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Idera Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointments of Elizabeth A. Tarka, MD, FACC as Chief Medical Officer and John J. Kirby as Chief Financial Officer

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  • IDRA

EXTON, Pa., July 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IDRA) today announced the appointments of Elizabeth A. Tarka, MD, FACC as Chief Medical Officer and the promotion of John J. Kirby to Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Tarka was most recently the Vice President of Clinical Development at Complexa, Incorporated. Mr. Kirby has led Idera’s finance department as Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer since October 2018.

“We are extremely pleased to bring Liz onto our team during this critical period for Idera as we advance tilsotolimod through its registrational trial in patients suffering from refractory metastatic melanoma and continue development work to bring the therapy to patients beyond melanoma,” stated Vincent Milano, Idera’s Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout her career, Liz has demonstrated a strong track record of clinical development across therapeutic categories, which will benefit our company greatly as we work to deliver against our tilsotolimod objectives and as we also continue to aggressively explore growth opportunities in the rare disease space.”

Dr. Tarka’s experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry includes leadership roles across all phases of late stage clinical development and reflects the ability to effectively partner with stakeholders to enable the successful execution of clinical trials. Prior to joining Complexa, she served as Clinical Program Leader for Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the design, implementation and medical oversight for large multinational trials. She also held various positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline in the Metabolic Pathways and Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area. She has been on the faculty and had numerous major teaching and clinical responsibilities at the University of Pennsylvania and affiliated hospitals. She is trained in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and has published in a number of peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Tarka earned a BA in Biochemistry and an MD from the University of Pennsylvania where she also completed her residency and fellowship training.

“I am excited to join the Idera team and continue to advance tilsotolimod through the ILLUMINATE-301 trial to understand the potential benefits of this novel approach in treating patients with anti-PD-1 refractory melanoma,” stated Dr. Tarka. “I’m eager to work with this team to also realize the broader applications of tilsotolimod and identify additional rare disease assets to help drive the future growth of our company.”

Mr. Kirby has been the Company’s Vice President of Finance since July 2018. Before joining Idera in 2015, Mr. Kirby served as Assistant Controller at Endo Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Endo, Mr. Kirby served as Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller at ViroPharma Incorporated. Mr. Kirby began his career at KPMG, LLP and served as a Regional Audit Director at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals prior to joining ViroPharma. Mr. Kirby received his Bachelor of Science from Villanova University and is a licensed certified public accountant.

“John has done a tremendous job leading our finance operations and team, and I am looking forward to continuing to work together with him as our Chief Financial Officer,” continued Milano.

About Idera Pharmaceuticals
Harnessing the approach of the earliest researchers in immunotherapy and the Company’s vast experience in developing proprietary immunology platforms, Idera’s lead development program is focused on priming the immune system to play a more powerful role in fighting cancer, ultimately increasing the number of people who can benefit from immunotherapy. Idera also continues to focus on the acquisition, development and ultimate commercialization of drug candidates for both oncology and rare disease indications characterized by small, well-defined patient populations with serious unmet needs. To learn more about Idera, visit www.iderapharma.com.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated in this press release, including statements regarding the Company's strategy, future operations, collaborations, intellectual property, cash resources, financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, clinical trials, plans, and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words "believes," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "may," "could," "should," "potential," "likely," "projects," "continue," "will," and "would" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Idera cannot guarantee that it will actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on the Company's forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause Idera's actual results to differ materially from those indicated or implied by its forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include: whether the Company’s cash resources will be sufficient to fund the Company’s continuing operations and the further development of the Company’s programs for the period anticipated; whether interim results from a clinical trial, will be predictive of the final results of the trial; whether results obtained in preclinical studies and clinical trials will be indicative of the results that will be generated in future clinical trials, including in clinical trials in different disease indications; whether products based on Idera's technology will advance into or through the clinical trial process when anticipated or at all or warrant submission for regulatory approval; whether such products will receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies; whether, if the Company's products receive approval, they will be successfully distributed and marketed; whether the Company's collaborations will be successful; and such other important factors as are set forth under the caption "Risk factors" in the Company’s Annual Report filed on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2018. While Idera may elect to do so at some point in the future, the Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements and it disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Robert A. Doody, Jr.
SVP, Investor Relations & Communications
Phone (484) 348-1677