Business News

Exelixis Appoints Frances K. Heller As Executive Vice President of Business Development

2008-07-17 15:05:00

Former Big Pharma Executive Brings Considerable Experience to Key


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(EMWNews)–Exelixis, Inc. (Nasdaq:EXEL) today announced that Frances K. Heller will

be joining the company as its Executive Vice President of Business

Development. In this position, Ms. Heller will leverage more than 15

years of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry experience to

lead business development activities for the companys

rapidly advancing pipeline of compounds for the treatment of cancer and

other serious diseases.

Ms. Heller has extensive business development, legal, and intellectual

property expertise and has negotiated and managed a high volume of

transactions between pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Most

recently, she was Head of Strategic Alliances at Novartis Institutes for

Biomedical Research (NIBR), the global research organization for

Novartis AG. In this position, she negotiated transactions around

promising early-stage assets to accelerate NIBRs

drug discovery and development efforts, notably the companys

major transactions with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Morphosys AG.

Previously she had served as Vice President of Corporate Development &

Legal Affairs at Signature BioScience, Inc., an oncology drug discovery

company, where she oversaw partnering and licensing activities. Prior to

that, she had been Corporate and Intellectual Property Counsel for

Celera Genomics, where she was head of the legal department and

responsible for corporate and business transactions and gene discovery

collaborations. Ms. Heller received her JD degree from the Golden Gate

University School of Law, her MA in biology from American University,

and her BS in biology from Tulane University. She is a member of the

California State Bar and is licensed by the US Patent and Trademark


Fran is an extraordinary individual with a

great deal of expertise in all aspects of business development. Her

demonstrated success in both biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies

will be of significant value to Exelixis as we pursue new collaborations

around key compounds or broader strategic partnerships,

said George A. Scangos, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of

Exelixis. Her experience will be crucial as

we move our compounds forward, develop our own pipeline, and partner

other compounds, either as single compounds or as part of larger,

strategic transactions.

Ms. Heller commented, I am very excited to

join an organization with one of the most promising pipelines in the

industry. I believe that many Exelixis compounds have tremendous

partnering potential and that they can be leveraged in transactions that

allow the company to aggressively advance. I look forward to playing a

key role on the senior management team as we seek to take the company

forward in this critical phase.

Exelixis currently has 11 programs in phase 2 or phase 1 clinical trials

and is initiating a phase 3 program for one of these compounds (XL184)

this summer. In addition to the 11 compounds currently in clinical

development, by the end of 2008, the company expects to file three

additional investigational new drug (IND) applications for compounds

currently in preclinical development.

About Exelixis

Exelixis, Inc. is a development-stage biotechnology company dedicated to

the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics for

the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. The company is

leveraging its fully integrated drug discovery platform to fuel the

growth of its development pipeline, which is primarily focused on

cancer. Currently, Exelixis’ broad product pipeline includes

investigational compounds in phase 2 and phase 1 clinical development.

Exelixis has established strategic corporate alliances with major

pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including GlaxoSmithKline,

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and

Daiichi-Sankyo. For more information, please visit the company’s website


Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including,

without limitation: statements related to the future development and

potential efficacy of Exelixis’ compounds; the ability to enter into

future collaborations with respect to Exelixis

compounds or broader strategic relationships; and the timing of the

filing of investigational new drug (IND) applications. Words such as will,

as, expects,

can, potential,

and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking

statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Exelixis’

current plans, assumptions, beliefs and expectations. Forward-looking

statements involve risks and uncertainties. Exelixis’ actual results and

the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in

such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and

uncertainties, which include, without limitation: the potential failure

of Exelixis’ compounds to demonstrate safety and efficacy in clinical

testing; Exelixis’ ability to conduct clinical trials sufficient to

achieve positive completion; Exelixis’ ability to successfully advance

and develop additional compounds; the therapeutic and commercial value

of Exelixis’ compounds; and Exelixis’ ability to enter into new

collaborations, continue existing collaborations and receive milestones

and royalties under Exelixis’ collaborative agreements. These and other

risk factors are discussed under Risk Factors and elsewhere in Exelixis’

quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 28, 2008, and

other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Exelixis

expressly disclaims any duty, obligation or undertaking to release

publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements

contained herein to reflect any change in Exelixis’ expectations with

regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on

which any such statements are based.

Exelixis and the Exelixis logo are registered U.S. trademarks.

Exelixis, Inc.
Charles Butler, 650-837-7277

Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
[email protected]

Harrison, 650-837-7012
Senior Manager

[email protected]

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