RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DARA BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:DARA) reported today that Steve Gorlin has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Gorlin will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors and will also serve on the Company's Audit, Compensation and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committees.
Mr. Gorlin was a founder of DARA and previously served as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Gorlin currently serves as Chairman and CEO of DemeRx, Inc., Chairman of NTC China, Inc., and Vice Chairman of MiMedx, Inc. (OTCBB:MDXG.OB). Mr. Gorlin formerly served as a founder and director of Hycor Biomedical, Inc. (which was acquired by Agilent), Theragencis Corporation, CytRx Corporation, Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, EntreMed, Inc., Medivation, Inc., and MRI Interventions, Inc. From 1998 to 2003, Mr. Gorlin served on the Business Advisory Council to The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and currently sits on the board of The Johns Hopkins Alliance for Science and Technology Development, The Johns Hopkins BioMedical Engineering Advisory Board, and on the board of the Andrews Institute. Mr. Gorlin was re-appointed to the Company's Board of Directors to fill a vacancy created by Richard Franco's retirement.
Additionally, the Company reported today the approval by the Board of Directors of a change to the title of David J. Drutz. Dr. Drutz' title at the Company has been changed from "Interim Chief Executive Officer" to "President and Chief Executive Officer."
DARA director Haywood Cochrane commented, "It is a pleasure to announce David's permanent appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer of DARA. David has more than 25 years' management experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and in international venture capital, including service as CEO of three biotechnology companies." Director Gail Lieberman commented, "We believe that Dr. Drutz' background in science and medicine make him ideally suited to assume the role of DARA's President and Chief Executive Officer."
Dr. Drutz commented, "We are extremely pleased that Steve Gorlin has agreed to re-join our Board. Steve brings a wealth of industry knowledge and relationships to the company, and we are fortunate to have his leadership as Chairmen to help guide DARA's strategy and direction going forward."
Dr. Drutz further commented, "We also wish to recognize the significant contributions that Richard Franco has made to the Company, and we wish him the very best in his retirement."
About DARA BioSciences, Inc.
DARA is a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company that acquires high quality, promising therapeutic molecules in early stage development (late pre-clinical or Phase 1). Acquired molecules have the potential to fill significant medical needs and represent large commercial opportunities for participation in large and growing markets. DARA expedites development through proof-of-concept in humans for subsequent partnering, sale or out-licensing to large healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. The effective implementation of this strategy has the potential to greatly enhance sustainable, long-term value for our shareholders.
Presently, DARA has two lead drug candidates advancing through clinical trials. The first is KRN5500 for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with cancer, a vastly underserved market. KRN5500 has successfully completed a Phase 2a study and has been designated as a Fast Track Drug by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is partnering with the company to initiate a second Phase 2 study. The second is DB959, a novel, dual delta /gamma, non TZD PPAR agonist that is preparing to enter Phase 2 development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia.
DARA also has three promising pre-clinical drug candidate programs for future development and monetization:
DB160 is a dipeptidylpeptidase (DPPIV) enzyme inhibitor that inactivates a key hormone involved in promoting control of blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Studies have demonstrated that potent DPPIV inhibitors may also be beneficial for stem cell transplantation and cancer therapy.
DB900 comprises a series of PPAR--gamma /alpha /delta agonists with potential for development in diabetes, inflammatory diseases or selected additional indications.
DB200 is a series of compounds that inhibit the enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1). These drug candidates have the potential to curtail inflammation and the proliferation of skin cells, thus resulting in decreased reddening and flaking of the skin seen in patients with psoriasis.
Safe Harbor Statement
All statements in this news release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially for DARA from those projected. Those factors include risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's current cash position and its need to raise additional capital in order to be able to continue to fund its operations, risks and uncertainties relating to the potential delisting of DARA's common stock from the NASDAQ Capital Market, risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to develop and bring new products to market as anticipated, the current regulatory environment in which the company develops and sells its products, the market acceptance of those products, dependence on partners, successful performance under collaborative and other commercial agreements, competition, the strength of DARA's intellectual property, the intellectual property of others, and other risk factors identified in the documents DARA has filed, or will file, with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Copies of DARA's filings with the SEC may be obtained from the SEC Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. DARA expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward -looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in DARA's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements are based. DARA BioSciences and the DARA logo are trademarks of DARA BioSciences, Inc.
CONTACT: Investor Contact:
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Kevin@cameronassoc.comDARA BioSciences, Inc.