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Mast Therapeutics Announces Management Change

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: MSTX), an emerging biopharmaceutical company, announced today that Santosh Vetticaden, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, will be leaving the Company, for personal reasons, in mid-September.  Edwin L. Parsley, D.O., the Chief Medical Officer of Aires Pharmaceuticals, which Mast acquired earlier this year, will assume Dr. Vetticaden's former responsibilities as the Company's interim Chief Medical Officer.  Dr. Parsley previously was with Pfizer, where he oversaw clinical trials for Revatio® (sildenafil).  He is a practicing physician and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine.  Dr. Parsley has been actively engaged with the Company since Aires was acquired by Mast in February 2014. 

"We want to thank Santosh for his many contributions and wish him the very best in his future endeavors," said Brian Culley, Chief Executive Officer. "Santosh has put in place a strong clinical operations group that has us well-positioned to advance our programs through late-stage development.  In addition to executing a successful QT study last year, his team is actively recruiting patients in EPIC, our pivotal Phase 3 study, at more than 50 U.S. and international sites. They are also actively recruiting patients in our Phase 2 combination study with MST-188 and r-tPA in acute limb ischemia, and have us poised to launch a third clinical study in heart failure next year.  Santosh accomplished much during his tenure and leaves us with the people and infrastructure to achieve four clinical study read-outs over the next 12 to 18 months."

About Mast Therapeutics

Mast Therapeutics, Inc. is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company headquartered in San Diego, California.  The Company is leveraging the MAST (Molecular Adhesion and Sealant Technology) platform, derived from over two decades of clinical, nonclinical and manufacturing experience with purified and non-purified poloxamers, to develop MST-188, its lead product candidate, for serious or life-threatening diseases and conditions characterized by membrane dysfunction. 

The Company is enrolling subjects in EPIC, a pivotal Phase 3 study of MST-188 in sickle cell disease, and in a Phase 2, clinical study to evaluate whether MST-188 improves the effectiveness of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator therapy in patients with acute limb ischemia.  The Company also is planning to initiate a Phase 2 clinical study of MST-188 in patients with acute decompensated heart failure in the first half of 2015 and to announce details of the study's design later this year.  More information can be found on the Company's web site at (Twitter: @MastThera

Mast Therapeutics™ and the corporate logo are trademarks of Mast Therapeutics, Inc.

Forward Looking Statements

Mast Therapeutics cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements that are based on the Company's current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to prospects for successful advancement of the Company's development programs and anticipated timing of achievement of development milestones, such as commencement and completion of clinical and nonclinical studies and availability of study data.  Among the factors that could cause or contribute to material differences between the Company's actual results and the expectations indicated by the forward-looking statements are risks and uncertainties that include, but are not limited to: the uncertainty of outcomes in ongoing and future studies of the Company's product candidates and the risk that its product candidates, including MST-188, may not demonstrate adequate safety, efficacy or tolerability in one or more such studies, including EPIC; delays in the commencement or completion of clinical studies, including as a result of difficulties in obtaining regulatory agency agreement on clinical development plans or clinical study design, opening trial sites, enrolling study subjects, manufacturing sufficient quantities of clinical trial material, being subject to a "clinical hold," and/or suspension or termination of a clinical study, including due to patient safety concerns or lack of funding; the potential for institutional review boards or the FDA or other regulatory agencies to require additional nonclinical or clinical studies prior to initiation of a planned clinical study of a product candidate; the risk that, even if clinical studies are successful, the FDA or other regulatory agencies may determine they are not sufficient to support a new drug application; the potential that, even if clinical studies of a product candidate in one indication are successful, clinical studies in another indication may not be successful; the Company's reliance on contract research organizations (CROs), contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), and other third parties to assist in the conduct of important aspects of development of its product candidates, including clinical studies, manufacturing, and regulatory activities for its product candidates, and that such third parties may fail to perform as expected; the Company's ability to obtain additional funding on a timely basis or on acceptable terms, or at all; the potential for the Company to delay, reduce or discontinue current and/or planned development activities, including clinical studies, partner its product candidates at inopportune times or pursue less expensive but higher-risk and/or lower return development paths if it is unable to raise sufficient additional capital as needed; the risk that, even if the Company successfully develops a product candidate in one or more indications, it may not realize commercial success with its products and may never generate revenue sufficient to achieve profitability; the risk that the Company is not able to adequately protect its intellectual property rights relating to the MAST platform and MST-188 or AIR001 and prevent competitors from duplicating or developing equivalent versions of its product candidates; and other risks and uncertainties more fully described in the Company's press releases and periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available at

You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date when made. Mast Therapeutics does not intend to revise or update any forward-looking statement set forth in this press release to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date hereof, except as may be required by law.

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