LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., May 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galena Biopharma (Nasdaq:GALE), a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative, targeted oncology treatments that address major unmet medical needs to advance cancer care, today announced the addition of William L. Ashton to the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Ashton is a senior executive with more than twenty-eight years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical leadership and management. Most recently, at Amgen, Inc., he served as Vice President of corporate and government affairs and Vice President of sales, and was directly responsible for product launches, as well as key government agencies including Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of Inspector General, General Accounting Office, Office of Management and Budget, and MedPAC. "Bill brings an enormous wealth of commercial experience and expertise in pharmaceutical sales, leadership and corporate affairs that will be invaluable to Galena as we move forward into commercialization this year," said Mark J. Ahn, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Galena Biopharma. "We look forward to his contributions and guidance in establishing Abstral® as the best in class leader in breakthrough cancer pain, as well as preparing for NeuVax™ commercialization." After retiring from Amgen, Mr. Ashton joined the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where he currently serves as Associate Provost and Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development, Founding Dean, Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy, and Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Business. Mr. Ashton is on the boards of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Friends of the National Library of Medicine (NIH), and a commissioner for the Medical Representatives National Certificate Commission. He currently serves on the board of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals. He received his Bachelor of Science from California University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. "Galena has made exceptional progress over the last few years, and I am excited to join the Board of Directors as the company initiates commercialization. With NeuVax enrolling its Phase 3 trial and the commercialization of Abstral expected this year, I look forward to providing my support and guidance as we work to enhance the treatment of cancer patients," added William L. Ashton.