Epidarex Capital Appoints Three Leading Industry Executives to its Advisory Board

Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and Edinburgh, UK: Epidarex Capital (“Epidarex”), an early-stage, transatlantic life science venture fund, announces the appointment of Dr. William R Sellers, William Burns and Dr. Frank M Armstrong to its advisory board.

Epidarex is a leading investor in high growth life science and health technologies in under-ventured markets. The advisory board provides strategic guidance and advice to Epidarex and its transatlantic portfolio of 14 early-stage life science companies.

Kyp Sirinakis, Managing Partner and co-founder of Epidarex, said:

“As a leading, early-stage venture capital firm, Epidarex builds high-growth life science companies in under-ventured markets. We are delighted to welcome our new advisory board members and look forward to benefitting from their depth of scientific and commercial experience.”

About the Appointees

Dr. William R. Sellers, MD. is a widely respected cancer researcher with deep experience in cancer genomics and the discovery and early clinical development of novel treatments for cancer. He is a faculty member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. He currently serves on the scientific advisory boards of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation. Previously, he was the Vice President and Global Head of Oncology at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research where he directed a highly successful cancer drug discovery and early cancer clinical development program.

William Burns, formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals, has over 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry with extensive knowledge of international R&D, commercial, business development and operations. He is currently Senior Independent Director of Shire Pharmaceuticals (UK), Vice Chairman of Mesoblast, Chairman of Vestergaard Frandsen, governor of the Wellcome Trust, a trustee of the UK Institute of Cancer Research, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Cologne/Bonn Center for Integrated Oncology.

Dr. Frank M Armstrong, MB ChB has extensive experience in growing organizations across the pharma, biotechnology and contract research organization industries, and of gaining US and EU product approvals across a range of therapeutic areas. He has led major development improvement programs at Merck Serono, Zeneca and Bayer. He is currently Independent Advisor, Chairman and Board Member to several life science companies and has overseen a NASDAQ listing and three AIM listings.

About Epidarex Capital

Epidarex invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in under-ventured markets in the US and Europe. With offices in Bethesda, Maryland and in Edinburgh, Scotland, Epidarex builds successful companies from world-class medical research to achieve commercial, patient-driven success.

Epidarex’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market. More information is available at www.epidarex.com


Dr. William Sellers

William Sellers is a widely-respected cancer researcher with deep experience in cancer genomics and therapeutic discovery. He is a faculty member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Dr. Sellers has spent his academic career at the intersection of cancer biology and cancer genomics. His research efforts have focused on investigating the basic mechanisms of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes, and elucidating the molecular pathways of cancer, through high-throughput genetic sequencing and other genomics approaches. Dr. Sellers co-led the Broad’s first major foray into cancer genome sequencing, work which helped lead to the identification of EGFR mutations in lung cancer – a finding that helped pave the way for EGFR-inhibiting drugs becoming standard-of-care for patients. In addition, his efforts to understand the genetic alterations in prostate and other cancers contributed to the discovery of MITF as an important gene in the development of melanoma.

In 2005, Dr. Sellers took a position as Vice President and Global Head of Oncology for the Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research. There, he pioneered the use of cutting-edge genetic and functional genomic approaches to drug discovery, creating an oncology drug discovery unit that became world-renowned.

William Burns

Mr. Burns has over 40 years of leadership in the pharmaceutical industry with extensive experience in international R&D, commercial, business development and operations. He served for 23 years in senior positions at Swiss global healthcare company F.Hoffman La Roche (Roche), most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Burns had significant involvement in the privatization of Genentech, the integration of Boehringer Mannheim and the negotiations that resulted in Roche becoming a majority owner of Chugai in Japan.

Current key appointments include: Vice Chairman of Vestergaard Frandsen (Switzerland); Vice Chairman of Mesoblast (Australia); Member of the Advisory Group of Novo A/S (Denmark); Member of the Advisory Board for BioMed Partners (Basel) and member of the International Advisory Council of Chugai, Japan.

Dr. Frank Armstrong

Dr. Armstrong has extensive experience in all aspects of medical development and product development in large and small company environments where he has led successful product approvals for the US and EU across a range of therapeutic areas. He led major improvement programs at Merck Serono, Zeneca and Bayer resulting in successful reduction in development times, improvements in the design and focus of development programs and a portfolio building exercise at Bayer increasing portfolio value year on year.

Dr. Armstrong has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of five biotechnology companies (public and private) and was CEO of Fulcrum Pharma, a professional services company, sold at an 83% premium to private equity investors. In 2007, he led the sale of 454 Life Sciences for CuraGen to Roche for $154 million. Dr. Armstrong has experience as Chairman and as Non-Executive Director in the UK, Finland, Switzerland and the US with private, AIM and NASDAQ listed companies and as Chairman of a charitable institution. Recently he has been responsible as Chairman for a successful NASDAQ listing, three successful AIM listings, and a series of secondary offerings in the US and UK markets. He has recently overseen the successful sale of Xceleron to Pharmaron, a major licensing deal and a BARDA contract for Summit Therapeutics. Dr Armstrong is Chairman of Caldan Therapeutics (an Epidarex portfolio company) and a Member of the Strategic Advisory Board of HealthCare Royalty Partners (HCR) a US based private equity fund


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