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Santaris Pharma A/S Expands Executive Team, Appoints Chief Medical Officer and Chief Business Officer to Advance Proprietary RNA-targeted Drug Development Programs
Date:10/28/2009

HOERSHOLM, Denmark and SAN DIEGO, California, October 28 /PRNewswire/ --

- Industry Expert Mark Wedel, MD, FACP Joins as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Responsible for Global Clinical Development Programs and Therapeutic Portfolio Management

- Stuart Mackey, JD joins as Vice President Strategy and Chief Business Officer to Drive Global Business Development for Proprietary RNA-targeted Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform

- New Executives Will be Based out of Recently Established US Subsidiary Aimed at Fostering new Partnerships and Increasing Visibility With Capital Markets

Santaris Pharma A/S, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing RNA drugs targeted to disease-related mRNAs and microRNAs, has expanded its executive team with the appointment of Mark Wedel, MD, FACP as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and Stuart Mackey, JD as Vice President Strategy and Chief Business Officer. Internally and through its partners, Santaris Pharma A/S has a robust drug development pipeline including programs to treat metabolic disorders, infectious and inflammatory diseases, cancer and rare genetic disorders.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090921/360545 )

The newly appointed executives will hold global responsibility for advancing Santaris Pharma A/S proprietary RNA-targeted Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform programs and Drug Discovery Engine capabilities. Dr. Wedel will be responsible for global clinical development programs and therapeutic portfolio management. Mr. Mackey will lead Santaris Pharma A/S corporate strategy development, corporate communications and global business development programs.

"I am pleased to have Dr. Wedel and Mr. Mackey join our management team," said Søren Tulstrup, President and Chief Executive Officer of Santaris Pharma A/S. "As Santaris Pharma A/S continues to advance the development of its RNA-targeted drugs internally and with its partners, Dr. Wedel's extensive experience in managing RNA-based clinical development programs coupled with Mr. Mackey's experience in corporate strategy development will be valuable."

The newly appointed executives will be based out of the Company's recently established US subsidiary. Increasing interest, new collaborations and breakthrough advancements led Santaris Pharma A/S, headquartered in Denmark, to establish US-based operations in San Diego, California.

"The strong medical and business development expertise that Dr. Wedel and Mr. Mackey bring to the team further solidify the presence of Santaris Pharma A/S in the US as we continue to explore new licensing opportunities, scientific collaborations and increase visibility with capital markets," said Dr. Arthur A. Levin, President of US operations and Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Santaris Pharma A/S.

Dr. Wedel joins Santaris Pharma A/S from Isis Pharmaceuticals where he was Senior Vice President of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer responsible for clinical operations, strategic therapeutic portfolio management, and overseeing Isis development programs including, cardiovascular, inflammatory, metabolic, infectious diseases, as well as oncology. Dr. Wedel received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland and holds board certifications in Internal Medicine, Critical Care and Chest Medicine. He received a law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and a B.A. from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.

Mr. Mackey joins Santaris Pharma A/S after spending the last ten years at leading biotech company Amgen Inc. where most recently he was Managing Director of Amgen Ventures, a $100 M venture capital affiliate of Amgen Inc. with approximately 15 portfolio companies. He had also been responsible for Amgen's in- and outlicensing transactions group and Amgen's Corporate Alliance Management function. Mr. Mackey received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.

Recent scientific and business accomplishments at Santaris Pharma A/S include a breakthrough in medical science and new collaborations. Santaris Pharma A/S is the first company to advance a microRNA-targeted therapy into human clinical trials. The drug SPC3649 specifically targets microRNA-122 (miR-122), a host factor for Hepatitis C virus replication. A single-dose Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers has been completed and the drug continues to move forward in clinical trials.

Santaris Pharma A/S recently announced a multi-year worldwide strategic alliance with Shire plc to discover and develop new RNA-targeted medicines to treat rare genetic disorders. This collaboration adds to the growing list of mRNA and microRNA drug discovery and development partnerships, which includes Wyeth (delivery of lead candidates against up to ten targets), GlaxoSmithKline (four viral disease drug candidates) and Enzon Pharmaceuticals (eight cancer targets successfully delivered).

About Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform

The Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform developed by Santaris Pharma A/S creates synthetically modified chemical versions of the normal nucleic acid building blocks of ribonucleic acids (RNA). These modified chemical versions called LNAs improve the drug-like qualities of resulting therapeutics (oligonucleotides) by boosting resistance to metabolism, increasing half-life and improving tissue uptake. LNA-based therapeutics demonstrate improved binding affinity to their target RNA, which increases potency many-fold over other nucleotide therapeutics. The greater potency of LNA in binding complementary RNA sequences also allows for the use of significantly shorter LNA oligonucleotide drugs which can be more effective than previous antisense or siRNA drugs.

About Santaris Pharma A/S

Santaris Pharma A/S is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing RNA medicines targeted to disease-related mRNAs and microRNAs. Utilizing the Company's proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform and Drug Discovery Engine, Santaris Pharma A/S provides fast and efficient generation of lead LNA drug candidates. The Company's own research and development activities focus on infectious diseases and metabolic disorders while partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies include a range of therapeutic areas including cancer, rare genetic disorders and inflammatory diseases. Santaris Pharma A/S, founded in 2003, is headquartered in Denmark with operations in the US. The Company has strategic partnerships with Enzon Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Shire plc. Please visit www.santaris.com for more information.

    Media Contacts:

    Navjot Rai                      Randi Krogsgaard
    Santaris Pharma A/S, USA        Santaris Pharma A/S, Denmark
    Office: +1-858-764-7066 ext.    Office: +45-45179879
    206
    Cell: +1-619-723-5450           Cell: +45-20488384
    e-mail: nra@santaris.com        e-mail: rmk@santaris.com

SOURCE Santaris Pharma A/S


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