COLUMBIA, MD (April 18, 2011) -- Cellona TherapeuticsTM, a pharmaceutical company focused on development and commercialization of novel targeted cancer drugs, today announced the establishment of a corporate Advisory Board consisting of biopharmaceutical industry executives and scientific thought leaders. Collectively, these advisors have extensive experience in successfully bringing to market many innovative medicines for cancers and other unmet medical needs.
"Our team is grateful to have colleagues of the highest caliber and quality join our inaugural Advisory Board. We look forward to our advisors' strategic guidance and integral role in Cellona's corporate planning as we build and advance our R&D pipeline of oncology drug candidates," stated Brad Fackler, CEO of Cellona Therapeutics. The Cellona Advisory Board includes:
Patrick J. Casey, Ph.D.
Dr. Casey is the James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Duke University Medical Center, and also Director of the Center for Chemical Biology. His scientific research and career span over 20 years at Duke University. He also chairs the scientific advisory board work for Cellona. Dr. Casey's laboratory was among a handful to unravel how the RAS family of onco-proteins are modified in prenylation pathways, and discover potential new oncology drugs including a new class of small molecule GGTase inhibitor called CT-10 (referred to by Duke University as DU40). His pioneering research advances have earned him industry recognition, and are focused on enzymology, G-protein transmembrane signaling, and cancer protein function and activity.
Fred N. Eshelman, Pharm.D.
Dr. Eshelman is the founder and Executive Chairman of PPD, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPDI). Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of PPD for nearly 20 years, overseeing a leading global contract research organization (CRO) that provides discovery, development, and post-approval services to biopharmaceutical and government organizations. PPD employs more than 11,000 professionals in 48 countries, and has been selected by Forbes for its Platinum 400 list of the best big companies in America. PPD also has been included in the NASDAQ-100 Index of the 100 largest domestic and international non-financial securities listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Earlier in his career, Dr. Eshelman served as board member and Senior Vice President of Development of the former Glaxo, Inc., and held various management positions with the former Boehringer Mannheim Corporation and Beecham Laboratories. He currently serves on several industry boards, and is founding chairman of Furieux Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Eshelman chairs the board of visitors for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, where he is an adjunct professor and the school bears his name in recognition of Dr. Eshelman's many contributions to his alma mater and the pharmacy profession. In addition, he is a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, and has served on the executive committee of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina. Dr. Eshelman received his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati, and earned a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a graduate of the Owner/President Management (OPM) program at Harvard Business School.
Michael McKenna, Ph.D.
Dr. McKenna is a toxicologist with over 30 years of life sciences industry experience including executive management, technology evaluation, research and drug development. He is currently a Principal at Navigator Life Science Advisory in Wilmington, NC and in this consulting capacity serves as Principal Investigator for Cellona Therapeutics' research programs. Previously, Dr. McKenna served as Chief Executive Officer of Merrion Pharmaceuticals, and earlier in his career he was a Vice President at Pappas Ventures. Dr. McKenna has extensive interdisciplinary R&D expertise. He spent 11 years at Parke-Davis (Pfizer) and was Vice President of drug development for oncology and anti-infective therapies, where he led several R&D teams in the successful development and approval of new products for the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
David P. Wright
Mr. Wright has over 30 years of biopharmaceutical executive leadership and management experience, including an extensive record of success in pharmaceutical market development, product launch and commercial operations. From 2003 to 2010, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of PharmAthene, Inc., a biodefense and biopharmaceutical firm. He also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of GenVec Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where his key role focused on integration of GenVec's business development, drug development, manufacturing, sales and marketing functions. Prior to GenVec, he was President and Chief Business Officer of Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In addition, Mr. Wright was Executive Vice President for MedImmune, Inc. from 1990 to 2000 where he built its sales and marketing operations and was part of the senior management team that drove MedImmune to commercialization and R&D success. He also has held various marketing and sales positions at Smith Kline & French, G.D. Searle, and Glaxo, Inc., and was responsible for the launch of Zantac into the US market. Mr. Wright currently serves on the Board of Directors of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, a position he has held since 2007. He received a M.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of South Florida.
About Cellona TherapeuticsTM
Cellona Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing targeted therapeutics to improve survival paradigms in cancer patients. Our R&D pipeline is based on a set of small molecule GGTase inhibitors that were originally identified at the Duke University Medical Center by Patrick J. Casey, PhD. Dr. Casey is a James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and owns intellectual property and patent rights to GGTase compounds.
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