Healthcare Industry News:  Celldex Therapeutics 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - April 9, 2009

Auspex Strengthens Executive Management Team

VISTA, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Auspex Pharmaceuticals, a developer of next-generation medicines through the targeted deuteration of clinically validated drugs, today announced three key management hires. The company has appointed Ronald C. Newbold, Ph.D., as Chief Business Officer; Andreas Sommer, Ph.D., as Vice President, Operations; and Tadimeti Rao, Ph.D., as Vice President, Preclinical Development.

“We are extremely pleased to add three senior executives with the wealth of expertise offered by Ron, Andreas, and Rao,” said Mike Grey, Auspex President and Chief Executive Officer. “Their collective experience at both emerging biotechnology and major pharmaceutical firms will be invaluable to Auspex as we grow our pipeline, advance more drug candidates into the clinic and actively seek partners for the further development and commercialization of our products.”

Ron Newbold, Ph.D. joins Auspex with over 14 years of business development and licensing experience for both technology-based assets and therapeutic clinical programs, as well as experience in new venture investment, intellectual property prioritization and alliance management. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Celldex Therapeutics. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations for Sentigen Biosciences until its acquisition by Invitrogen in 2006. Dr. Newbold began his professional career with over 13 years experience at Merck & Co., Inc. in a series of increasingly responsible positions, ultimately serving as Senior Director, Strategic Research Initiatives within Merck’s Licensing group. Dr. Newbold holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Rochester.

Andreas Sommer, Ph.D. joins the company following a successful 20-year career as a senior executive within both public and private biotechnology firms where he provided both executive operational and research leadership. Employed by Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, initially as senior Vice President Research and then as that company’s President and CEO, Dr. Sommer led a successful merger with Insmed, Inc. in association with an $80 million financing, leading to a multi-product company which saw its valuation increase from $300 million to over $900 million. Following the merger, as Chief Scientific Officer of Insmed, Dr. Sommer oversaw the NDA submission of Celtrix’s novel and complex recombinant protein Iplex™ to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, resulting in its subsequent marketing approval, as well as four successful new orphan drug applications to the FDA and EMEA. He began his industry career as Vice President, Research and Development for BioGrowth, Inc. Dr. Sommer received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis.

Tadimeti S. Rao, Ph.D. is a pharmacologist with a 20-year track record of leading successful preclinical drug development at both emerging biotechnology companies and major international pharmaceutical firms. He joins Auspex from Kalpsys, Inc., where he was Director of Pharmacology and Preclinical Development. Prior to that time he was employed in senior scientific roles at such companies as Merck, SIBIA Neuroscience, Pharmacia (GD Searle), and Novartis (CIBA-GEIGY) in increasingly responsible positions, lending his considerable expertise in advancing many late-preclinical programs into clinical development. Dr. Rao is a registered Pharmacist and holds a Ph.D. in Neurochemistry-Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

About Auspex Pharmaceuticals

Auspex Pharmaceuticals, founded in 2001, is a clinical stage company developing next-generation medicines with improved safety and performance. It is a pioneer in the targeted application of deuterium, a naturally occurring, safe and stable isotope of hydrogen, toward the improvement of clinically validated drugs. The goal of the company’s targeted deuteration strategy is to impart greater safety over existing agents, while maintaining or improving efficacy through the judicious use of deuterium as a replacement for metabolically labile hydrogen atoms. The company has applied this targeted deuteration strategy to established drug molecules across a wide range of therapeutic areas and has secured a proprietary position on more than one hundred compounds. The company has built a pipeline of promising drug candidates and their lead program, SD-254, is being readied for the initiation of Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of depression. The Auspex approach can rapidly generate potential “best-in-class” therapeutics for significant markets, while reducing the time, cost and risk of drug development. For more information on Auspex Pharmaceuticals, please visit the company's website at

Source: Auspex Pharmaceuticals

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