Healthcare Industry News:  SINGULAIR 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - July 30, 2007

Amira Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointment of First Chief Executive Officer

SAN DIEGO, California, July 30 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Amira Pharmaceuticals, a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of compounds to treat inflammatory disease linked to the eicosanoid pathway, today announced that the company has appointed Robert F. Baltera, Jr., as the company's first chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Baltera is a seasoned pharmaceutical industry executive who acquired a wealth of business and product management experience during 17 years with biotech pioneer Amgen.

"Bob Baltera brings a depth of business experience that will be a perfect complement to the scientific expertise of Amira's founding team," said Peppi Prasit, PhD., chief scientific officer and a co-founder of Amira. "The addition of his business acumen enhances our ability to deliver high-value therapeutic compounds for the future."

Before becoming Amira's CEO, Baltera held a number of senior management positions at Amgen, most recently as vice president of corporate and contract manufacturing. A scientist by training, Baltera joined Amgen at the beginning of his career as a research associate but quickly moved to the operations side of the business, working in finance, product development and commercial operations. He successfully used that collective experience to serve as team leader responsible for the approval of Kineret(TM) in rheumatoid arthritis, a highlight of his many accomplishments while at Amgen.

"It's an exciting time to be joining Amira, with the company's lead compound moving through its first clinical trial and generating solid early data," said Baltera. "I look forward to helping the Amira team advance the development of new and innovative therapies for patients in need, the primary focus of the work at Amira."

Baltera has a master's of business administration from the Anderson School at UCLA. He earned his bachelor's degree in microbiology and a master's degree in genetics from The Pennsylvania State University.

About Amira

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Diego, Amira Pharmaceuticals is a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of compounds to treat inflammatory disease linked to the eicosanoid pathway.

The company combines the rigor of a big pharmaceutical company with the ingenuity and energy of a small company, creating an environment for efficient and effective pre-clinical and clinical program decisions. Its scientific founders have successfully worked together for more than a decade and were pivotal in the discovery of a number of inflammatory drugs, including SINGULAIR. The drug hunters at Amira are now actively leveraging their history of success to create high-value compounds for the future.

In January 2006, Amira signed a collaboration with Roche to establish a research alliance and an option for Amira to license two clinical-stage compounds from Roche. Amira has yet to exercise its option.

Amira has raised $40 million to date from investors including Novo A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark), Avalon Ventures (San Diego, CA), Prospect Ventures (Palo Alto, CA) and Versant Ventures (Menlo Park, CA). For more information, visit

Source: Amira Pharmaceuticals

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