NOVATO, Calif., Sept. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. ("Raptor" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:RPTP), today announced the appointment of Georgia Erbez, as Chief Financial Officer of Raptor, and Julie Anne Smith, as Executive Vice President, Strategy, and Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Erbez will be responsible for directing Raptor's global financial strategy and organization and providing leadership in defining, communicating, and executing corporate and financial strategic initiatives. Ms. Smith will be responsible for directing Raptor's commercial, manufacturing, and program management organizations, and providing leadership in corporate and strategic development initiatives. Both Ms. Erbez and Ms. Smith will report to Christopher M. Starr, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer of Raptor. "We are thrilled to add Georgia and Julie to Raptor's executive management team," stated Christopher Starr, Raptor's CEO. "Their combined skills and experience in strategic finance, orphan drug development and commercialization will greatly enhance our execution capabilities and ability to realize our full growth potential as we anticipate the first approval of our drug for treating cystinosis next year and continue to advance our development programs." Ms. Erbez has over 20 years of experience in investment banking focused on providing comprehensive financial and strategic advisory services to life science companies. Most recently, Ms. Erbez, as the founder and managing director of Beal Advisors, a boutique investment bank, has provided advisory and capital raising services to emerging growth companies. Ms. Erbez previously worked at Jefferies & Co., SG Cowen, Hambrecht & Quist and Alex. Brown & Sons. Ms. Erbez has participated in over 70 financing and merger transactions in the health care industry valued at over $7.0 billion. Kim Tsuchimoto, who has played a critical role in Raptor's development, will continue in a financial and administrative capacity as Vice President Finance. Ms. Smith has nearly 20 years of experience in biotech with the preponderance spent in orphan drug development and commercial product opportunities. She has served in executive management of both private and public biotech firms, most recently, as Chief Commercial Officer of Enobia Pharma, Inc., an orphan product clinical stage company acquired by Alexion (Nasdaq:ALXN). Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Commercial, for Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and Vice President Product Development and Global Marketing for Genzyme where she led the worldwide commercialization and planning for Myozyme®, an infused enzyme therapy for ultra-orphan genetic disease.