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Nektar Therapeutics Promotes Lorianne Masuoka, M.D. to Chief Medical Officer

SAN CARLOS, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) today announced the promotion of Lorianne Masuoka, M.D. to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Masuoka reports to Nektar's Senior Vice President, Drug Development and Chief Drug Development Officer, Randall Moreadith, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Masuoka has over 15 years of experience in clinical research and development. As Chief Medical Officer, she will be instrumental in helping to develop Nektar's clinical development strategy while continuing to oversee all clinical development functions, including Clinical Operations, Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Safety, Biometrics and Data Management. Dr. Masuoka joined Nektar in August 2008 as Vice President of Clinical Development.

"Lorianne's extensive clinical experience and superb guidance of our clinical development and operations teams make her an outstanding choice for Chief Medical Officer," said Randall Moreadith, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Drug Development and Chief Drug Development Officer of Nektar, "Since joining Nektar, she has been instrumental in building our Drug Development group and assembling an internal Biometrics and Data Management Group, as well as streamlining our clinical operations."

Prior to Nektar, Lorianne was Vice President of Clinical Development at Five Prime Therapeutics where she led the advancement of a number of protein and antibody therapeutics in the areas of oncology, immunology and metabolic disease. Prior to that, Lorianne held senior leadership positions at Chiron and Berlex, where she was instrumental in development of Betaseron(R) for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis as well as numerous oncology programs.

Dr. Masuoka received her M.D. from the University of California, Davis, completed a Fellowship at Yale University and is board certified in Neurology.

About Nektar

Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on its PEGylation and advanced polymer conjugation technology platforms. Nektar's technology and drug development expertise have enabled nine approved products for partners, which include leading biopharmaceutical companies. Nektar is also developing a robust pipeline of its own potentially high-value therapeutics that address unmet medical needs by leveraging and expanding its technology platforms to improve and enable molecules.

The company recently announced positive Phase 2 results for Oral NKTR-118, its proprietary novel peripheral opioid antagonist that combines Nektar's advanced small molecule polymer conjugate technology platform with naloxol, a derivative of the opioid-antagonist drug, naloxone. Nektar's technology has been shown to increase oral bioavailability and inhibit penetration across the blood-brain barrier, an important potential advance for small molecule therapies. The product is being developed to treat opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

NKTR-102, PEGylated irinotecan, is currently in Phase 2 clinical studies in ovarian, breast and colorectal cancer. NKTR-105, PEGylated docetaxel, is currently in a Phase 1 study in patients with refractory solid tumors.

Nektar technology is used in nine approved partnered products in the U.S. or Europe today, including UCB's Cimzia(R), Roche's PEGASYS(R) for hepatitis C and Amgen's Neulasta(R) for neutropenia.

Nektar is headquartered in San Carlos, California, with additional R&D operations in Huntsville, Alabama and Hyderabad, India.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current views regarding the value and potential of Nektar's technology platform, Nektar's pipeline of product candidates in development, and Nektar's collaborations with third parties. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: (i) Nektar's proprietary product candidates and those of its partners are in the early phases of clinical development and the risk of failure is high and can occur at any stage prior to regulatory approval; (ii) Nektar or its partners may not be able to successfully obtain regulatory approval for product candidates in development; (iii) Nektar's commercialization partners may not be successful in their sales and marketing efforts even if current product candidates successfully receive future regulatory approval in one or more markets; (iv) Nektar's patent applications for its technology platforms and proprietary or partner product candidates may not issue, patents that have issued may not be enforceable; and or intellectual property licenses from third parties may be required in the future; and (v) other important risks and uncertainties set forth in Nektar's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on May 8, 2009 and its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 6, 2009. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Nektar undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information on Nektar Therapeutics, please visit

Jennifer Ruddock, 650-631-4954

SOURCE Nektar Therapeutics
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