Healthcare Industry News: XOMA
News Release - April 25, 2011
Threshold Update Since Sudden Death of Its Chief Medical OfficerSamuel Saks, M.D., to Join the Company as Interim Chief Medical Officer
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 25, 2011 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:THLD ) today provided an update since the death last week of John G. Curd, M.D., president and chief medical officer.
"We owe John a tremendous amount of gratitude for his tireless efforts on behalf of the extended Threshold family, which includes co-workers, directors, investigators, nurses, shareholders, and ultimately patients," said Dr. Barry Selick, Threshold's chief executive officer. "John was a remarkable person who dedicated his life to patients and their well-being -- from his early years in medical practice to his leadership at biotech companies pursuing the development of new medicines for patients in need. He was passionate and compassionate, a friend to so many and a tireless mentor to young scientists and non-scientists alike. Nothing less than the successful development of TH-302, our drug candidate in which John believed so strongly, will be sufficient tribute to his legacy."
John joined Threshold as president and CMO in October, 2007. Although not formally trained as an oncologist, John's depth of understanding of cancer as well as his expertise and success in oncology drug development provided Threshold with invaluable insight for its TH-302 program. In addition to his responsibilities overseeing clinical development for the company, John was also an enthusiastic ambassador who was both liked and admired by our colleagues within the industry as well as the company's shareholders. John could always be found at the company's AACR or other medical meeting posters, spreading the gospel of TH-302 and trying to recruit new disciples. To quote one of our institutional shareholders, "Since I started in this career in 1989, I have met thousands of management teams and John was a stand-out among them all." All of us at Threshold agree wholeheartedly and we will miss John deeply.
John Gary Curd was born in Grand Junction, Colorado to the late H. Ronald and Edna Hegsted Curd. John graduated from Princeton University Class of 1967 and from Harvard Medical School in 1971. Following internship and residency, John served as a Lieutenant Commander for the Navy commissioned to the National Institute of Health, Rheumatology Research. In 1975, with his loving spouse Karen, he moved to California, where he had been a resident for the past 36 years.
John will always be remembered for his contributions and life service to the medical profession. He dedicated the first 16 years of his medical career to clinical practice and research in the rheumatology field at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, where he served as the President of the Scripps Green Hospital. In 1991 John transitioned his medical experience to the biotechnology field as the vice president of Clinical Development at Genentech, where he concentrated for 10 years on developing new treatments for cancer. Subsequent to Genentech, he was the executive vice president of VaxGen, president and chief medical officer of Novacea, and most recently president and chief medical officer of Threshold Pharmaceuticals. John also advised several start-up biotechnology companies in the Bay Area through his participation on their boards and held several medical board certifications.
In addition to his passion for advancing science, John enjoyed spending time outdoors. Many of his favorite memories involved camping and backpacking with family in such places as Yosemite, Alaska, and the Grand Canyon. John also enjoyed sharing a glass of wine with friends and working on his cars.
He will be remembered as a loving husband, inspiring father, and wonderful grandfather. In addition to his wife of forty years, Karen Curd, Ph.D., he is survived by four children: Alison (Tyson) Lowery, Jonathan (Jessica) Curd, Edward Curd and Bethany Curd as well as three grandchildren, Jackson and Kensington Curd and Calista Lowery.
The family also encourages you to visit http://1000memories.com/johncurd to share memories and pictures. Should friends desire, contributions may be made in memory of John to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or online at www.dana-farber.org/how/gifts. Services for Dr. Curd will held on Tuesday, April 26, at 5:30 pm. PT. For more details, please contact Amelia Mogot at (650) 474-8220.
As the company mentioned in its most recent announcement, we do not anticipate that Dr. Curd's passing will have an impact on its ongoing or planned clinical trials. To facilitate the company's transition while seeking a permanent replacement for Dr. Curd, Samuel Saks, M.D., will be joining the company as its chief medical officer on an interim basis, effective May 1, 2011. Dr. Saks is a board certified oncologist who was most recently the founding CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals until his retirement in 2009. From 2001 until he joined Jazz, Dr. Saks was company group chairman of ALZA Corporation and member of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Operating Committee. From 1992 until 2001, he held executive positions at ALZA, including group vice president, ALZA Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for clinical, regulatory and commercial activities. Prior to joining ALZA, Dr. Saks held clinical research and development management positions with Schering-Plough, XOMA and Genentech. Dr. Saks has a Bachelor's degree in biology and his medical degree from the University of Illinois.
About Threshold Pharmaceuticals
Threshold is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of drugs targeting Tumor Hypoxia, the low oxygen condition found in microenvironments of most solid tumors. This approach offers broad potential to treat most solid tumors. By selectively targeting tumor cells, we are building a pipeline of drugs that hold promise to be more effective and less toxic to healthy tissues than conventional anticancer drugs. For additional information, please visit our website (www.thresholdpharm.com).
Source: Threshold Pharmaceuticals
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