Sierra Oncology Appoints Christina Thomson as General Counsel

- Ms. Thomson brings extensive strategic, transactional and intellectual property experience as Sierra prepares for potential transition into a commercial company -

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sierra Oncology, Inc. (SRRA), a late-stage drug development company focused on the registration and commercialization of momelotinib, a JAK1, JAK2 & ACVR1 inhibitor with a potentially differentiated therapeutic profile for the treatment of myelofibrosis, today announced the appointment of Christina Thomson as General Counsel. Ms. Thomson joins the Company with extensive experience providing strategic, transactional and intellectual property advice to life sciences companies.

“Christina is a highly effective General Counsel with a wealth of business and legal expertise, including corporate and competitive strategy, licensing, and commercialization planning. Her experience makes her the ideal person to lead our legal functions and will be especially valuable as we prepare for top-line results from the Phase 3 MOMENTUM trial and the potential commercialization of momelotinib,” said Dr. Stephen Dilly, President and CEO of Sierra Oncology.

"I am excited to join the Sierra team at such an important time. We have a differentiated drug candidate poised to yield pivotal data, a sizable market opportunity and a strong financial position,” said Ms. Thomson. “I look forward to working closely with this accomplished team as we focus on bringing a new treatment option to the myelofibrosis community and prepare for our potential transition into a commercial organization.”

Christina Thomson is a seasoned legal executive who has served as General Counsel for several public, private and non-profit life sciences companies, including Athira Pharma, Infectious Disease Research Institute, APT Pharmaceuticals and Avigen, in addition to representing clients in private practice. Christina began her career as a patent attorney and has been registered to practice with the USPTO for more than two decades. With a Master's degree in Biology, Ms. Thomson worked as a scientist at Myriad Genetic Laboratories prior to law school, where she helped with troubleshooting and validation of the data analysis process for the launch of the BRACAnalysis test.

Equity Inducement Grant
Sierra Oncology granted an equity award on July 28, 2020 to Christina Thomson as a material inducement to her employment as General Counsel with the Company. The award was approved by the Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors under Sierra’s 2018 Inducement Plan that is used exclusively for the grant of equity awards as an inducement material to an individual's entering into employment with Sierra, pursuant to Rule 5635(c)(4) of the NASDAQ Listing Rules.

The option will have an exercise price equal to the closing price of Sierra’s common stock on the date of grant. The option will vest and become exercisable as to 25% of the shares on the first anniversary of Ms. Thomson’s start date, and then will vest and become exercisable as to the remaining 75% of the shares in 36 equal monthly installments following the first anniversary, subject to Ms. Thomson’s continued employment with Sierra on such vesting dates. The option is subject to the terms and conditions of Sierra’s 2018 Equity Inducement Plan, and the terms and conditions of the stock option agreement covering the grant.

About Sierra Oncology
Sierra Oncology is a late stage drug development company focused on achieving the successful registration and commercialization of momelotinib, a potent, selective and orally-bioavailable JAK1, JAK2 & ACVR1 inhibitor with a differentiated mechanism of action that enables it to potentially address all three key drivers of myelofibrosis: anemia, constitutional symptoms and enlarged spleen. Momelotinib's therapeutic profile targets the underserved myelofibrosis patient population, in particular those with anemia and thrombocytopenia. More than 1,200 subjects have received momelotinib since clinical studies began in 2009, including more than 820 patients treated for myelofibrosis.

Sierra has launched MOMENTUM, a randomized double-blind Phase 3 clinical trial designed to enroll 180 myelofibrosis patients who are symptomatic and anemic, and who have been treated previously with a JAK inhibitor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Fast Track designation to momelotinib. Momelotinib is protected by patents anticipated to provide potential exclusivity to 2040 in the United States and Europe (inclusive of potential Patent Term Extension or Supplementary Protection Certificate).

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Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding Sierra Oncology's expectations from current data, anticipated clinical development activities, potential market size of momelotinib, expected timing and success of MOMENTUM, potential benefits of momelotinib, and Sierra Oncology’s financial strength. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, among others, the risk that Sierra Oncology's cash resources may be insufficient to fund its current operating plans and it may be unable to raise additional capital when needed, the risk that disruptions and impacts of COVID-19 will be significant and lengthy, Sierra Oncology may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize momelotinib, momelotinib may not demonstrate safety and efficacy or otherwise produce positive results, Sierra Oncology may experience delays in the clinical development of momelotinib, Sierra Oncology may be unable to acquire additional assets to build a pipeline of additional product candidates, Sierra Oncology's third-party manufacturers may cause its supply of materials to become limited or interrupted or fail to be of satisfactory quantity or quality, Sierra Oncology may be unable to obtain and enforce intellectual property protection for its technologies and momelotinib and the other factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" set forth in Sierra Oncology's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Sierra Oncology undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained herein or to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof, other than as may be required by applicable law.

James Smith
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Sierra Oncology

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