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Dr. Dennis Fenton and Dr. Steve Kaldor Join Amira Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Amira Pharmaceuticals, a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of compounds to treat inflammatory disease, today announced the appointment of two additional members to its board of directors: Dennis M. Fenton, Ph.D. and Stephen W. Kaldor, Ph.D.

Dr. Fenton has 30 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience, including over two decades at Amgen where he played an instrumental role in the development of the company into a global, fully-integrated, multi-billion dollar organization. Fenton's broad background includes executive leadership roles in manufacturing, process development, sales and marketing, operations and quality control. His most recent role at Amgen was as Executive Vice President of Operations.

Fenton holds a B.S. in Biology from Manhattan College and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Rutgers University.

"Dennis is a biotechnology pioneer," said chief executive officer, Bob Baltera. "His experience and insight from his years at Amgen will be extremely useful for Amira as we plan our future. In addition to Dennis, we are also very pleased that Steve Kaldor will join our board of directors. Steve's experience in successful start-up companies further deepens our pool of experience and knowledge and I'm sure he will serve as a great partner for us."

Dr. Kaldor is currently president and chief executive officer of Ambrx, a private biotechnology company focused on the development of next-generation, protein-based medicines. Prior to joining Ambrx, Kaldor served as president and chief scientific officer of Syrrx, a structure-based drug discovery company, which he led through its $270 million acquisition by Takeda in 2005. He also spent over twelve years in various research and development roles at Eli Lilly and is a co-inventor of Viracept(R), a marketed AIDS drug.

Kaldor holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Harvard University.

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.

The company 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.

In February 2008, Amira Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline entered a global agreement for Amira's FLAP inhibitor program. The deal follows positive phase 1 data from novel product candidate AM103 for the oral treatment of respiratory disease.

Amira has raised $40 million to date from investors including Novo A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark), Avalon Ventures (San Diego, CA), Prospect Ventures (Palo Alto, CA) and Versant Ventures (Menlo Park, CA). For more information, visit

SOURCE Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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