SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - October 09, 2009) - Apthera, Inc. ("Apthera") today announced
the appointments of Mr. Ira Z. Leiderman and Dr. Mary Ann Gray to the
Apthera Board as independent directors and the appointment of Mr. Leiderman
as its Executive Chairman.
"Apthera made a commitment to build an outstanding independent board that
will accelerate the development of Apthera and its lead product,
NeuVax™, an active specific immunotherapy for early-stage breast cancer.
Ira's prior relationship with the Company, along with his extensive life
sciences industry knowledge and relationships, uniquely qualified him to
assist the Company in meeting its objectives," said Dr. Joseph Sinkule,
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Apthera.
In his role as Executive Chairman, Mr. Leiderman's primary responsibilities
are to lead the Company's effort to build an independent board, reevaluate
its strategies and goals, and to accelerate the Company's product
development and partnering/alliance activities. "I have been tracking
Apthera for some time and believe its lead candidate, NeuVax, addresses a
crucial medical need, particularly in women with triple-negative breast
cancer. With the FDA's acceptance of Apthera's Phase III Special Protocol
Assessment (SPA), the Company's immediate focus is to position NeuVax for
continued development, either by partnering or raising sufficient capital
to enter this pivotal stage of clinical development. I am excited to play
a role in taking Apthera in this direction," said Mr. Leiderman.
Dr. Mary Ann Gray presently serves on the board of two public biotechnology
companies. "We are excited that Dr. Gray has joined the Apthera board.
Mary Ann brings to Apthera a wealth of experience, which spans all areas of
building a successful biotech company," stated Dr. William Gannon,
Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer.
Apthera, Inc. today also announced the resignation of Dr. A. Charles Morgan
as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Morgan left the Company
to pursue other interests. Mr. Leiderman said, "Charles has devoted
substantial efforts in bringing Apthera forward. We plan to build on his
work. We wish him much success in his future endeavors."
Apthera, Inc. is a privately-held, Arizona-based biotechnology company
developing a pipeline of peptide-based active specific immunotherapies for
cancers that express HER2/neu, a well-validated and established oncology
target. The Company's lead product, NeuVax, contains a patented peptide
which has been documented over the past 8 years to elevate or boost
pre-existing anti-cancer immunity in cancer patients. NeuVax's initial
indication is for front-line therapy of early-stage breast cancer patients
who express HER2/neu but don't qualify for trastuzumab (Herceptin®) or
lapatinib (Tykerb®) therapy. For more information about the Company
This news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are
not historical facts and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could
cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially
from those set forth in or implied herein including, without limitation,
risks associated with clinical development, regulatory approvals, product
commercialization, intellectual property claims litigation and other risks
associated with the Company's proposed activities.