DARA BioSciences, Inc. ( NASDAQ: DARA), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of oncology treatment and supportive care products, announced today the appointment of Timothy J. Heady to the DARA board of directors. The appointment is the second new board member DARA has announced over the past two months and brings the total number of directors to six. Mr. Heady retired in 2011 as CEO of UnitedHealthcare Pharmacy, a unit of UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH) representing more than $11 Billion in annual prescription drug spending. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the business, including pharmaceutical rebate contracting, retail pharmacy network development, customer and member services, operations, and financial performance. UnitedHealthcare Pharmacy provides pharmacy benefits and management for employers, both commercial and government, representing more than 14 million individuals. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare in 2001, Mr. Heady was a senior executive with Searle/Pharmacia where he managed the Customer Operations unit, including national customer sales and marketing. Mr. Heady served on the board of directors for the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Inc., a privately held radiology business based in Minnesota. He has also served on the board for Age Wave Impact, Inc., a full-service marketing company focused on baby boomers. Mr. Heady earned a Bachelors of Science degree in management from Purdue University, an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and he is a Certified Public Accountant. Commenting on the announcement, Dr. David J. Drutz, DARA’s chief executive officer, stated, "Tim is another significant addition to the DARA board. His experience in pharmacy and specialty drug management, pharmacy benefits design, and with third-party payers will be of primary relevance to DARA as we continue to grow our oncology-focused specialty pharmaceutical business." Dr. Drutz continued, "Tim Heady's appointment as well as the recent addition of Stephen Jaeger to the DARA board reflects the ongoing evolution of both the company and its board of directors.” On August 20, 2012, DARA filed an 8K with the SEC announcing the resignation of two board members. “With these new appointments, we continue to strengthen the company’s foundation. Each of these individuals brings a wealth of operational experience and a deep understanding of public companies in the biopharmaceutical, pharmacy benefit, medical and financial areas. They will be of great value as DARA moves forward, including helping us evaluate new near-term product opportunities.”
DARA increased its focus in oncology treatment and supportive care products through its January 2012 acquisition of Oncogenerix, Inc. In June 2012, the company launched its first product, Bionect®, a topical treatment for skin irritation and burns associated with radiation therapy. It is preparing for the launch of Soltamox®, the first and only FDA-approved oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate, a widely used therapy for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Its product portfolio also includes KRN5500, a novel therapy under development for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with cancer, a condition with no current adequate therapy.About DARA BioSciences, Inc. DARA is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of oncology treatment and supportive care products. DARA increased its focus in oncology through its January 2012 acquisition of Oncogenerix, Inc., which holds the exclusive U.S. marketing rights to Soltamox®, a novel oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate which is widely used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Soltamox is the only FDA approved oral liquid version of tamoxifen citrate and fulfills a vital clinical need for patients who cannot tolerate existing solid tablet formulations of this drug. DARA plans to begin marketing Soltamox in the U.S. later this year. Additionally, in June 2012 DARA launched its first product, Bionect ®, a topical treatment for skin irritation and burns associated with radiation therapy. Prior to acquiring Oncogenerix, DARA was focused on the development of a cancer-support therapeutic compound, KRN5500, for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with cancer. This product is an excellent fit with DARA’s strategic oncology focus, has successfully completed a Phase IIa study, and has been designated as a Fast Track Drug by the United States Food and Drug Administration. DARA is working with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to design an additional clinical trial under joint DARA-NCI auspices while considering further Phase 2 development.
In addition to its oncology products, DARA’s pipeline includes DB959, a novel, non-TZD dual delta/gamma, PPAR agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. DARA has completed Phase I testing of DB959 and is presently pursuing opportunities to out-license this product.DARA also has rights to other PPAR and DPPIV-inhibitor compounds for which it intends to seek out-licensing or partnering opportunities. For more information please visit our web site at www.darabio.com. Safe Harbor Statement All statements in this news release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially for DARA from those projected. Those factors include risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to timely commercialize and generate revenues or profits from Bionect ® , Soltamox ® or other products given that DARA only recently hired its initial sales force and DARA's lack of history as a revenue-generating company, FDA and other regulatory risks relating to DARA's ability to market Bionect, Soltamox® or other products in the U.S. or elsewhere, DARA's ability to develop and bring new products to market as anticipated, DARA's current cash position and its need to raise additional capital in order to be able to continue to fund its operations, the current regulatory environment in which the company develops and sells its products, the market acceptance of those products, dependence on partners, successful performance under collaborative and other commercial agreements, competition, the strength of DARA's intellectual property and the intellectual property of others, the potential delisting of DARA's common stock from the NASDAQ Capital Market, risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to successfully integrate Oncogenerix and other risk factors identified in the documents DARA has filed, or will file, with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Copies of DARA's filings with the SEC may be obtained from the SEC Internet site at http://www.sec.gov .DARA expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in DARA's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements are based. DARA BioSciences and the DARA logo are trademarks of DARA BioSciences, Inc.