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Syndax Pharmaceuticals Appoints Arlene Morris as CEO

WALTHAM, Mass., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an oncology company moving into phase 3 having completed randomized, placebo controlled phase 2 studies, announced the appointment of Arlene M. Morris as chief executive officer.  Joanna Horobin, MD will serve as president. 

"Syndax is leading the field of epigenetics—a novel way to control gene regulation—to address unmet needs in cancer due to the problem of resistance," said Dennis Podlesak, chairman of the Syndax board of directors. "With the positive phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled data and the addition of Arlene Morris to our impressive leadership team, Syndax is well positioned to successfully complete the final phase of clinical development to achieve our goal of providing a new treatment option for women with metastatic breast cancer."

During her eight years as president and CEO at Affymax, Ms. Morris led the company through the development of peginesatide (Omontys®), a strategic collaboration with Takeda and an Initial Public Offering. Prior to Affymax Ms. Morris was the president and CEO of Clearview Projects, an advisory firm which counseled biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on strategic transactions. Before that she was the senior vice president, business development at Coulter, a biotechnology company focused on immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, where she completed numerous transactions including a $1.0 billion merger between Corixa and Coulter. Ms. Morris began her career at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as a sales representative rising to vice president of business development. Ms. Morris received her bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Carlow College. In addition to Syndax Ms. Morris serves on the board of directors of Neovacs and MediciNova.

"After working with Syndax as a director over the past nine months, I am excited to take a more active role now as we move entinostat forward and secure the financing and personnel required to take this exciting product candidate for breast cancer through the final phase of testing," said Ms. Morris. 

About Syndax
Syndax is a late-stage oncology company supported by top venture capitalists and led by industry experts developing treatments for large markets including metastatic breast and lung cancer. The Company's platform is based on employing epigenetics to overcome the problem of resistance in oncology care. Syndax holds worldwide rights to entinostat, an oral, highly selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, which inhibits cancer-relevant HDAC enzymes which contribute to epigenetic alterations driving cancer growth and drug tolerance. Entinostat's unique pharmacokinetic properties, convenient oral dosing and HDAC selectivity, maximize the opportunity to safely combine with and potentially extend the benefit of proven cancer therapies. Entinostat has demonstrated promising activity in randomized, phase 2 clinical trials in combination with targeted therapies.   For more information please visit

Contact Information
E. Blair Schoeb   
Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.                                                     
Tel: 908.277.0386                                                                     

SOURCE Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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