Healthcare Industry News:  tyrosine kinase inhibitor 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - January 8, 2007

Ambit Biosciences Appoints Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President of Research & Development

SAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Ambit Biosciences announced today the appointment of Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President of Research & Development (R&D). Dr. Wierenga previously served as Executive Vice President of R&D at Neurocrine Biosciences and has been a member of Ambit's board of directors since 2005.

"Wendell's 30-year track record of successfully discovering and developing drugs - as evidenced by the 50 INDs and 10 NDAs that teams he's led have produced - make him invaluable as an existing board member," said Scott Salka, Chief Executive Officer of Ambit Biosciences. "As we begin clinical trials with AC220 and advance a promising pipeline of small molecule kinase inhibitors toward the clinic, we are very excited to have Wendell's undivided attention as a member of our senior leadership team."

"Ever since I headed up Syrrx prior to its acquisition by Takeda, I've been a big believer in the importance of high-throughput drug discovery tools, and Ambit has one of the most exciting screening platforms I've seen," said Dr. Wierenga. "Their strategy of leveraging their KinomeScan platform to access compound libraries from other companies and build a sustainable pipeline has been remarkably fruitful, and I look forward to working with Ambit's accomplished research team to guide these molecules through preclinical and clinical development and into the hands of physicians looking for better drugs to treat cancer patients."

In addition to his current board position and management role at Ambit, Dr. Wierenga holds board of director's positions at XenoPort and Onyx Pharmaceuticals as well as a scientific advisory board position at Concert Pharmaceuticals. For the past three years, Dr. Wierenga has served as Executive Vice President of R&D at Neurocrine Biosciences, where he managed a portfolio of six clinical programs including five INDs and two NDAs. Prior to joining Neurocrine, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Syrrx, Inc., where he managed the company's technology platform as well as its drug discovery and development efforts, which culminated in diabetes and oncology clinical candidates and ultimately the company's acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to form Takeda San Diego. He also served from 1990 to 2000 as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences, Technologies and Development at Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert (now Pfizer) and spent 16 years leading cancer and infectious disease research and drug discovery at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals. Over the years, he has led/participated in the research and development of more than 60 INDs, 10 NDAs and 10 marketed products, including Lipitor® and Neurontin®. Dr. Wierenga earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and completed an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford. He earned his B.A. from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

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 is initiating a Phase I clinical trial in acute myeloid leukemia with AC220, a selective class III receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. AC220 was discovered using Ambit's proprietary kinase profiling technology, KinomeScan, which 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.

Lipitor® and Neurontin® are registered trademarks of Pfizer Inc.


Source: Ambit Biosciences

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