SAN DIEGO, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MEI Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEIP), an oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel therapies for cancer, announced today that Professor Bryan R.G. Williams, Ph.D., will not stand for re-election to MEI Pharma's Board of Directors upon the expiration of his term at the Company's next Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Professor Williams has been a member of the Board since March 2006 and has served as Chairman since November 2006. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120628/LA32362LOGO) "It has been a tremendous experience working with the Board and management team of MEI Pharma," said Professor Williams. "My decision to retire from the Board is driven in part by my increasing responsibilities as Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. I also believe that this is the right time to hand over the leadership of the Board to a successor with extensive drug development experience as the Company advances its drug candidates into later stage clinical testing. I wish the Company and its shareholders continued success in the future." "It has been a pleasure and a great honor to have served with Bryan," said Daniel P. Gold, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MEI Pharma. "Bryan's leadership on the board was critical during the Company's transition from R&D to clinical development and he has been a source of strength for our Board over the course of the past seven years. On behalf of all of us, I would like to thank him for the significant contributions he has made to the Company. I am confident that we will find a qualified and proven successor as Chairman to help us continue in the strategic direction that Bryan helped to put in place." Effective upon Professor Williams' retirement, Christine A. White, M.D., will serve as Lead Director until a new Chairman has been appointed. The Board's Nomination Committee has commenced a process to select a successor, reviewing both internal and external candidates, including consideration of candidates proposed by new investors Vivo Ventures and New Leaf Ventures. "Christine is a highly experienced director and well suited for this role. Her guidance will help to ensure a smooth transition and provide the Board time to identify an ideal candidate for the next stage of our Company's growth," Dr. Gold added. "In addition, her knowledge of oncology drug development and regulatory affairs coupled with her experience as a clinical oncologist continue to pay dividends as we diligently prepare for the initiation of several Phase II clinical trials in the months ahead."