SAN DIEGO, Feb. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (MRTX), a clinical stage targeted oncology company, today announced the appointment of Faheem Hasnain as Chairman of the Board, effective February 15, 2019. Dr. Rodney Lappe Ph.D. is retiring from the board and his role as Chairman and will not seek re-election at the Company's 2019 annual meeting of shareholders. Dr. Lappe has provided leadership and guidance to the Company over the last eight years and has served with distinction as Chair for the last five years. We anticipate that Dr. Lappe will continue to serve the company as a consulting advisor after his board tenure ends.
Mr. Hasnain is the Executive Chairman of Gossamer Bio, Inc., a public company focused on the discovery and development of novel and differentiated therapeutic products, to address high unmet needs amongst various targeted patient populations. Prior to joining Gossamer Bio, Mr. Hasnain served as President, CEO and as a Director of Receptos, Inc. from November 2010 to August 2015. Receptos was a public company formed in 2009 focused on developing treatments in immunology and metabolic disorders and was purchased by Celgene Corporation in August 2015. Receptos brought novel drugs to the clinic in autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Previously, Mr. Hasnain was the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Facet Biotech Corporation, a biology-driven antibody company with a focus in multiple sclerosis and oncology. He held that position from December 2008 until the company's acquisition by Abbott Laboratories in April 2010.
Previously, Mr. Hasnain was President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of PDL BioPharma, Inc. from October 2008 until Facet Biotech was spun off from PDL BioPharma in December 2008. From October 2004 to September 2008, Mr. Hasnain served at Biogen Idec Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders and cancer, most recently as Executive Vice President in charge of the oncology/rheumatology strategic business unit. Prior to Biogen Idec, Mr. Hasnain held roles with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was President of the Oncology Therapeutics Network, and for 14 years at GlaxoSmithKline and its predecessor organizations.
"I am thrilled to welcome Faheem to the Board as Chairman. I look forward to partnering with him as Mirati advances novel therapies like our KRAS inhibitor, MRTX849, through clinical development and towards anticipated market approval and becomes a world class oncology company," said Charles M. Baum, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Mirati Therapeutics. "Faheem's proven track record of success in biotechnology and experience bringing novel and differentiated therapeutic products to the market will be invaluable as we advance our programs and strive to deliver important treatment options to patients and increase value for our shareholders."
"The programs that Mirati is developing have the ability to affect the lives of oncology patients in a profound way. I am excited to join the Mirati board of directors at this transformational time for the Company," said Mr. Hasnain.
"I greatly appreciate Dr. Lappe's contributions during his board tenure," said Dr. Baum. "We have been privileged to have such an experienced and dedicated board member. Mirati has greatly benefited from his expertise and guidance as we have matured into a late-stage clinical biotechnology company."
About Mirati Therapeutics
Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX) is a San Diego-based clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to advancing novel therapeutics that extend the lives of patients by directly addressing the genetic and immunological drivers of cancer. Mirati's lead drug candidate, sitravatinib, is designed to selectively target a spectrum of tyrosine kinases implicated in both tumor growth and the suppression of immune responses to tumors. Sitravatinib has demonstrated durable responses in lung cancer patients who progressed after treatment with checkpoint inhibitors; an area of significant unmet medical need. Sitravatinib is being evaluated in multiple clinical trials to treat patients who are refractory to prior immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, including a potentially registration-enabling Phase 3 trial of sitravatinib in non-small cell lung cancer projected to initiate in the first half of 2019. Sitravatinib is also being evaluated as a single agent in patients with NSCLC, melanoma and other solid tumor types whose tumors harbor specific genetic alterations in CBL.
Mirati is also developing novel inhibitors of KRAS mutations including MRTX849, a potent and selective inhibitor of KRAS G12C. This previously difficult to drug target drives approximately 14% of non-small cell lung adenocarcinomas, 4% of colorectal cancer as well as smaller percentages of several other difficult-to-treat cancers. MRTX849 is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial as a treatment for patients with KRAS G12C-positive tumors. Our research on G12C has led to breakthroughs in targeting other KRAS mutations including G12D which drives tumor growth in more patients than G12C and includes pancreatic, colorectal and other types of cancer.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements in this press release regarding the business of Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. ("Mirati") that are not historical facts may be considered "forward-looking statements," including without limitation statements regarding Mirati's development plans and timelines, potential regulatory actions, expected use of cash resources, the timing and results of clinical trials, and the potential benefits of and markets for Mirati's product candidates. Forward-looking statements are typically, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "would," "believe," "intend," "plan," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," and other similar terminology indicating future results. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations of management and on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions based on information currently available to them, and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include without limitation potential delays in development timelines, negative clinical trial results, reliance on third parties for development efforts, changes in the competitive landscape, changes in the standard of care, as well as other risks detailed in Mirati's recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Mirati undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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