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Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. Expands Drug Development Team; New CEO, Board Appointment


8/25/2006 10:44:14 AM

BRIDGEWATER, NJ--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 25, 2006 -- Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company developing compounds acting within the ghrelin pathway to treat cancer cachexia and other diseases, today announced the appointment of Herbert Conrad as president and CEO, the addition of Bruce Peacock to the Board of Directors, and the internal promotion of William Mann to vice president, corporate development, to strengthen the company's team of pharmaceutical development experts advancing preclinical and clinical development of a growing therapeutic pipeline.

Herbert J. Conrad has been appointed to Sapphire as president and CEO. He joined the Board of Sapphire Therapeutics in 2005. Mr. Conrad was U.S. president of Roche Pharmaceuticals, a company he served for 33 years in senior marketing and executive positions, as well as on the Board of Directors. He has also served on the Boards of Dura, UroCor, and Sicor, and as Chairman of the Board for GenVec and Bone Care International. Mr. Conrad is currently on the Boards of Savient Pharmaceuticals, Celldex Therapeutics, and Symphony Evolution.

Bruce A. Peacock, a venture partner in SV Life Sciences since May 2006, has joined Sapphire's Board of Directors. He was most recently CEO of The Little Clinic, a start-up medical care services company. Before that he was president, CEO, and on the Board of Directors for Adolor Corporation from 2002 to 2005, during their first New Drug Application. In 1981, he became chief financial officer at Centocor, Inc., serving through multiple product approvals and the IPO. In 1992, he joined Cephalon, Inc. as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1999, Mr. Peacock was president and CEO of Orthovita, Inc., as they gained regulatory approval for four products and launched commercial sales.

William Mann, MBA, PhD, formerly Sapphire's executive director of business development and scientific affairs, has been promoted to Vice President, Corporate Development, with an increase in responsibility not only for the company's business development programs but also for commercialization activities related to Sapphire's development pipeline and licensing candidates. He will also serve a key role in the strategic direction of the company as a member of the executive management team.

Dr. Mann joined Sapphire from Novartis, where he was responsible for worldwide in-licensing for the Cardiovascular and Metabolism Business Franchise. Previously, he was the discovery research delegate and founding member of a Novartis multidisciplinary development team overseeing the transition of optimized preclinical leads to clinical proof-of-concept. With a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, he performed postdoctoral studies at the Rockefeller University in New York City, and earned an MBA from the Rutgers Graduate School of Management in Newark.

"These appointments and promotions are part of ongoing efforts to enhance our management team as we sharpen Sapphire's focus on developing compounds active in the ghrelin pathway and filling our preclinical and clinical pipeline," said Mr. Conrad. "I'd like to welcome Bruce and his 25 years of experience leading pharmaceutical companies to success, and congratulate Dr. Mann on his increased responsibilities. The expansion of Sapphire's leadership ranks with Mr. Peacock and Dr. Mann will be important factors in Sapphire's strategic growth and success."

About Sapphire Therapeutics

Sapphire is a private biopharmaceutical company that in-licenses and develops promising small-molecule drug candidates to treat metabolic and oncologic diseases for which existing therapies are limited or marginally effective. Sapphire's pipeline consists of first-in-class, composition of matter-protected compounds acting within the ghrelin pathway. Ghrelin is a circulating peptide principally produced in stomach cells that is a ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue receptor-1 (GHSR-1). Ghrelin's effects include appetite stimulation, increased gastrointestinal motility and anabolic (muscle-building) activity, as well as immune stimulation and anti-inflammation.

The company's first investigational drug candidates are a series of orally active and parenterally deliverable small molecules with therapeutic potential in metabolic and oncologic diseases that were in-licensed as preclinical compounds from Novo Nordisk in May 2001. The furthest advanced of this series is RC-1291, currently in Phase II development in cancer patients with anorexia/cachexia syndrome, a common, life-threatening complication of underlying malignant disease. The company is advancing several additional molecules through preclinical development while actively seeking more drug candidates.

For more information, please visit Sapphire Therapeutics newly updated web site at www.sapphirethera.com.

Contact: Contacts: Herbert J. Conrad President & CEO Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. (908) 203-6545

Ellen M Martin Kureczka/Martin Associates (510) 832-2044 Email Contact

Source: Sapphire Therapeutics

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