BOULDER, Colo. and SAN FRANCISCO, March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sirna Therapeutics announced today the appointment of Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D. to its Scientific Advisory Board as Chairperson. Dr. Yamamoto is currently Executive Vice Dean at the UCSF School of Medicine. He served as the Director of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at UCSF from 1988 to 2001 and as Chairperson of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology from 1994 to 2003.
Dr. Yamamoto's research has had a major impact on the fields of molecular biology, endocrinology and physiology. His research focuses on the mechanisms of signaling and gene regulation by intracellular receptors that mediate the actions of several classes of essential hormones. He and his colleagues have described their research in over 150 published studies.
Dr. Yamamoto has been a member of the UCSF faculty for more than 25 years starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1976.
As stated by Howard Robin, President and Chief Executive Officer, "Dr. Yamamoto's decision to join Sirna's Scientific Advisory Board and to take on the position of Chairperson is a major development in Sirna's leadership in the development of RNAi. Dr. Yamamoto is one of the most prominent workers in the field of gene expression regulation. He will provide insightful guidance to both internal research as well as assisting with relationship building that can potentially support our external collaboration efforts. Both Sirna management and the members of the Board of Directors look forward to his participation in our scientific meetings and decisions."
About his appointment Dr. Yamamoto said, "I am pleased to join the SAB of Sirna as its Chairperson. I am impressed with Sirna's capabilities and believe that Sirna is leading the way in the development of siRNA therapeutics."
From 1996-2000, Dr. Yamamoto served as Chairperson of the Advisory Committee to the Center for Scientific Review, the body at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that determines how the majority of federal biomedical research funds are distributed. In this position, Dr. Yamamoto played a key role in reforming the grant peer review process at the NIH. He has served on numerous national policy committees including the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Scientific Responsibility and the Conduct of Research (1990-1991), the Public Policy Committee of the ASCB (1992-2001), the NIH Director's Peer Review Oversight Group, (1996-1999) and the Lasker Foundation Forum on Ethical Challenges in Biomedical Research and Practice (2003). Dr. Yamamoto currently serves on the Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy and the National Academy of Sciences, Board on Life Sciences.
Dr. Yamamoto was a founder of the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell and served as Associate Editor, Editor or Editor-in-Chief from 1989-2003. He serves on numerous other editorial boards and scientific advisory boards. Dr. Yamamoto was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988, the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2002 and to the Institute of Medicine in 2003.
About Sirna Therapeutics
Sirna Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing RNAi-based therapies for serious diseases and conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Huntington's disease, diabetes, asthma, oncology, hepatitis C and hair removal. Sirna has initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial for its most advanced compound, Sirna-027, a chemically modified siRNA targeting the clinically validated vascular endothelial growth factor pathway to treat AMD. Sirna has strategic partnerships with Eli Lilly and Company, Targeted Genetics and Archemix Corporation and a leading intellectual property portfolio in RNAi. More information on Sirna Therapeutics is available on the Company's web site at http://www.sirna.com/.
Statements in this press release which are not strictly historical are "forward-looking" statements which should be considered as subject to many risks and uncertainties. Risks and uncertainties include Sirna's early stage of development and short operating history, whether Sirna can achieve and maintain profitability, whether Sirna can obtain and protect patents, the risk of third-party patent infringement claims, whether Sirna can engage collaborators and obtain regulatory approval for products, Sirna's concentration of stock ownership, and availability of materials for product manufacturing. These and additional risk factors are identified in Sirna's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including the Forms 10-K and 10-Q and in other SEC filings. Sirna undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.
Martin E. Schmieg, Sr. Vice President & CFO of Sirna Therapeutics, Inc., +1-303-449-6500 or Jason Rando, The Ruth Group, +1-646-536-7025