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Ernest Mario, Ph.D., Named Chairman of Chimerix, Inc.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chimerix, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, oral antivirals in areas of high unmet medical need, today announced the appointment of Ernest Mario , Ph.D., as Chairman of its Board of Directors.  

"Ernie brings to Chimerix a unique breadth and depth of experiences across large and early stage pharmaceutical firms.  His knowledge will be invaluable as we seek to progress our lead compound, CMX001, through Phase 3 clinical development and commercial launch," said Kenneth I. Moch , President and CEO of Chimerix.

During the course of his career, Dr. Mario has served as the CEO, Chairman and a director of several pharmaceutical companies.  From 1989 to 1993, he served as Chief Executive of Glaxo Holdings, plc, then the second-largest drug company in the world.  Dr. Mario led drug delivery technology company ALZA from 1993 until its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2001.  He served as Chairman and CEO of Reliant Pharmaceuticals from 2003 until its acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007.  He also previously served as the Chairman of Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc, a multinational contract research organization, from 1993 to 2011.  Dr. Mario is currently Chairman and CEO of Capnia, a privately held pharmaceutical company. 

"With Ernie's remarkable record of building and leading successful pharmaceutical companies, he is the right person to help guide Chimerix as we seek to establish prevention of serious viral infections using CMX001 as the standard of care in immunocompromised patients," said James Niedel , M.D., Ph.D., who will relinquish the role of Chairman but will remain a member of Chimerix's Board of Directors.

"I am thrilled to be joining a Chimerix team that has already made great strides to validate its science and IP by advancing CMX001 into Phase 3 and by licensing CMX157 to Merck," said Dr. Mario. "I look forward to working with Ken, the Board and the entire Chimerix team to build upon the company's success to date and to help bring CMX001 to patients who might benefit from it worldwide."

Dr. Mario earned a B.S. in pharmacy at Rutgers University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical sciences at the University of Rhode Island.  He is Chairman of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, a Director of the Gladstone Foundation, and past Chairman of the Duke University Health System.

About Chimerix and CMX001

Chimerix is committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel, oral antiviral therapeutics designed to transform patient care in areas of high unmet medical need.  The Company's proprietary lipid technology has given rise to two clinical-stage lipid acyclic nucleoside phosphonates, CMX001 and CMX157, which have demonstrated the potential for enhanced activity and safety in convenient, orally administered dosing regimens. 

Chimerix's lead product candidate, CMX001, is a broad spectrum, oral nucleotide analog lipid-conjugate that blocks replication of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, including cytomegalovirus (CMV), adenovirus (AdV), BK virus and herpes simplex virus.  CMX001 has completed Phase 2 clinical development for the prevention of CMV in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients.  Chimerix is also conducting a Phase 2 study in HSCT recipients which is evaluating CMX001 as a preemptive therapy for AdV disease, an often-fatal infection which has no approved therapies.  Since 2009, Chimerix has made CMX001 available under expanded access regulations to over 80 transplant centers worldwide for the treatment of over 430 patients with life-threatening dsDNA viral infections.  Chimerix anticipates initiating SUPPRESS, its Phase 3 study of CMX001 for the prevention of CMV infection in adults undergoing HSCT, in 2013.   

Chimerix is also developing CMX001 as a potential medical countermeasure against smallpox under a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). 

Chimerix's second product candidate, CMX157, an oral nucleotide analog lipid-conjugate in Phase 1 development for the treatment of HIV infection, was licensed to Merck in July 2012.   

SOURCE Chimerix, Inc.
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