Healthcare Industry News: Novacea
News Release - April 14, 2010
Paul Westberg Joins Versartis as Senior Vice President, Business DevelopmentFocus on Transactions for Novel Therapeutics
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, April 14--(HSMN NewsFeed) - Versartis, Inc., an emerging biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for patients with metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders, announced that Paul Westberg has joined the company in the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Business Development. Mr. Westberg will work together with Jeffrey Cleland, Ph.D., Versartis Founder and Chief Executive Officer, to implement the overall business strategy for Versartis and will be responsible for developing strategic relationships for its two lead products. The company plans to initiate its first clinical trial of VRS-859 in type 2 diabetes patients in Q2 and have top-line results by the end of the year.
Most recently, Mr. Westberg was Vice President, Business Development at Bayhill Therapeutics, where his achievements included leading and closing a significant collaboration for a key therapeutic program, completing a broad range of corporate agreements, directing market research and contributing to fundraising efforts for this private biopharmaceutical company. Previously, he led business and corporate development as well as intellectual property activities at Novacea.
Mr. Westberg began his career in the biotechnology industry at Genentech and subsequently held management positions at Aviron, Collabra Pharma, and Deltagen. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, San Diego.
"Paul brings considerable corporate development, licensing and finance experience from both private and public biotechnology companies," said Dr. Cleland. "He recently completed a very large out-licensing deal with a major pharmaceutical company for a clinical-stage diabetes program. Paul's business experience, combined with our existing drug development expertise, will be instrumental to the future success of Versartis. We are very fortunate to have Paul join us to execute on our business strategy and to partner with me to lead Versartis forward."
"Versartis possesses the scientific excellence and expertise to significantly impact the future development of therapeutic proteins," commented Mr. Westberg. "The company is well positioned to move ahead with a number of its novel biologics using the XTEN technology and I am looking forward to working with Jeff and the entire team to rapidly advance these promising candidates."
Versartis, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders. The company's lead product candidates are VRS-859, a once monthly dosage form of the GLP-1 analog exenatide and VRS-317, a once monthly dosage form of human growth hormone. Versartis is pursuing the development of new therapeutic proteins utilizing the Amunix Inc. novel half-life extension XTEN technology.
Versartis, a joint venture company between Amunix, Inc. and Index Ventures, owns and develops the novel drug candidates in metabolic diseases and endocrinology that it has licensed from Amunix. Versartis has established preclinical proof-of-concept for three product candidates in its pipeline: exenatide and IL-1ra for diabetes, and hGH for growth hormone deficiency. Further information on Versartis can be found at www.versartis.com.
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