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Deciphera Pharmaceuticals Appoints Michael D. Taylor, Ph.D., As President And Chief Executive Officer


4/7/2014 3:01:53 PM

LAWRENCE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing improved kinase inhibitor treatments for cancer, today announced that it has appointed Michael D. Taylor, Ph.D., as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Taylor takes on the role of CEO at a time when Deciphera is making clinical progress with its kinase inhibitor product candidates for several types of cancers. He is a seasoned biopharmaceutical leader with experience from drug discovery through clinical development and product commercialization. Additionally, as part of the company’s evolution, Deciphera will open new corporate offices in the Boston area. The company’s current research facilities will remain in Lawrence, Kansas, in close proximity to the University of Kansas. Dr. Taylor has also been appointed to the Board of Managers for Deciphera. Daniel L. Flynn, Ph.D., who is the Founder of Deciphera and previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer, will take the role as Chief Scientific Officer and continue to be a member of the company’s Board of Managers.

“We are delighted that Mike, who is a distinguished and proven biotech leader, is joining Deciphera at this critical point in the company’s evolution as we advance three novel kinase inhibitor product candidates in clinical development and several more in preclinical development,” said Daniel L. Flynn, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. “Mike’s strong business leadership and success establishing alliances with pharma and biotech partners and advancing drug development efforts will be a valuable asset for Deciphera at our next stage of growth.”

“I am excited to take on the opportunity and grow Deciphera as a company with such strong potential based on the range of novel kinase inhibitor product candidates already identified from the company’s proprietary drug discovery platform, with demonstrated activity against many of the most clinically important kinase targets in oncology today,” said Michael Taylor. “I look forward to working with the Deciphera team to further advance its clinical pipeline of small molecule product candidates, including the three most advanced product candidates: Rebastinib, a TIE2 kinase inhibitor; DCC-2701, a MET/TIE2/VEGFR2 kinase inhibitor; and LY3009120 (DP-4978), a pan-RAF inhibitor in collaboration with Eli Lilly.”

Prior to joining Deciphera, Michael D. Taylor, Ph.D. was CEO of Ensemble Therapeutics where he completed research alliances with Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Genentech, Boehringer Ingelheim, Alexion, and Novartis. He also was a co-inventor of the first small molecule antagonists of IL-17, an important autoimmune modulator, as part of a program licensed to Novartis. Prior to Ensemble, Mike was Senior Vice President for Pfizer’s Global R&D division and served as Vice-President, Drug Development at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. Mike led early and late-stage development projects across multiple therapeutic areas, including Lipitor® and Neurontin®. Mike holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in natural products synthesis and structure elucidation at the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended the University of Michigan MBA program. Mike has authored or coauthored 65 manuscripts and published abstracts and is co-inventor on 8 patents.

About Deciphera Pharmaceuticals

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, LLC is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing improved kinase inhibitor treatments for cancer. Deciphera’s small molecule therapeutics block a key cancer signaling mechanism in a way that is highly durable and resilient to mutational resistance, cutting off the ability of tumor cells to thrive and spread. Deciphera’s proprietary platform represents an evolution from the successfully marketed classical Type 2 kinase inhibitor approach by providing more robust and durable kinase binding in dysregulated oncogenic disease states. Leveraging its distinct approach, Deciphera has intentionally focused its pipeline of cancer therapeutics on targeting kinases that play an important role in tumor communication with the surrounding tissue, known as the tumor microenvironment. Deciphera’s pipeline of clinical candidates includes Rebastinib, a TIE2 kinase inhibitor currently in Phase 1 clinical development, DCC-2701, a MET/TIE2/VEGFR2 kinase inhibitor currently in Phase 1 clinical development, and LY3009120 (DP-4978), a pan-RAF inhibitor currently in Phase 1 clinical development in collaboration with Eli Lilly. Preclinical pipeline assets include DCC-2618, a pan-KIT inhibitor.

Deciphera was established in 2003 based on a deep scientific understanding of kinase inhibitors and a team dedicated to developing sophisticated approaches to therapeutic targeting of kinases. With corporate offices in Boston, and dedicated research capabilities in close proximity to the University of Kansas, Deciphera has identified small molecule leads for over 50 kinase targets, and has developed a pipeline of small molecule drug candidates for a range of cancers.

For more information, please visit www.deciphera.com.

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