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Polaris Group Appoints Robert E. Hoffman as Chief Financial Officer

SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Polaris Group today announced the appointment of Robert E. Hoffman as chief financial officer.

Hoffman has joined Polaris from Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he held senior financial positions for more than 13 years. Most recently, Hoffman was vice president of finance and chief financial officer. In his leadership roles, Hoffman contributed to the success of Arena's initial public offering in 2000 and other equity, debt and collaborative  transactions that totaled nearly $1.5 billion as Arena built a pipeline of drug candidates and completed a Phase 3 pivotal program for its lead candidate.

"Robert brings extensive financial management experience from a public, late-stage development company to Polaris Group at a pivotal time," said Bor-Wen Wu, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Polaris Group. "We are moving our lead project, ADI-PEG 20, into a Phase 3 trial in hepatocellular carcinoma as well as advancing multiple Phase 2 trials in other cancer types. In line with our clinical progress, we are expanding our management team as Polaris transforms into a late-stage clinical development company."

Hoffman currently serves as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's small business advisory committee and the steering committee of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers. In addition, he is a member and former president of the San Diego chapter of Financial Executives International and a director of the charitable organization Day For Change. Hoffman earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Bonaventure University.

"I am excited about the opportunity to participate in Polaris' transformation into a late-stage company," said Hoffman. "Lead project ADI-PEG 20 represents a significant opportunity in the treatment of many cancer types. I look forward to working with the Polaris team to advance this promising drug candidate through its final stages of clinical development."  

About ADI-PEG 20A key metabolic difference between some cancer cells and healthy cells is their dependence on the external supply of certain amino acids for survival and growth. ADI-PEG 20 is a pegylated form of arginine deiminase, an enzyme that depletes circulating arginine, which suppresses tumor cell growth while leaving healthy cells unharmed. ADI-PEG 20 has completed Phase 2 clinical trials in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and in metastatic melanoma and is currently being investigated in Phase 2 trials in small cell lung cancer and in mesothelioma patients.

About Polaris GroupPolaris Group is a privately held, multinational biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research and development of protein drugs to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases. The company's lead therapeutic, ADI-PEG 20, is advancing into a pivotal Phase 3 trial for hepatocellular carcinoma. Polaris is also investigating ADI-PEG 20 as a treatment for other arginine-dependent cancers, such as prostate cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma and pancreatic cancer. In addition to the ADI-PEG 20 project, Polaris is researching and developing other biotherapeutic agents and has a small molecule drug program that utilizes rational structure-based approach to design novel compounds that inhibit the biological function of cancer-related protein targets.

For additional information please visit www.polarispharma.comMedia Contacts:Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.Russo Partners(619) 528-2217(858) 380-6584heidi.chokeir@russopartnersllc.comJohn Bomalaski, M.D.Polaris Group(858) 452-6688, ext.

SOURCE Polaris Group
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