NOVATO, Calif., Feb. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq:RARE), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel products for rare and ultra-rare diseases, today announced the appointment of Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D. and Matthew Fust to the company's Board of Directors effective January 30, 2014. Dr. Siegall, currently President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Seattle Genetics, Inc., and Mr. Fust, formerly Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will serve as independent directors for Ultragenyx. With these additions, Ultragenyx extends gratitude and appreciation for the counsel provided by Mr. Ben Auspitz, who has resigned from his position on the Board effective January 30, 2014.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors and Executive Team at Ultragenyx, we enthusiastically welcome Clay and Matt to the Board. Both Clay and Matt are proven leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry. Their broad expertise and diverse experience will be of enormous value to Ultragenyx as it enters the next phase of its development," said Eran Nadav, Ph.D., Managing Director at TPG Biotech and Chairman of the Board of Ultragenyx. "We would also like to acknowledge Ben Auspitz for his invaluable contributions to Ultragenyx over the past several years."
"Ultragenyx has made substantial progress with its clinical programs over the past several years," Dr. Siegall commented. "I look forward to sharing my experience towards that progress to help achieve success for Ultragenyx and especially for patients affected by rare and ultra-rare diseases."
"It is exciting to be part of a company that is not only patient-focused but leveraging an innovative approach to addressing severe and potentially life-threatening diseases," said Mr. Fust. "I look forward to working closely with the Board and the Ultragenyx team to deliver on this endeavor."
Dr. Siegall currently serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Seattle Genetics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Siegall cofounded Seattle Genetics in 1998. Prior to Seattle Genetics, Dr. Siegall worked for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1991 to 1997 and the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health from 1988 to 1991. In addition to Seattle Genetics, Dr. Siegall serves as a director of Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. and Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., both privately-held biotechnology companies. Dr. Siegall received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Genetics from George Washington University.
Mr. Fust was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from January 2009 until its recent acquisition by Amgen, Inc. From May 2003 to December 2008, Mr. Fust served as Chief Financial Officer at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Fust served as Chief Financial Officer at Perlegen Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at ALZA Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, where he was an executive from 1996 until 2002. From 1991 until 1996, Mr. Fust was a member of the Healthcare Strategy practice at Andersen Consulting. Mr. Fust serves on the Board of Directors of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Fust received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
With their addition, Dr. Siegall will become a member of the Compensation Committee, and Mr. Fust will become a member and chair of each of the Audit Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
Ultragenyx is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, with an initial focus on serious, debilitating metabolic genetic diseases. Founded in 2010, the company has rapidly built a diverse portfolio of product candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no approved therapies.
The company is led by a management team experienced in the development and commercialization of rare disease therapeutics. Ultragenyx's strategy is predicated upon time and cost-efficient drug development, with the goal of delivering safe and effective therapies to patients with the utmost urgency.
For more information on Ultragenyx, please visit the company's website at www.ultragenyx.com.
CONTACT: Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. 844-758-7273 For Media, Bee Nguyen For Investors, Robert AnsteySource:Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.