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Sagres Discovery Names Key Oncology And Drug Development Experts To Scientific Advisory Board

10/19/2005 5:10:12 PM

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Sagres Discovery today announced new members to its Scientific Advisory Board, formed to advise the oncology-based company as it advances its drug discovery programs. The new members of the board will advise Sagres Discovery as it extracts value from the Oncogenome(TM) (a comprehensive list of genes that cause cancer) by therapeutic antibody development of its most promising targets.

The six Scientific Advisory Board members who will serve as consultants and advisors to Sagres are:

-- Raymond Stevens, Ph.D., Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Stevens is Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute and was co-founder of MemRx and Syrrx, companies focused on drug discovery. Dr. Stevens has many years of experience in structure-based drug discovery and is an expert and pioneer in the study of membrane proteins. -- Ali Fattaey, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Discovery Research, Sagres Discovery. Previously Vice President of Discovery Research at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Fattaey is a veteran of the biotechnology industry and has led the drug discovery efforts at Sagres for the past year. -- Frank McCormick, Ph.D., F.R.S., Director, UCSF Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute. Dr. McCormick was the founder and former Chief Scientific Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals and as a member of the Exelixis Board of Directors, currently serves as a senior advisor for the company's research and development organization. Dr. McCormick is a world renowned leader in studying cell signaling mechanisms in cancer and is credited with the discovery and development of numerous novel cancer therapeutics. -- Mark Pegram, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine and Director, Women's Cancer Program at the UCLA/Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Pegram is a recognized expert in translational cancer research and a leader in discovery and development of targeted cancer therapeutics. -- Wilbur (Dick) Leopold, Ph.D., President, Molecular Imaging Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Leopold has nearly 30 years of research and management experience in the field of cancer research and drug development, most recently as the Executive Director of Cancer Pharmacology and Therapeutic Area Site Leader for Oncology at Pfizer in Ann Arbor. Dr. Leopold was a co-founder of the Cancer Drug Discovery Program at Parke Davis and is credited with the discovery and development of more than 18 novel anticancer drug candidates. -- Tony Hunter, Ph.D., F.R.S., Professor, Salk Institute and Adjunct Professor, University of California, San Diego. Dr. Hunter is a Foreign Associate of the National Academy and had been a member of the first Sagres Scientific Advisory Board for the past two years. Dr. Hunter is one of the foremost recognized leaders in the field of cell growth control, growth factor receptors and their signal transduction pathways. Dr. Hunter was a founder of Signal Pharmaceuticals.

"Sagres' Scientific Advisory Board will meet frequently and play an integral role in guiding the development of the company's drug discovery efforts," noted Dr. Fattaey. "We are fortunate to have a world class team of advisors that are focused in cancer research and drug discovery to guide us as we leverage Sagres' technology for cancer therapeutic discovery and development."

"Taking a genomic approach towards oncology target discovery and converting this platform to drug discovery provides Sagres with very high quality targets and the animal models to validate the therapeutics that are developed," explained Dr. Stevens. "More than 1,400 oncogenes have been discovered to date, many of which are very novel cell surface receptors for monoclonal antibody discovery and novel kinases, phosphatases, and proteases for small molecule discovery. There is the expectation that one or more of these targets has the potential to produce a blockbuster drug and I look forward to playing a role in the company's success in exploiting that potential."

"We are pleased to name these scientific leaders to our Scientific Advisory Board," said David Ferrick, Ph.D., CEO of Sagres. "We view their participation and commitment as an endorsement of Sagres' leadership position in the field of oncology drug discovery, and we look forward to benefiting from their expertise."

About Sagres Discovery

Sagres is a discovery stage company dedicated to developing therapeutics to treat cancer. Sagres Discovery's technology platform combines the biology of cancer formation in mouse models with the robustness of high-throughput genomic technologies to enable discovery and clinical validation of human cancer genes at unprecedented speed. The company has assembled the Oncogenome(TM), one of the most comprehensive sets of oncology targets in the world, from the largest collection of cryopreserved animal tumors. Of equal importance, the technology allows for the discrimination between genes that cause disease (oncogenes) and those that affect or respond to disease processes. Sagres is focused on the discovery and development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies directed at novel oncogene targets discovered through its technology. Through its acquisition of MemRx Corporation, Sagres has added world-renowned expertise in membrane proteins such as G-Protein Coupled Receptors and Ion Channels. In addition to its own internal drug discovery program, the company is building its initial product pipeline by selectively using strategic partnerships and collaborations including a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim announced in January 2003. Sagres is headquartered in Davis, California, with research operations in both Davis and San Diego.

For additional information, please call Dr. Ferrick 530-297-4700, e-mail him at or visit our web site:

CONTACT: David Ferrick, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Sagres Discovery, +1-530-297-4700, or

Sagres Discovery

CONTACT: David Ferrick, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer ofSagres Discovery, +1-530-297-4700, or

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