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Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Expands its Scientific Advisory Board and Appoints Dr. Paul Anderson, Professor Jerold Chun and Professor Andrew Tager
Date:1/8/2009

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Amira Pharmaceuticals, a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of compounds to treat inflammatory diseases, today announced the appointment of Dr. Paul Anderson, Professor Jerold Chun and Professor Andrew Tager to its Scientific Advisory Board. This further strengthens the Board that includes Professor Frank Austen (Professor of Respiratory and Inflammatory diseases, Harvard Medical School), Professor Sally Wenzel (Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh), and Professor Joseph Witztum (Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego).

Dr. Paul Anderson has more than 40 years of pharmaceutical research and managerial experience. He spent 30 years at Merck Research Laboratories. He retired from Merck in 1994 and joined DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals as Senior Vice President for Chemical and Physical Sciences and later, in 2001, he joined Bristol-Myers Squibb as Vice President for Drug Discovery and Site Head. He retired from BMS in 2002. Dr. Anderson is a past president of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Anderson's contributions to science have been recognized by numerous awards, including the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society, the Perkin Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry and the American Chemical Society's highest honor, the Priestly Medal.

Dr. Jerold Chun is a Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. He is a recognized leader in the field of receptor-mediated Lysophospholipid signaling. Dr. Chun's group studies the development and function of the mammalian nervous system in particular in relation to bioactive lipid signaling. Dr. Chun's group cloned and functionally identified the first lysophospholipid receptor. He has published over 160 manuscripts, and received multiple awards and fellowships including the Medical Scientist Training Program; Grass, Helen Hay Whitney, Alfred P. Sloan, March of Dimes, and Klingenstein Foundations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been or is currently on editorial boards for multiple scientific journals. He currently sits on scientific advisory boards for Novartis and Cellular Bioengineering, Inc.

Dr. Andrew Tager is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and co-director of the hospital's interstitial lung disease program. His research is focused on understanding pulmonary inflammation, lung injury and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Recently Dr. Tager's laboratory published a seminal paper demonstrating that the lysophosphatidic acid receptor LPA1 links pulmonary fibrosis to lung injury by mediating fibroblast recruitment and vascular leak. The results suggested that lysophosphatidic acid is the chemoattractant predominantly responsible for recruiting fibroblasts into the lungs of IPF patients.

Peppi Prasit, Amira Pharmaceuticals' CSO, commented, "We are delighted to have these three renowned scientists join our advisory board. Amira has an outstanding group of scientific advisors who bring complementary skills and experience to our drug discovery and development programs."

About Amira

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Diego, Amira Pharmaceuticals is a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of compounds to treat inflammatory disease linked to the phospholipid pathways. Amira has a strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline for the development of FLAP (5-lipoxygenase activating protein) inhibitors in respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Amira combines the rigor of a big pharmaceutical company with the ingenuity and energy of a small company, creating an environment for efficient and effective pre-clinical and clinical program decisions. Its scientific founders have successfully worked together for more than a decade and were pivotal in the discovery of a number of inflammatory drugs, including Singulair(R). The drug hunters at Amira are now actively leveraging their history of success to create high-value compounds for the future. For more information, visit www.amirapharm.com.


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SOURCE Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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