NEWTON, Mass., Aug. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:KPTI), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel first-in-class drugs directed against nuclear transport targets for the treatment of cancer and other major diseases, today announced that it has appointed Justin Renz as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective August 18, 2014. Mr. Renz will report to Dr. Michael Kauffman, Karyopharm's chief executive officer.
"Justin is a highly skilled executive with both financial and operational experience, and will be an outstanding addition to our team," said Dr. Kauffman. "Justin's strong leadership skills will be key as we continue to mature as a public company and execute on our development strategy for our lead drug candidate, Selinexor (KPT-330), and our other novel compounds."
Mr. Renz will succeed Paul Brannelly who served as Karyopharm's SVP, Finance and Administration until August 2014. "Paul was instrumental in Karyopharm's successful IPO and follow-on offering and we are very grateful for all of his contributions to the organization," said Dr. Kauffman.
Mr. Renz has extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Zalicus Inc. (formerly CombinatoRx, Inc.), which he joined in 2006. He led core business and finance functions at Zalicus, oversaw multiple rounds of equity and debt financing and led the company's asset monetization strategy. More recently, Mr. Renz was instrumental in the reverse merger and sale of Zalicus to EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals Inc. Prior to Zalicus, Mr. Renz served in senior finance and accounting roles at Serono, Inc. and Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Inc.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Renz held increasingly senior finance positions at ArQule, Inc. and Millipore Corporation. Mr. Renz began his career with Arthur Andersen LLP in 1993. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross, a Master of Science in Taxation from Northeastern University and a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University.
"We are thrilled to welcome such a talented and energetic executive to our team," said Dr. Sharon Shacham, Karyopharm's founder, president and chief scientific officer. "Justin's experience in fast-paced environments, leading multiple activities across a diverse set of business functions, makes him an ideal fit for our organization."
Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:KPTI) is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel drugs directed against nuclear transport targets for the treatment of cancer and other major diseases. Karyopharm's Selective Inhibitors of Nuclear Export (SINE) compounds function by binding with and inhibiting the nuclear export protein XPO1 (or CRM1). The inhibition of XPO1 by Karyopharm's lead drug candidate, Selinexor (KPT-330), a first-in-class, oral SINE compound, leads to the accumulation of tumor suppressor proteins in the cell nucleus, which subsequently reinitiates and amplifies their tumor suppressor function. This is believed to lead to the selective induction of apoptosis in cancer cells, while largely sparing normal cells. To date, approximately 400 patients have been treated with Selinexor in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials in advanced hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Karyopharm has initiated a registration-directed clinical trial of Selinexor in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia and two additional registration-directed clinical trials in hematological indications are expected to begin enrollment during 2014. Additional Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies are ongoing or currently planned, including multiple investigator-sponsored studies of Selinexor in combination with one or more approved therapies. The latest clinical trial information for Selinexor is available at www.clinicaltrials.gov. SINE compounds have also shown biological activity in models of autoimmune disease, certain viruses, and wound-healing. Karyopharm was founded by Dr. Sharon Shacham and is located in Newton, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.karyopharm.com.
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