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iTherX Appoints Stefan Zeuzem, M.D., as Chair of Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- iTherX, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing a new class of therapies for hepatitis C, today announced that Stefan Zeuzem, M.D., has joined the company as Chair of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board.  Dr. Zeuzem will lead a respected group of hepatitis thought leaders in contributing their expertise to the clinical development of iTherX's lead compound, ITX-5061, a first-in-class hepatitis C entry inhibitor.

"Stefan Zeuzem brings more than 20 years of international clinical and research leadership in hepatitis viruses, as well as liver disease and transplantation to our team. iTherX is fortunate to have Dr. Zeuzem's invaluable guidance and perspective as we advance our lead compound ITX-5061, a hepatitis C viral entry inhibitor, through clinical development," said Flossie Wong-Staal, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of iTherX.  "We have established a truly dynamic and experienced scientific and clinical advisory board to bring forward this novel class of compounds.  Along with our advisors, we believe ITX-5061 has the promise of preventing the entry of the hepatitis C virus into cells while complementing existing antiviral treatment."

Dr. Zeuzem currently serves as Chief of the Department of Medicine and Professor of Medicine at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. His clinical areas of expertise include gastroenterology, hepatology, liver transplantation, endoscopy, gastrointestinal oncology, and endocrinology. Dr. Zeuzem's current research interests include cellular physiology, molecular biology of hepatitis viruses, viral kinetics, the role of hepatitis viruses in hepatocarcinogenesis, and the stratification and optimization of antiviral treatment. After receiving his medical training from the J.W. Goethe University Medical School, the University Of Cambridge School Of Clinical Medicine (United Kingdom), and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School (United Kingdom), Dr. Zeuzem completed post-doctoral fellowships in endocrinology and gastroenterology at the University Hospital in Frankfurt and research at the Royal Victorian Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt and at Yale University Medical School in the United States. A member of numerous professional associations, Dr. Zeuzem has co-authored and authored numerous manuscripts, book chapters, and reviews, including in such prestigious scientific journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Journal of Virology, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Oncogene.

Additional members of the iTherX Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board include:

Charles Rice, Ph.D., is the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Chair in Virology and serves as Head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease at The Rockefeller University. He is one of the world's most accomplished virologists and a prominent figure in research on members of the Flaviviridae including hepatitis C virus. Dr. Rice received his bachelor's degree from University of California Davis in 1974 and earned his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1981. Dr. Rice has co-authored over 250 articles in the field of virology, serves as a reviewer for numerous journals, and is an editor of Journal of Virology.

Robert T. Schooley, M.D., is the Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Diego. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of infectious disease and antiviral therapy development, he contributed to the discovery and development of antiretroviral chemotherapeutic agents including reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors and entry inhibitors. His current research interests include hepatitis C virus, influenza and HIV pathogenesis, and therapy and infections that cause morbidity and mortality in resource limited settings. Dr. Schooley received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1974 and completed his medical house staff training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1976.

Alan S. Perelson, Ph.D., is currently a Los Alamos National Laboratory Senior Fellow, as well as a member of the Science Board and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He is also an adjunct professor of Bioinformatics at Boston University, an adjunct professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the University of Rochester and an adjunct professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico.  Dr. Perelson's areas of expertise include the modeling of infectious disease and immune responses and his current research focuses on the hepatitis C virus and modeling drug resistance to antiviral agents. Dr. Perelson received B.S. degrees in Life Science and in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1967, and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from UC Berkeley in 1972. He has coauthored over 400 articles dealing with modeling biological systems.

About iTherX

iTherX is a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of a novel class of antiviral therapeutics that act by blocking entry of the hepatitis C virus into liver cells to halt the spread of infection.  The company's lead program, ITX-5061, is currently in Phase 1b clinical studies intended to evaluate antiviral activity and safety in patients with HCV infection.  In addition to ITX-5061, iTherX is leveraging its proprietary expertise in molecular virology and medicinal chemistry to establish a pipeline of viral entry inhibitors, with additional candidates currently undergoing preclinical testing.

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