BiPar Sciences Co-founder Reunites Management Team At TriAct Therapeutics to Advance Clinical Stage Cancer Programs

Former BiPar Chairman G. Kirk Raab and CFO John Schembri to Join TriAct

UNITED STATES


SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tom White, cofounder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of BiPar Sciences, the successful biotech firm recently acquired by Sanofi-Aventis for $500 million, announced today that G. Kirk Raab and John Schembri have joined TriAct Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel signaling pathway inhibitors to address the significant unmet needs of lung cancer patients. White co-founded TriAct with a group from UCSF, and serves as its president and CEO. Raab and Schembri will serve in the Chairman and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) roles, respectively, at TriAct. The company is also searching for senior clinical and regulatory personnel to fill out its team.

Raab has more than 45 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience. Widely viewed as one of the pioneers and early architects of the global biotech industry, Raab is best known as the former CEO of Genentech and co-founder of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Since leaving Genentech in 1995, he has started, managed, served as chairman, and consulted at more than 15 biotech companies.

"The success of BiPar was driven in large part by management's ability to execute the company's clinical development and business plans. I'm excited to have the opportunity to duplicate this success at TriAct," said Raab.

Before joining BiPar as CFO, Schembri played a pivotal role in the management and execution of the $1.1 billion sale of RNAi pioneer Sirna Therapeutics to Merck & Co. Prior to Sirna, Schembri served at COR Therapeutics on the team that managed the $2 billion sale of COR to Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

"TriAct will employ the same virtual drug development model, focused clinical strategy, and capital-efficient business plan that played a central role in BiPar's ability to attract sought-after clinical talent, top-tier investors, and multiple pharmaceutical suitors," said Schembri. "I'm pleased to be a part of the team."

TriAct's novel pathway switching platform will initially focus on high-value non-small cell lung cancer indications for which there are either no viable treatments or only suboptimal treatments with low-impact efficacy and/or highly problematic safety profiles. The company's lead drug candidate (TT-100), a dual IGF-1R/EGFR inhibitor, is currently in a Phase 2a study in an investigator-sponsored trial at the University of California, San Francisco.

TT-100 inhibits both the IGF-1 and EGF signaling pathways effectively denying tumor cells the chance to switch growth signaling between pathways in an attempt to escape therapy. The company believes its dual pathway inhibitor approach has the potential to significantly enhance the anti-tumor effects of both standard and next-generation cancer therapies, as dual inhibition is necessary to shut down signaling pathway switching for optimal efficacy in a broad range of cancer settings including lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, glioma, prostate and esophageal cancers.

"Our lead product, TT-100, addresses specific, acknowledged problems in treating a large segment of lung cancer patients for whom currently there are no approved, effective therapies," said White. "We believe this development focus, combined with the short time frame required to demonstrate Phase 2 proof-of-concept and the team's proven ability to execute, will position the company well for success."

About TriAct Therapeutics

TriAct Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel signaling pathway inhibitors designed to meet the significant and unmet needs of lung cancer patients. TriAct is privately held with headquarters in San Francisco, CA.



        

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