Healthcare Industry News: Medarex
News Release - March 27, 2012
Synta Announces Appointment of George Farmer, Ph.D., as Vice President, Corporate DevelopmentLEXINGTON, Mass.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA ) today announced the appointment of Dr. George Farmer as Vice President of Corporate Development, leading the communications, competitive intelligence and strategy functions.
Dr. Farmer received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University, was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute post-doctoral fellow at the University of California in San Francisco, a Koch Research Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and a Senior Scientist at DuPont Pharmaceuticals before joining the investment community as a biotechnology analyst in 2001. As a Senior Analyst at, most recently, Canaccord Genuity, Dr. Farmer covered a wide range of biotechnology companies, with a focus on those specializing in oncology, including Genentech, Amgen, Celgene, Medarex, Onyx Pharma, Dendreon, OSI Pharma, Seattle Genetics, Synta, and others.
“Dr. Farmer brings to our team a unique combination of oncology expertise, knowledge of industry dynamics, and experience with the investment community,” said Safi Bahcall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synta Pharmaceuticals. “Excelling at communicating cutting-edge science to audiences in the medical, scientific, and investment communities is a critical element of competitive advantage in building our business and in realizing the potential of our compounds to benefit patients. George’s years of experience and relationships, together with his data-driven approach and focus on high quality science, is a great fit with our team and a tremendous asset in achieving these goals.”
“I am excited to join the Synta team as ganetespib development approaches critical inflection points,” said Dr. Farmer. “The company has executed exceptionally well in establishing clinical proof-of-concept with this novel Hsp90 inhibitor, which could prove transformative in the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. In particular, I believe the activity observed with ganetespib in advanced ALK+ lung cancer patients is astonishing and supports potential for a streamlined regulatory path and expedient patient access. Of all of the agents in this class moving through clinical development, I see ganetespib as having the highest promise by far.”
Ganetespib is a potent inhibitor of Hsp90 that is structurally unrelated to first-generation, ansamycin-family Hsp90 inhibitors. Over 20 clinical trials have been initiated with ganetespib, with over 500 patients treated to date. In these trials, ganetespib has demonstrated strong single-agent clinical activity, with a favorable safety profile, in patients with several different types of cancer who have failed to respond to, or progressed following treatment with, multiple prior therapies. The most common adverse event seen to date has been grade 1 or 2 diarrhea, which has been transient and manageable with standard supportive care.
A Phase 2b/3 trial evaluating the combination of ganetespib and docetaxel in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have progressed following treatment with first-line therapy, the GALAXY trial, is ongoing with data readouts expected later this year. Global clinical trials evaluating ganetespib in patients with ALK+ lung cancer, and in patients with HER2+ or triple-negative breast cancer, are now initiating.
Information on clinical trials with ganetespib can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Hsp90 (Heat Shock Protein 90) is a molecular chaperone required for the proper folding and activation of many cancer-promoting proteins, and is recognized as a key facilitator of cancer cell growth and survival. Many of the “client proteins” of Hsp90 – such as ALK, AKT, BCR-ABL, BRAF, KIT, MET, EGFR, FLT3, HER2, PDGFRA, VEGFR are the targets of clinically validated cancer drugs. In preclinical studies, inhibiting Hsp90 causes the degradation of multiple client proteins and leads to cancer cell death.
About Synta Pharmaceuticals
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to extend and enhance the lives of patients with severe medical conditions, including cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Synta has a unique chemical compound library, an integrated discovery engine, and a diverse pipeline of clinical- and preclinical-stage drug candidates with distinct mechanisms of action and novel chemical structures. All Synta drug candidates were invented by Synta scientists using our compound library and discovery capabilities. For more information, please visit www.syntapharma.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This media release may contain forward-looking statements about Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will", "would", "should", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "believes", "may", "estimates", "predicts", "projects", or similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements, including statements relating to the timing, developments and progress of our ganetespib clinical program, reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including those described in "Risk Factors" of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Synta undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Source: Synta Pharmaceuticals
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