NOVATO, Calif., July 23, 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 it has appointed Sunil Agarwal, M.D. as its Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, effective August 25, 2014. In this role, Dr. Agarwal will provide strategic leadership and direction to Clinical Operations, Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs, Biometrics, Pharmacovigilance, and Non-Clinical Research. He will report to Emil D. Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D., Ultragenyx's CEO, and will serve on the Senior Management Team.
Dr. Agarwal most recently served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Metabolism, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology at Genentech. During his tenure at Genentech, Dr. Agarwal also held the positions of Senior Vice President for Immunology and Infectious Diseases and Vice President for Rheumatology. Prior to the integration with Roche, he served as Vice President of Genentech Drug Safety and held positions of increasing responsibility in Genentech's Immunology clinical organization. Prior to joining Genentech, Dr. Agarwal was at MedImmune, Guilford Pharmaceuticals, and Kosan Biosciences. Over his industry career Dr. Agarwal has successfully led multiple drug approvals across various therapeutics areas including orphan indications.
Dr. Agarwal obtained his bachelor of science in Neuro-Biology at Cornell University and then earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. and subsequently joined the faculty at George Washington University School of Medicine as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive team, I am pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Agarwal to the Ultragenyx team. With over 15 years in the biotechnology industry in progressive leadership roles, his clinical development expertise and proven track record make him an excellent fit to achieve our mission of developing novel treatments for rare and ultra-rare diseases," said Dr. Kakkis. "Dr. Agarwal's appointment reflects the strength of our clinical stage pipeline and he will join our senior team to help lead the execution of our development programs."
"I am excited about joining the leadership team at Ultragenyx to support the continued progress and growth of the company's product pipeline," commented Dr. Agarwal. "To develop novel therapies for these patients who have no approved treatments and to help push the science forward in these rare genetic diseases is something I am thrilled to be a part of."
Dr. Agarwal will join the senior medical team at Ultragenyx which includes Dr. Kakkis and Dr. Javier San Martin, Vice President, Clinical Development, a key leader for the KRN23 development program for X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH). Prior to Ultragenyx, Dr. San Martin worked at Amgen as the Global Development Leader for the sclerostin antibody program and Prolia (denosumab) and at Eli Lilly as medical advisor on the Forteo (teriparatide) Product Team.
Ultragenyx is a development-stage biotechnology company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, with an initial focus on serious, debilitating 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: Contact Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. 844-758-7273 For Media, Bee Nguyen For Investors, Robert AnsteySource:Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.