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Polyphor Attracts Senior Pharma Professionals to Strengthen its Board of Directors

Polyphor Attracts Senior Pharma Professionals to Strengthen its Board of Directors

Allschwil, Switzerland − June 11, 2013 − Polyphor Ltd, a research-driven pharmaceutical company and leader in the discovery and development of macrocyclic drugs, today announced that its shareholders elected four new Members of the Company’s Board of Directors, including two senior Pharma professionals, Jerry Karabelas and Jean-Jacques Garaud, capital markets specialist Bernard Bollag, and Polyphor CEO Jean-Pierre Obrecht.

Jerry Karabelas and Jean-Jacques Garaud are both recognized senior Pharma professionals, having held senior executive positions in research, development and marketing of multinational Pharma companies.

Jerry Karabelas was the CEO of Worldwide Pharmaceuticals, head of all healthcare businesses and a Member of the Executive Committee at Novartis AG. Jean-Jacques Garaud served until 2012 as Head of Roche Pharma Research & Early Development and a Member of the Enlarged Roche Corporate Executive Committee.

These four new Board Members are replacing Sir Jack Baldwin, Peter Grogg, Jürg Meier, and René Muttenzer, who all retired after reaching the age of 70. The remaining Board Members, Thomas Moeller and Kuno Sommer, were re-elected. The new Board elected Jerry Karabelas as its Chairman and Kuno Sommer as Vice-chairman.

This renewal of the Board marks the entry of Polyphor into a new era as the Company’s first products enter into the last clinical development phase and underscores the Company’s ambition to develop into a fully integrated pharmaceutical company with own products on the market.

Jerry Karabelas, Chairman of Polyphor, said:
“I am excited to join Polyphor’s Board of Directors at an important transition point for the company. Polyphor has established itself as a leading chemistry discovery partner to Big Pharma over many years.  Building on its unique drug discovery platform, Polyphor has now evolved into a clinical stage company that develops high value specialty pharmaceuticals. The Company is now entering the next phase which is to bring its own products to the market, on its own and in collaboration with licensing partners. I look forward to working with the Board and management to optimize this important strategic transition which will set the stage for the Company’s future success.”

Jean-Jacques Garaud, Polyphor Board Member, added:
“I am very pleased and honored to be part of the new Polyphor adventure now that it is entering a new period of its life. Polyphor has gained its reputation among the pharmaceutical industry thanks to its expertise in medicinal chemistry. Their macrocyclic platform, in my opinion, has unique features to address protein-protein interactions effectively. This approach potentially opens up a new universe of targets that were previously thought to be "undruggable" with the existing therapeutic modalities. Polyphor is becoming a different company now and is at a tipping point of its transformation as two new molecules born out of their proprietary technology are in the clinic and will soon reach a mature stage in their development cycle.

Polyphor CEO Jean-Pierre Obrecht commented:
“I am extremely proud that personalities like Jerry, Jean-Jacques and Bernard have agreed to join our Board of Directors. It is an acknowledgement of what Polyphor has achieved and a testimony of trust in the potential of our technology platform and product portfolio. At the same time, I would like to acknowledge the major contributions of Sir Jack Baldwin, Peter Grogg, Jürg Meier and René Muttenzer. They were instrumental in building-up Polyphor and without them our Company would not be what it is today. It has been a great privilege for me to work with them during the last 15 years.”

About Jerry Karabelas:
Argeris (“Jerry”) M. Karabelas, Ph.D. is a Partner at Care Capital, LLC, a life sciences venture firm with $500MM under management. Previous to this position, Dr. Karabelas founded the Novartis BioVenture Fund; he was also the CEO of Worldwide Pharmaceuticals, head of all healthcare businesses and a Member of the Executive Committee at Novartis, AG. Prior to that, he held a number of senior executive positions at SmithKline Beecham. He was also a Professor of Pharmacokinetics. Dr. Karabelas was a founder of CytoTherapeutics, Inc., Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cyrenaic, and Somnus. He is former Chairman of Human Genome Sciences, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., Renovo, NitroMed, Inc., and SkyePharma plc. Dr. Karabelas holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacokinetics from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a Bachelor of Sciences in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire.

About Jean-Jacques Garaud:
Jean-Jacques Garaud, M.D. served until 2012 as Head of Roche Pharma Research & Early Development and a Member of the Enlarged Roche Corporate Executive Committee. Prior to joining F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in 2007, Dr. Garaud was the Global Head of Exploratory Development at Novartis Pharma in Switzerland. From 1985 until 2005, Dr. Garaud worked in clinical research with Marion Merrell Dow, Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, Schering-Plough and Novartis Pharma USA. He was Assistant Attaché in Infectious Diseases and Intensive Care Medicine at the Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris from 1981-1985. He earned his medical degree as well as a diploma in Tropical Medicine, Public Health & Epidemiology from the University of Paris.

About Bernard Bollag:                        
Bernard Bollag, MBA is a senior international executive with broad experience in corporate finance, capital markets and institutional investments. Bernard Bollag was CFO in private equity for six years prior to founding Beaufort Capital, as an investment boutique in 2012. Prior to that, Bernard was Group Treasurer at Syngenta, leading the company’s global funding and risk functions, as it spun-off from Novartis and AstraZeneca. Up to the year 2000, Bernard’s career had progressed through the typical finance leadership path at Unisys. Bernard Bollag holds an MBA in Finance from the Columbia Business School in New York and a BA in Economics from the Bar-Ilan University of Tel-Aviv.

About Polyphor:
Polyphor Ltd is a privately held, Swiss, research-driven pharmaceutical company founded in 1996. It is specialized in the discovery and development of macrocyclic drugs offering new, innovative therapeutic options. Polyphor has developed a proprietary macrocycle drug discovery technology platform, built-up an attractive portfolio of drug candidates and evolved into a clinical stage company.

Its product portfolio includes:

• POL6326, a CXCR4 antagonist, with ongoing and upcoming Phase II clinical trials for stem cell transplantation, tissue repair and combination treatments in oncology;
• POL7080, a highly specific antibiotic with a novel mode of action to treat Pseudomonas infections (in transition to Phase II);
• POL6014, an inhibitor of neutrophil elastase for the treatment of Alpha Antitrypsin Deficiency, Cystic Fibrosis, and other lung diseases by inhalation (ready for IND enabling studies).

In addition, Polyphor has established R&D collaborations based on its macrocycle technology platform with Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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Issued for and on behalf of Polyphor.

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