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Mersana Therapeutics Appoints Michael A. Metzger as EVP & COO

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mersana Therapeutics, a platform-based cancer therapeutics company, today announced that Michael A. Metzger has joined the company as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.  In this role, he will oversee corporate and business development strategy and planning, as well as finance and other business operations of the company.  Mr. Metzger was previously a senior member of the business development team at Forest Laboratories, Inc., where he led the company's M&A activities.

"We are very pleased to welcome Michael to the management team at Mersana," said Nicholas Bacopoulos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Mersana.  "His broad experience in all aspects of corporate and business development and successful M&A track record will be extremely valuable to Mersana as we continue to advance our drug pipeline and Fleximer®-based platform initiatives both internally and through collaborations."

"I am excited to join Mersana as it is poised to exploit its unique Fleximer polymer platform into next-generation oncology products," said Mr. Metzger.  "As the Fleximer platform has already led to the development of two clinical-stage oncology compounds and has demonstrated proof-of-concept with other therapeutic approaches such as peptides, antibody drug conjugates and RNAi delivery, the potential for significant corporate partnerships is especially promising."

Mr. Metzger brings to Mersana nearly 20 years of experience within the life sciences and pharmaceuticals industries.  At Forest Laboratories, he spearheaded the mergers and acquisitions function and most recently led the successful acquisition of Clinical Data, Inc. for $1.2 billion. During his tenure at Forest, Mr. Metzger also completed transformative deals with Cerexa, which was acquired in 2007 for $482 million, and Novexel, which together formed the cornerstone of Forest's hospital antibiotic franchise. He also led the US co-development and co-promotion deal with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals for Linaclotide. Prior to Forest, Mr. Metzger was Vice President of Corporate Development at Onconova Therapeutics, where he was responsible for the company's business development and financial initiatives. He also served as Managing Director at MESA Partners, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare and IT companies. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Finance Committee of Response Genetics, Inc., a company focused on the development and commercialization of molecular diagnostic tests for cancer. Mr. Metzger earned his BA from George Washington University and an MBA in Finance from New York University's Stern School of Business.

About Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.

Mersana, a privately held, venture backed company, utilizes its proprietary polymer conjugate platform, called  Fleximer®, to transform existing and experimental anti-cancer agents into new, patentable drugs with superior pharmaceutical properties. The key component of Mersana's Fleximer platform is a novel, biodegradable and bio-inert material that can be chemically linked to small molecules and biologics. Mersana's clinical pipeline includes XMT-1001, a Fleximer-camptothecin conjugate, which is currently in Phase 1b clinical trials, as well as XMT-1107, a conjugate of Fleximer and a novel analog of fumagillin, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials and partnered on a worldwide basis with Teva Pharmaceuticals. Mersana's investors include Fidelity Biosciences, ProQuest Investments, Rho Ventures, Harris & Harris Group and PureTech Ventures.

Fleximer® is a trademark of Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.

SOURCE Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.
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