CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:MACK) today announced the election of Vivian S. Lee, Ph.D., M.D., M.B.A. to its Board of Directors. Lee currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University's School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care, overseeing 15,000 employees.
A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=29090
Prior to her position at the University of Utah, Lee served as Vice Dean for Science, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of New York University Medical Center. She has also served as Chair of the Medical Imaging National Institute of Health (NIH) study section and is a Fellow and past President of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Recently, Lee was appointed to the NIH Council of Councils.
"Vivian's diverse scientific, medical and leadership accomplishments span the healthcare sector and make her uniquely suited for the Merrimack Board as we continue to press forward our pioneering research and transition into a commercial company. Her experience as the CEO of University of Utah Health Care will provide our Board with insight into the evolution of an integrated health care system and will support the development of our commercial capabilities," said Gary Crocker, Chairman of the Board of Merrimack. "As an expert in radiology and medical imaging, she will be a great scientific advisor as we advance novel imaging approaches for our therapeutics. In addition, her leadership experience at two different world-class research universities will be a tremendous benefit as Merrimack continues to expand its extensive research and clinical programs."
Lee is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where she earned her doctorate degree in medical engineering in 1989. She earned her M.D. with honors at Harvard Medical School in 1992 and completed an M.B.A. at NYU's Stern School of Business in 2006. Lee's accomplishments have won her numerous awards and honors, including the Press Ganey Innovation Award and the Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Award.
"I am honored to join the Board and the Merrimack team, given the vast potential of the company's rich pipeline of novel therapeutics and diagnostics to provide significant improvements for the treatment of cancer," said Lee. "I believe that Merrimack's expertise in systems biology, a highly integrated approach for developing world class drug and diagnostic technologies, is unique in the industry and a potential game changer for treating cancer."
Merrimack also announced today the retirement of James van B. Dresser, former Chief Administrative Officer of The Boston Consulting Group. Dresser served on the Board of Trustees of Wesleyan University from 1990 until 1993, and again from 1995 until 2009 as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Dresser has served as a member of Merrimack's Board since 1999.
"In the 15 years that he has served on Merrimack's Board, Jim has been a critical force in helping us grow from an idea, to a company founded on systems biology, to a company with one of the most promising pipelines in cancer. His guidance on the development and growth of our organization has positioned us for success. We would like to recognize his significant leadership and are truly grateful for his directorship through our success and challenges," said Robert Mulroy, President and CEO of Merrimack.
Lee is joining Board members Gary Crocker, Board Chairman and President of Crocker Ventures; Gordon Fehr, Ph.D., former Chairman and President of Pfizer Canada; John Mendelsohn, M.D., co-director of the new Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy at MD Anderson and former President of MD Anderson from 1996 to 2011; Sarah Nash, former Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Investment Bank; Michael Porter, Ph.D., Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School; Anthony Sinskey, Sc.D., co-founder of Merrimack and Professor of Microbiology and Engineering Systems in the Biology Department at MIT; and Robert Mulroy, President and CEO of Merrimack.
Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer. Merrimack seeks to gain a deeper understanding of underlying cancer biology through its systems biology-based approach and develop new insights, therapeutics and diagnostics to improve outcomes for cancer patients. Merrimack currently has six oncology therapeutics in clinical development and three additional candidates in late stage preclinical development. Merrimack's lead product candidate, MM-398, recently completed a Phase 3 clinical trial in post-gemcitabine pancreatic cancer. Based on the results of this clinical trial, Merrimack is currently preparing a New Drug Application for MM-398. For more information, please visit Merrimack's website at www.merrimackpharma.com or connect on Twitter at @MerrimackPharma.
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Merrimack constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Merrimack anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Merrimack may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Merrimack specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.
The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.