Lexington, MA- September 21, 2005- Synta Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small-molecule drugs to treat serious conditions, announced today that Judah Folkman, M.D. has joined its Board of Directors. Dr. Folkman pioneered the field of anti-angiogenesis as a new approach to treating cancer, first proposing and testing the now widely-accepted hypothesis that the development of tumors is dependent on new blood vessel growth, or angiogenesis. This scientific breakthrough led to the development of effective new drugs that treat cancer and other diseases. This new appointment is in addition to Dr. Folkman's ongoing role on the Synta Scientific Advisory Board.
"Dr. Folkman is an internationally recognized scientist whose innovative research launched an entirely new field of biomedicine. We are delighted and honored that he has joined our Board of Directors," said Safi Bahcall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Synta. "Dr. Folkman's expertise in drug discovery and development will be of great value in helping Synta accelerate and expand development of our novel pipeline."
Dr. Folkman is the Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital Boston. His seminal 1971 publication in the New England Journal of Medicine opened a new era in biomedical research, eventually leading scientists worldwide to investigate the biomedical implications and applications of angiogenesis. Largely because of Dr. Folkman's research, anti-angiogenesis therapy is now on a firm scientific foundation, with the first generation of angiogenesis inhibitors approved for the treatment of cancer and macular degeneration in 28 countries around the globe. Dr. Folkman was also an early pioneer in implantable polymers for sustained drug release that formed the basis for the development of the first implantable contraceptive.
Dr. Folkman graduated cum laude from Ohio State University and magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School . He holds honorary degrees from 15 universities and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small-molecule drugs to extend and enhance the lives of patients with severe medical conditions, including chronic inflammatory disease and cancer. Synta currently has three drug candidates in human clinical trials, as well as a diverse pipeline of internally developed discovery programs. For more information, please see www.syntapharma.com.