Michael Schmertzler Joins Kolltan Pharmaceuticals as CEO and Director  
1/8/2009 10:49:17 AM

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, a next-generation oncology therapeutics company, announced today the appointment of Michael Schmertzler as Chief Executive Officer and Director, and Yaron Hadari, Ph.D., as Vice President of Research. Mr. Schmertzler brings to Kolltan over 30 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology, private equity and investment banking industries. Dr. Hadari has a rich background in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) research and the development of monoclonal antibody therapeutics, the core of Kolltan’s technology platform.

Arthur G. Altschul, Jr., Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Kolltan, stated, “We are excited to welcome Mr. Schmertzler and Dr. Hadari to Kolltan. Mr. Schmertzler’s drive, experience and knowledge make him uniquely and wonderfully qualified to serve as Kolltan’s CEO, and Dr. Hadari’s experience in developing antibody-based anti-cancer therapeutics will be invaluable to advancing the Company’s R&D programs.”

Mr. Schmertzler has spent much of his career building, financing and investing in early-stage healthcare companies. He founded Morgan Stanley’s biotechnology investment banking business; has been an active senior institutional investor and director in early-stage biotechnology companies for over fifteen years; and currently serves as Chairman of PTC Therapeutics and as a Director of Cytokinetics. Mr. Schmertzler was co-head of a $3 billion private equity fund at Credit Suisse and President of the $2 billion Morgan Stanley Private Capital Funds. He also served as a Managing Director in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department and as an industry group head at Morgan Stanley; and as a Managing Director, Head of International Investment Banking and Sales and Trading, as well as Chief Financial Officer, of Lehman Brothers in the 1980’s.

Since 1997, Mr. Schmertzler has been on the faculty of Yale College and the Yale School of Management. He is also a Governor of the New York Academy of Science, a Trustee of Phillips Academy and Chair of the National Outdoor Leadership School. Mr. Schmertzler received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale, attended Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.

“I am delighted and privileged to have this opportunity to work with Arthur, Joseph and Yaron to build Kolltan,” commented Mr. Schmertzler. “The sophistication and compelling utility of the discoveries made by Dr. Schlessinger that Kolltan has licensed from Yale have enabled the Company to raise substantial funding from a strong, experienced group of investors and will allow us immediately to begin developing therapeutics against well-defined and validated targets."

Prior to joining Kolltan, Dr. Hadari spent seven years at ImClone Systems, most recently as the Senior Director of the Cell Biology Department. In this role he oversaw several early- and late-stage projects to develop monoclonal antibodies as anti-cancer therapeutics. During his academic career, including postdoctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Schlessinger, Dr. Hadari focused his research on the important biological role of several RTKs and the signal transduction pathways downstream to these important receptors. Dr. Hadari’s work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Hadari received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Dr. Hadari also holds a Masters of Science degree from the Department of Chemical Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Hadari is a member of the American Societies of Cancer Research.

About Kolltan Pharmaceuticals

Kolltan is a development-stage company advancing therapeutics that target well-defined and validated molecular mechanisms of disease in areas of critical clinical need. Kolltan is developing a new generation of monoclonal antibody oncology therapeutics based on recent, seminal discoveries made in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Schlessinger, Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Yale University. These proprietary discoveries elucidate novel molecular mechanisms underlying the activation of receptor tyrosine kinases, which regulate key cell processes and play a pivotal role in oncogenesis.