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Symic Biomedical Announces Appointment of Barbara Yanni and Bill Newell as Independent Directors to its Board

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Symic Biomedical announced today the appointment of Barbara Yanni and William J. Newell to its board of directors. Mr. Newell is the CEO of Sutro Biopharma, Inc. which has entered into a strategic collaboration and acquisition option with Celgene regarding their therapeutic technology platform. Ms. Yanni retired in 2014 from Merck & Co., Inc. where she was most recently Vice President and Chief Licensing Officer. Ms. Yanni is a member of the board of directors of Trevena, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN).

"Symic's therapeutic platform has potential in so many different areas, it is incredibly beneficial to have Bill and Barbara joining our board," said Ken Horne, CEO of Symic Biomedical. "Bill's experience making Sutro's platform a huge success, and Barbara's prolific history of successful business development and licensing at big pharma will add great perspectives to Symic's board. Their experiences and expertise will help Symic consider and execute strategic alliances to maximize the value of Symic's platform."

Ms. Yanni led Merck's Corporate Licensing group for 12 years, successfully structured and negotiated agreements to acquire rights to over one hundred compounds, programs, and technologies to enhance Merck's pipeline. Prior to this, Ms. Yanni served in various roles at Merck including in corporate development, financial evaluation, and tax. Ms. Yanni has a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an A.B. from Wellesley College. She also holds a Masters of Law in Taxation from New York University.

Mr. Newell has over 15 years of senior management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Sutro Biopharma as CEO in January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, Inc., a company developing clinical assets for respiratory diseases. Mr. Newell also was Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at QLT, Inc. and served in several senior management positions at Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he ultimately served as Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development prior to the company's acquisition by Celera Genomics. For the 15 years prior to joining Axys, Mr. Newell practiced law at Bingham McCutchen LLP. 

"With the addition of Bill and Barbara Symic's board is now complete," continued Mr. Horne. "Having completed our Series A financing and now assembled our board of directors, Symic is excited to focus on advancing its two lead programs into the clinic in the next year."

About Symic Biomedical (
Symic Biomedical is developing a new category of therapeutics that offer an exciting and biologically innovative approach to treating disease.  Symic's compounds function like proteoglycans, important structural and functional macromolecules native to the ECM (extracellular matrix). The ECM is the non-cellular component of tissues that is critical for healthy tissue function.  Components of the ECM, particularly proteoglycans, play a critical role in maintaining tissue function and healing upon injury or in chronic diseases – Symic's molecules function in a similar manner. Symic is targeting the ECM using its proprietary and novel proteoglycan mimics, and will advance its compounds in a variety of acute and chronic therapeutic areas with significant unmet clinical needs.

SOURCE Symic Biomedical
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