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Biopharmaceuticals Oncology Personnel

 News Release - December 13, 2006

Ambit Biosciences Announces Establishment of Clinical Oncology Advisory Board

Brian J. Druker, M.D., and Gordon B. Mills, M.D., Ph.D., Bring Kinase Expertise to Board

SAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Ambit Biosciences today announced the establishment of a Clinical Oncology Advisory Board that will counsel the company in its oncology kinase inhibitor drug discovery and development efforts. Ambit has appointed Brian J. Druker, M.D., and Gordon B. Mills, M.D., Ph.D., as the first members of the Board. Dr. Druker, of the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), was instrumental in the development of the blockbuster kinase inhibitor, GleevecŪ, which is approved for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Dr. Mills, of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, is best known for his work in identifying kinases and biomarkers used in both the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

"Dr. Druker and Dr. Mills are two of the most respected researchers in the oncology field and have particular expertise in kinase inhibitors, the class of therapeutics that has generated the majority of new targeted cancer drugs approved in the last several years," said Scott Salka, CEO of Ambit. "We are honored to have these two leading clinicians as the founding members of our Clinical Oncology Advisory Board. We look forward to drawing on their expertise as we prepare to initiate clinical trials before the end of the year with AC220, our kinase inhibitor for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia or AML."

Dr. Brian J. Druker, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at OHSU Cancer Institute, where he is professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology and has joint appointments in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Druker's extensive research into the regulation of the growth of cancer cells led to the development of Gleevec, which is approved for the treatment of CML and GIST. Dr. Druker has received many awards for his work with Gleevec including the Robert-Koch Prize, the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society, the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the American Association of Cancer Research, the John J. Kenney Award from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School, and the Pioneer of Survivorship Carpe Diem Award from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Dr. Druker received his M.D. from the University of California, San Diego; completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, associated with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Gordon B. Mills has made significant contributions to the understanding of ovarian cancer, including the identification of lysophosphatidic acid as a possible biomarker for early-stage ovarian cancer and a potential target for therapy. He also has played a major role in elucidating the genetic aberrations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/PTEN/AKT kinase pathway, generating interest in this cascade as a major target for the treatment of multiple types of cancer. Dr. Mills, a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, is a professor with joint appointments in medicine, molecular therapeutics, breast medical oncology and immunology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. He also serves as chairman of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and holds the Ann Rife Cox Chair in Gynecology. In addition, Dr. Mills is co-director of the newly formed Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers, which is responsible for developing personalized molecular medicine at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Mills has authored more than 300 scientific papers, and his research has been recognized by several awards, including the Gordon Fisher Prize for Excellence in Research. Dr. Mills earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Alberta.

About Ambit Biosciences

Ambit Biosciences is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of small molecule kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Ambit plans to initiate clinical trials in 2006 for AC220, its selective class III receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor that will initially be tested in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Ambit's proprietary kinase profiling technology, KinomeScan, is designed to be integrated across all stages of the drug discovery and development process and has been validated through collaborations with Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Cephalon and others. Ambit has a strong syndicate of investors including Perseus-Soros Biopharmaceutical Fund, Forward Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, Avalon Ventures, GIMV NV, MDS Capital, Genechem and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

GleevecŪ is a registered trademark of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.


Source: Ambit Biosciences

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