NEWARK, Calif., Oct. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBAY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat metabolic diseases with high unmet medical need, today announced that Robert J. Wills, Ph.D., a member of the Board of Directors since March 2015, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Wills replaces retiring Chairman, Louis G. Lange, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Lange has been a member of CymaBay's Board since 2003 and has served as Chairman since 2009.
"I would like to thank Dr. Lange for his 12 years of valued leadership and service to CymaBay," said Harold Van Wart, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of CymaBay Therapeutics. "On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish him well in his future endeavors. It is also my pleasure to welcome Dr. Wills as our new Chairman of the Board. Dr. Wills has had a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry and has already been a significant strategic asset to CymaBay since he joined our Board in March of this year. We look forward to his continued contributions to CymaBay as we remain focused on further advancing our clinical pipeline, including arfhalofenate in gout and MBX-8025 in high unmet need and orphan diseases."
Dr. Wills spent over 25 years at Johnson & Johnson, most recently as Vice President, Alliance Management, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, before his retirement from the company. Dr. Wills was responsible for managing strategic alliances for the Pharmaceutical Group worldwide, which included an active role in the negotiations of these alliances. Prior to serving as Vice President, Alliance Management, Dr. Wills served as Senior Vice President Global Development, where he was responsible for the R&D pipeline and a member of the R&D Board of Directors. In addition, Dr. Wills served on several of the commercial operating company boards and key pharmaceutical group decision-making committees. Dr. Wills began his career at Hoffmann-LaRoche where he spent 10 years in several roles of scientific responsibility. Dr. Wills holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and an M.S. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Texas. Currently, Dr. Wills is Executive Chairman of GTx, Inc.
CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBAY) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat metabolic diseases with high unmet medical need, including serious rare and orphan disorders. Arhalofenate, CymaBay's lead product candidate, has shown two therapeutic actions in a single drug in multiple Phase 2 gout studies. In gout patients, arhalofenate is intended to prevent painful flares in joints while at the same time promoting excretion of uric acid by the kidney, thereby addressing both the signs and symptoms of gout and the hyperuricemia that is the root cause of the disease. CymaBay's second product candidate, MBX-8025 is a potent, selective, orally active PPARδ agonist. A Phase 2 study of MBX-8025 in patients with mixed dyslipidemia established that it has an anti-atherogenic lipid profile. The FDA has granted MBX-8025 an orphan drug designation for the treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) and CymaBay has initiated a pilot study of MBX-8025 in patients with HoFH.
For additional information about CymaBay visit www.cymabay.com.