BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative solutions for people with cystic fibrosis (CF), today announced that Cynthia Smith, chief commercial officer of ZS Pharma, Inc., a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, has been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors. "We are pleased to welcome Cynthia to the Nivalis Board of Directors," said Jon Congleton, president and chief executive officer. "Cynthia brings to Nivalis impressive industry experience, corporate leadership and commercialization expertise, which will be extremely valuable as we continue executing against our strategic plans for the cavosonstat clinical development program." Ms. Smith has more than 20 years of broad leadership experience within the healthcare industry. Since 2013, Ms. Smith has served as chief commercial officer and a member of the executive team of ZS Pharma, where she led efforts to transition the company from the development stage to a commercial enterprise. ZS Pharma was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2015 for approximately $2.7 billion. Prior to joining ZS Pharma, Ms. Smith served as vice president, market access and commercial development at Affymax, Inc. Ms. Smith also held various senior leadership positions in market access, corporate strategy, government relations and external affairs at Merck & Co. Before beginning her career in the biopharmaceutical industry, Ms. Smith served as a healthcare policy analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Smith earned her M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a M.S. in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Ms. Smith received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "I am delighted to join the Nivalis team and look forward to contributing my experience and helping to further the Company's efforts to deliver promising therapeutic options for the cystic fibrosis community," said Cynthia Smith.