Healthcare Industry News:  Novartis 

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 News Release - December 17, 2013

Azure Biotech Announces Hiring of Ralph Makar as CEO

NEW YORK, NY--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) - Azure Biotech Inc. today announced that it has hired Ralph Makar as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective December 12, 2013. In his new position, Mr. Makar will be responsible for raising investment capital, providing strategic leadership and overseeing operations for the Company.

Mr. Makar brings executive level experience to the Company, having previously served as President and CEO of Bioject Medical Technology, Inc. Ralph Makar also served as Vice President and General Manager (GM) of the Therapeutics Business Unit at Berlex Labs, the US Division of Schering AG. Prior to that, Mr. Makar held a number of strategic and tactical marketing positions with increasing responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry at Novartis and Parke-Davis. Ralph Makar earned a B.S. in Pharmacy from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

With a history of more than 20 years of strategic leadership and Life Science expertise bringing products to market, Mr. Makar said, "I am delighted to join Azure Biotech. This compelling opportunity to develop a unique asset, lasofoxifene, for a new therapeutic option will allow Azure to address a high unmet medical need in women's health."

About Azure Biotech

Azure Biotech, Inc. is a private, newly formed biotechnology company which has acquired rights for development of a novel formulation of lasofoxifene targeting an underserved market in July 2013 from Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Azure Biotech, Inc. is uniquely qualified to bring lasofoxifene forward for targeted new indications and formulations. The Azure team plans to undertake the development of lasofoxifene in a new area of high medical need. Azure plans to rapidly build upon the extensive safety and efficacy data already available from trials completed with an oral formulation in more than 15,000 women. The Company's Board includes four uniquely qualified seasoned experts, including Dr. Steven R. Goldstein, MD, a globally recognized clinical leader in women's health, Dr. David Thompson, a seasoned pharmaceutical executive who directed the Pfizer team in the discovery of oral lasofoxifene through Phase 3 development and regulatory filings, and two additional seasoned pharmaceutical executives with prior expertise in launching new ventures, Dr. Susan Levinson and Ms. Valerie Ceva.

About Lasofoxifene

Lasofoxifene is an estrogen partial agonist for osteoporosis treatment and other diseases that was discovered through the research collaboration between Ligand and Pfizer that began in 1991. The oral, 0.5 mg form of lasofoxifene tartrate was developed by Pfizer under the trade name Fablyn®, and progressed through regulatory approval in the EU. After Pfizer acquired Conbriza® (bazedoxifene), a similar SERM program, from its acquisition of Wyeth, rights to all forms of lasofoxifene reverted to Ligand in early 2011.

Source: Azure Biotech

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