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Essentialis Promotes Aaron Berg to Chief Executive Officer

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Essentialis, Inc., announced today the promotion of Aaron D. Berg from President and Chief Commercial Officer to Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Essentialis is focused on the development of a novel medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.  Mr. Berg joined Essentialis in January, 2010 bringing proven business development and product commercialization expertise to the Company and its lead compound, DCCR, now in Phase II development for patients with very high triglycerides.  Mr. Berg was also appointed to the Essentialis Board of Directors.

"Aaron Berg has brought to Essentialis expertise and knowledge from senior positions at Schering-Plough and Kos Pharmaceuticals," said Stuart Collinson, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board.  "As we now transition from mid-stage development to the next phase in our evolution, the Board of Directors recognized Aaron's cardiovascular and metabolic disease expertise make him an ideal leader for Essentialis."

About Aaron Berg

With more than 25 years of industry experience, Mr. Berg demonstrated a consistent record of advancement from sales representative to the pharma c-suite. After beginning his pharmaceutical industry career with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mr. Berg spent 10 years with Schering-Plough, where he worked in numerous positions of increasing responsibility throughout the commercial organization. Mr. Berg was next recruited by GlaxoSmithKline to help build its newly launched diabetes franchise and then sought an entrepreneurial path.

In 2001, he joined then early stage Kos Pharmaceuticals as a marketing director and rose to Vice President, Marketing and Sales. Kos became widely viewed as a tremendous industry success story, and was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in December, 2006 for $3.6 billion.  His commercial expertise in lipid therapy and understanding of the compound DCCR led Essentialis to tap Mr. Berg as president and now CEO.

About DCCR

DCCR, is a proprietary crystalline salt of diazoxide in a controlled-release, once-a-day tablet formulation. It is in development for patients with very high triglycerides. Essentialis expects to initiate Phase 3 clinical trials in 2012.  DCCR is covered by multiple issued US patents, which provide composition of matter protection until 2028.  Essentialis has evaluated DCCR in several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies which demonstrated that the drug was well tolerated and statistical significance for various endpoints was achieved in patients with elevated triglycerides. More than 100,000 patient-years of treatment with diazoxide help support the acceptable safety of DCCR.

About Essentialis, Inc.

Essentialis is a San Diego-headquartered pharmaceutical company focused on the development of breakthrough medicines targeted to the ATP-sensitive potassium channel, a metabolically regulated membrane protein whose modulation has potential to treat and prevent a wide range of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  For more information visit


Kristie Kuhl


Aaron Berg


SOURCE Essentialis, Inc.
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