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Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. Promotes William Polvino to CEO


3/27/2007 8:56:37 AM

BRIDGEWATER, NJ--(MARKET WIRE)--Mar 27, 2007 -- Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc., a private specialty biopharmaceutical company developing compounds acting within the ghrelin pathway to treat cancer cachexia and other diseases, today announced the promotion of William J. Polvino, MD, from executive vice president to president and chief executive officer.

Dr. Polvino joined Sapphire in 2002 and has moved to positions of increasing responsibility culminating in this recent promotion. His previous industry experience includes positions with Wyeth, Merck, and Theravance. Dr. Polvino earned an MD degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He was a fellow in clinical pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health and trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Herbert J. Conrad, who joined the board of Sapphire Therapeutics in 2005 and became interim president and CEO early in 2006, has been elected chairman of the board. He is the former president of Roche Pharmaceuticals USA. In addition to leading the Sapphire board, he currently serves on the boards of Celldex Therapeutics, Symphony Evolution and Savient Pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Conrad said, "It is especially rewarding to have someone as capable as Bill Polvino lead Sapphire as it moves to its next stage of development. I look forward to working closely with Bill, his team, and our board in the future."

About Sapphire Therapeutics

Sapphire in-licenses small-molecule drug candidates from large pharmaceutical companies and develops them to treat metabolic and oncologic diseases for which existing therapies are limited or marginally effective. The company'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; it 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), immune stimulation and anti-inflammatory activities.

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 the Sapphire Therapeutics web site at www.sapphirethera.com.

Contact: Contacts: William J. Polvino President & CEO Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. (908) 231-1435

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

Source: Sapphire Therapeutics

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