SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 2008--Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MBRX) announced that Paul Laikind,
Ph.D. has resigned as the Company's president and chief executive
officer to pursue other opportunities. Dr. Laikind will continue to
serve as a member of the board of directors. In conjunction with Dr.
Laikind's resignation, Mark D. Erion, Ph.D., chief scientific officer
and executive vice president of research and development and a member of
Metabasis' board of directors, has been named president, chief executive
officer and chief scientific officer.
"On behalf of the board of directors and the Metabasis team, I would
like to thank Paul for his efforts over the past ten years in leading
Metabasis," stated David F. Hale, chairman of the board. "Paul, Mark and
the Metabasis team have built a promising pipeline of product
candidates. We look forward to working with Mark to advance this product
pipeline and to build long term shareholder value."
Dr. Erion is one of the founders of Metabasis and has served as
executive vice president of research and development since April 1997
and on the board of directors since June 1999. In November 2005, Dr.
Erion was appointed chief scientific officer. At Metabasis, Dr. Erion
has been responsible for building the research and development teams
that advanced five candidates into clinical development and for
discovering the Company's HepDirect and NuMimetic technologies. Prior to
Metabasis, Dr. Erion was at Gensia where he became vice president of
research in 1996 after serving as their head of chemistry and
biochemistry. Prior to Gensia, Dr. Erion was a research scientist and
group leader at Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceutical Company. Dr. Erion received a
B.S. with honors in mathematics and chemistry from the University of
Oregon, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University and was a National
Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Dr. Erion has authored over 112 publications and is named as
an inventor on 35 U.S. patents.
Dr. Erion stated, "I look forward to working with the dedicated
Metabasis team and the board of directors to address the challenges and
opportunities ahead. We will be working diligently to build shareholder
value through strategic collaborations and through the advancement of
our core clinical and discovery programs to key value driving events.
Most importantly, we strongly believe that we have the technology, the
product pipeline and the scientific and clinical development capability
to build Metabasis into a successful biopharmaceutical company."
About Metabasis (www.mbasis.com):
Metabasis is a biopharmaceutical company using its proprietary
technologies, scientific expertise and unique capabilities for targeting
the liver and liver pathways to develop novel therapies to treat
metabolic and other diseases. The Company has established a broad
pipeline of product candidates and advanced research programs targeting
large markets with significant unmet needs. Metabasis' core area of
focus is on the discovery and development of product candidates to treat
metabolic diseases such as hyperlipidemia and diabetes, among others.
Although not a core focus of the Company, Metabasis has also discovered
and is developing product candidates indicated for the treatment of
liver diseases such as hepatitis and primary liver cancer, which it now
intends to license or sell. All product candidates have been developed
internally using proprietary technologies.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in
nature constitute "forward-looking statements." Such statements include,
but are not limited to, references to Metabasis' product pipeline,
capabilities and long term goals. Such forward-looking statements
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which
may cause Metabasis' actual results to be materially different from
historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited
to, risks and uncertainties related to the progress and timing of
clinical trials for Metabasis' product candidates; the fact that
positive results from preclinical studies and early clinical trials does
not necessarily mean later clinical trials will succeed; difficulties or
delays in development, testing, obtaining regulatory approval, producing
and marketing Metabasis' product candidates; serious adverse side
effects or inadequate efficacy of, or serious adverse events related to,
Metabasis' product candidates or proprietary technologies; the risk that
Metabasis will not be able to build more value or retain rights for
direct commercialization of its product candidates; Metabasis'
dependence on its licensees and collaborators for the clinical
development and registration of, as well as information relating to,
certain of its product candidates; potential conflicts with
collaborators that could delay or prevent the development or
commercialization of Metabasis' product candidates; the scope and
validity of intellectual property protection for Metabasis' product
candidates, proprietary technologies and their uses; competition from
other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; Metabasis' ability to
obtain additional financing to support its operations; ability to
generate financing through partnerships; maintaining compliance with
Nasdaq Global Market continued listing requirements; and other factors
discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Metabasis' Quarterly Report
on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008. All
forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this
cautionary statement. Metabasis is providing this information as of this
date of this release and does not undertake any obligation to update any
forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: for Metabasis Therapeutics
Constance Bienfait, 858-622-5575
Source: Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc.