trials respectively.

Gary Tollefson, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of OREXIGEN, noted, "This is a definitive turning point for OREXIGEN as we continue our transformation from a virtual organization into a fully-staffed 'brick and mortar' operation. The encouraging results to date from our Contrave and Excalia clinical programs make it appropriate for us to acquire senior-level in-house medical, regulatory, commercial and scientific expertise, and we believe it is a testament to the promise of these programs that we were able to recruit top caliber executives. We believe the new members of our senior management team will be integral in continuing to advance our clinical programs and build our operation, and we're delighted to have them on board."

Dr. Dunayevich joins OREXIGEN as its chief medical officer from Lilly Research Laboratories at Eli Lilly and Company, where most recently he was a medical advisor in the clinical Neuroscience Program Phase. Dr. Dunayevich brings key experience to OREXIGEN through his past interactions with regulatory bodies, clinical investigators, academic collaborators, and health outcomes researchers.

Dr. Landbloom joins OREXIGEN as vice president of medical and regulatory affairs from Eli Lilly and Company, where he was the associate medical director for Neuroscience in their United States affiliate organization. Prior to joining Eli Lilly, Dr. Landbloom had over 30 years of clinical, research and teaching experience. Dr. Landbloom has been the principal investigator on over 80 different research projects in the fields of depression, schizophrenia, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Dr. Bymaster, OREXIGEN's vice president of neurobiology, has been a research consultant working with Eli Lilly, Compellis Pharmaceuticals and Hypnion. He holds 44 issued patents and was involved with the development of Prozac, Permax and Zyprexa as well as other central nervous system pharmaceuticals.

James Lancaster, Jr., a pharmacist by training, joins OREXIGEN as vice president of commercialization. He has been a marketing consultant to OREXIGEN as well as other biopharmaceutical companies including XenoPort, Neuronetics and Alkermes. Previously, at Eli Lilly and Company, he had been brand manager for Prozac and global marketing director for Zyprexa.

Shannon Lee Mount, the new director of clinical operations, is a registered nurse with education in clinical research. She also joins OREXIGEN from Eli Lilly and Company where she has served as senior clinical research nurse as well as a senior sales representative.

As chief medical officer, Dr. Dunayevich replaces an interim, acting CMO. The positions of vice president of medical and regulatory affairs, vice president of commercialization, vice president of neurobiology and director of clinical operations are newly created positions at OREXIGEN.


OREXIGEN(TM) Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately-held clinical-stage neuroscience company in San Diego, California developing novel strategic approaches to the treatment of obesity. OREXIGEN leverages its proprietary science to design and screen two-drug combinations that work together in the central nervous system to enhance satiety, diminish appetite, improve energy expenditure and minimize the body's efforts to compensate for weight loss. OREXIGEN has two lead compounds in clinical trials, Contrave(TM) (phase III) and Excalia(TM) (phase IIb), along with a pipeline of earlier stage drug combinations now being tested. Each acts on a specific group of neurons in the central nervous system with the goal of achieving appetite suppression and sustained weight loss. By targeting different groups of neurons OREXIGEN is working to develop compounds that each can achieve a different weight loss profile, providing rapid weight loss where required (Excalia) or emphasizing steady, sustainable weight loss where preferred (Contrave). More information about the company and its programs is available at

Source: OREXIGEN Therapeutics

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