Healthcare Industry News: Sirna Therapeutics
News Release - March 8, 2007
CytRx RNAi Subsidiary, RXi Pharmaceuticals, Names Vice President of Pharmaceutical DevelopmentA Leader in Bringing RNAi Drug Candidates from Bench into Clinical Trials
LOS ANGELES--(HSMN NewsFeed)--CytRx Corporation's (NASDAQ:CYTR ) majority-owned subsidiary, Worcester, Mass.-based RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXi), today announced that Pamela A. Pavco, Ph.D., has joined RXi as Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development.
"Dr. Pavco brings a demonstrated success in RNA drug development to the RXi team. During her 14-year tenure at Sirna Therapeutics, which was recently acquired by Merck for approximately $1.1 billion, she was responsible for moving its first RNAi drug candidate into the clinic in less than one year. She also directed research and preclinical development of three other RNA drug candidates that continued into clinical trials," said Tod Woolf, Ph.D., RXi's President and CEO.
Dr. Pavco brings to RXi extensive experience in the discovery and development of RNA therapeutics. From 1992 to 2006, Dr. Pavco held various positions of increasing responsibility at Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc.). In addition to leading the effort to develop Sirna's first RNAi therapeutic, she also managed corporate partnerships and collaborations that included Allergan, Inc. for ocular disease, Targeted Genetics, Inc. in Huntington's Disease, Eli Lilly for Hepatitis C, and Elan Pharmaceuticals and Chiron Corporation in oncology.
Dr. Pavco earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University and conducted postdoctoral research at Duke University. Dr. Pavco has authored numerous scientific articles and contributed to approximately 48 patents and patent applications in the RNA therapeutics field. She is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and the Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology.
About CytRx Corporation
CytRx Corporation is a biopharmaceutical research and development company engaged in the development of high-value human therapeutics. The Company owns three clinical-stage compounds based on its small molecule "molecular chaperone" co-induction technology. In September 2006 CytRx announced that arimoclomol was shown to be safe and well tolerated at all three doses tested in its Phase IIa clinical trial in patients with ALS. The Company plans to enter a Phase IIb clinical trial with arimoclomol in ALS in the second half of 2007, subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The FDA has granted Fast Track designation and Orphan Drug status to arimoclomol for the treatment of ALS. Also in September 2006, CytRx announced receipt of $24.5 million in a non-dilutive agreement with the privately funded ALS Charitable Remainder Trust to fund continued arimoclomol development for the treatment for ALS in return for a 1% royalty from potential worldwide sales of arimoclomol for the treatment of ALS. The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of The ALS Association is the charitable beneficiary of the ALS Charitable Remainder Trust. For more information on the Company, visit www.cytrx.com.
About RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
RXi is a biopharmaceutical research and development company that will focus on developing RNAi-based therapeutics for the treatment of human disease. RXi's initial focus will be on neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, type 2 diabetes and obesity. RXi has licenses to a diverse series of early patents and patent applications that were filed from 1998 to 2006 in the areas of RNAi target sequences, RNAi chemistry and RNAi delivery. The company was founded by CytRx and RNAi pioneers Craig Mello, Ph.D., 2006 Nobel Laureate for discovering RNAi and inventing RNAi therapeutics, Tariq M. Rana, Ph.D., inventor of fundamental technology for stabilizing RNAi and of RNAi nanotransporters, Greg Hannon, Ph.D., discoverer of RNAi mechanism (RISC) and short hairpin RNAi (shRNAi), and Michael Czech, Ph.D., a leader in the application of RNAi to diabetes and obesity. RXi's CEO, Tod Woolf, Ph.D., previously co-invented and commercialized STEALTH(TM) RNAi, one of the most widely used second-generation RNAi research products.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements (statements as to matters other than historical facts) as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward looking statements. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the need for RXi to obtain significant financing in the coming months for which it does not yet have commitments, RXi's need to raise significant capital to fund operations and development of its potential products, the need to establish management and other infrastructure for the RXi subsidiary, intense competition with other companies focused on RNAi and other larger companies with RNAi programs and with other existing or new therapeutic modalities, the early stage of development of RXi's technology, and the scope, timing and outcome of pre-clinical and clinical testing and regulatory review of RXi's potential products. Additional risks or uncertainties are described in CytRx's most recently filed SEC documents, such as its most recent annual report on Form 10-K, all quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and any current reports on Form 8-K filed since the date of the last Form 10-K. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to CytRx on the date the statements are first published. CytRx undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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