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Ultragenyx Appoints Eric Yuen, MD as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President

NOVATO, Calif., May 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of treatments for rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders, today announced it has appointed Eric Yuen, MD as its Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President. In this new role, Dr. Yuen will provide leadership and direction to Clinical Operations, Clinical Affairs, Clinical Sciences, Data Management/Biometrics, and Drug Safety. He will report to Dr. Emil Kakkis, CEO, and will serve on the Senior Management Team.

Dr. Yuen brings over 19 years of clinical development experience in academia and industry. In 2004, Dr. Yuen joined Johnson & Johnson as Senior Director and Neurology Franchise Medical Leader. During his tenure at J&J, he also held several executive positions including Vice President, Therapeutic Area Head, CNS in 2006 and Vice President, Scientific Licensing from 2008 to 2009. Dr. Yuen joins Ultragenyx from Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy R&D, LLC, a J&J affiliate, where he was the Head of Clinical Development since 2009. Prior to J&J, Dr. Yuen also served as Director of Clinical Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Merck Research Laboratories.

"As a board-certified neurologist, Dr. Yuen's addition to the management team at Ultragenyx will provide critical support in advancing our clinical programs," said Dr. Kakkis. "His clinical vision and proven leadership, as well as his extensive medical and research experience, will strengthen our clinical development efforts and support the progress of our product pipeline."

Dr. Yuen commented, "I am excited about being a part of a dedicated team focused on developing novel treatments for rare disease patients who have no approved treatments and applying my experiences in clinical development and neuromuscular diseases to help solve the devastating medical problems of these metabolic genetic diseases."

Dr. Yuen received his undergraduate training at Stanford University and his M.D. from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Neurology and post-doctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco. Before joining industry in 2000, Dr. Yuen was a faculty member at the University of Washington, serving as a clinical investigator, studying treatments for ALS, neuropathy and multiple sclerosis.

About Ultragenyx

Ultragenyx is a privately held, development-stage biotechnology company committed to bringing to market life-transforming therapeutics for patients with rare and ultra-rare metabolic genetic diseases. The company focuses on diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no effective treatments.

The company is led by a management team experienced in the development and commercialization of rare disease therapeutics. Ultragenyx' 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. For Media, Bee Nguyen For Investors, Shalini Sharp 415-483-8800Source:Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.