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Synta Pharmaceuticals Announces Formation of Expert Oncology Panel

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 8, 2015-- Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA) today announced the formation of an Expert Oncology Panel to provide guidance on research and development strategies for the Company’s portfolio of novel oncology therapies.

Inaugural members of Synta’s Expert Oncology Panel include:

  • David E. Avigan, M.D. - Chief Section of Hematological Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Bruce Allan Chabner, M.D. - Director of Clinical Research, Cancer Center Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Jeffrey A. Engelman, M.D., Ph.D. - Director, Center for Thoracic Cancers Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School
  • F. Stephen Hodi, Jr., M.D. - Director, Melanoma Center Director, Center for Immuno-Oncology, Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Martin J. Murphy, D. MedSc, Ph.D., FASCO - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer AlphaMed Consulting, Inc.
  • Neil Lee Spector, M.D. - Associate Professor of Medicine, Sandra Coates Associate Professor, Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

“It is our pleasure to welcome a group of world-renowned physicians and scientists to our newly formed Expert Oncology Panel,” said Chen Schor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synta. “We expect that this panel will lend important perspective in translating the breadth of emerging preclinical and clinical data with ganetespib into well designed clinical studies aimed at providing meaningful clinical benefits to cancer patients in selected indications. The advice of the panel will also be important in shaping our HDC program strategy as we move towards the clinic with the first candidate from this program, STA-12-8666, and consider additional payloads for development. This distinguished expert panel, together with our newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Alan Rigby, is taking Synta one step further in our mission to discover, develop and commercialize oncology medicines that change cancer patients lives.”

Dr. Avigan is Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Chief, Hematological Malignancy and Bone Marrow Transplant section at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a co-Clinical Leader of the Leukemia Program at the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. He leads a translational research program for hematological malignancies with a focus on vaccine therapy, tumor immunology, and stem cell biology with a strong track record for clinical translation of biologic based treatments. Dr. Avigan earned his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in Internal Medicine, and his fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Chabner is the Clinical Director, Emeritus, and Paul G. Allen Scholar at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. During his career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), he served as a Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, Chief of the Clinical Pharmacology Branch, Director of the Clinical Oncology Program, and Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment. At the NCI, he maintained an active laboratory program in cancer pharmacology, and led the development of Taxol®. His research contributed significantly to the development of high dose chemotherapy regimens, and to standard therapies for lymphoma. Dr. Chabner is the Editor in Chief for The Oncologist and serves on the executive advisory boards for some of the industry's leading innovators in drug development. In 2006, Dr. Chabner received a presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board at the NCI, which he chaired from 2010 to 2012. Dr. Chabner earned his M.D. at Harvard Medical School, completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his fellowships at the NCI and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Engelman is the Director, Center for Thoracic Cancers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. The overarching aim of research in the Engelman laboratory at Mass General is to develop new and more effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer, with a particular emphasis on lung cancer. Dr. Engelman is board certified in medical oncology and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital combined program.

Dr. Hodi is the Director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1992. Dr. Hodi competed his postdoctoral training in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Medical Oncology training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he joined the faculty in 1995. His research focuses on gene therapy, the development of immune therapies, and first into human studies for malignant melanoma. Dr. Hodi is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Melanoma Committee, the International Society for the Biological Therapy of Cancer, and a founding member of the Society for Melanoma Research.

Dr. Murphy is the Founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AlphaMed Consulting, Inc., a consultancy that provides strategic support for academic cancer centers and cancer drug development programs of global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He is the founding Executive Editor of three journals: The Oncologist, Stem Cells and of Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Dr. Murphy was founding Chief Executive Officer of Hipple Cancer Research Center and an NIH principal investigator who merited more than $25 million in competitive NIH grants. He is Co-founder of the Society for Translational Oncology, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Hatteras Venture Partners, a charter member of the International Advisory Board of Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Imaging Center, a charter member of Queen's University-Belfast School of Medicine International Review Board, Chairman Emeritus of the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), convener of ACT-China, and Steering Committee Member and Senior Consultant of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology. He is also a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academy of Medicine of the United States National Academy of Sciences, a director of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, a member of the Board of Visitors of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a member of the Board of Advisors of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and a charter member and vice chairman of C-Change, founded by former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. Dr. Murphy is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and is Founding Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit CEO Roundtable on Cancer at the request of the Forty-First President George H.W. Bush.

Dr. Spector is the Sandra Coates Chair Breast Cancer Research at the Duke University Medical Center, Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program, Duke Cancer Institute, and currently serves as Scientific Advisor to Synta. Prior to joining Duke, Dr. Spector served as Director of GlaxoSmithKline’s Exploratory Medical Sciences in Oncology, where he successfully guided the development of Tykerb® (lapatinib) and Arranon® (nelarabine) from initial preclinical studies through clinical development and eventual FDA approval. Dr. Spector is board-certified in Hematology, Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine and earned his M.D. at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center and in Medical Oncology/Hematology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital combined program.

About Synta Pharmaceuticals

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is an innovative, agile biopharmaceutical company focused on research, development and commercialization of novel oncology medicines that have the potential to change the lives of cancer patients. Synta’s lead oncology drug candidate, ganetespib, a novel heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in several clinical trials including the pivotal GALAXY-2 Phase 3 trial in non-small cell lung cancer. Building on its extensive expertise in the science of Hsp90, Synta also has a novel proprietary Hsp90 inhibitor Drug Conjugate (HDC) small molecule drug development program. IND enabling studies have commenced for the first clinical candidate from the HDC program, STA-12-8666, and preclinical evaluation of additional HDC candidates is ongoing. For more information, please visit

Safe Harbor Statement

This media release may contain forward-looking statements about Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will", "would", "should", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "believes", "may", "estimates", "predicts", "projects", or similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect Synta’s current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including those described in "Risk Factors" of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Synta undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Tykerb® and Arranon® are registered trademarks of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.

Source: Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Daniel Cole, 781-541-7250
Argot Partners
Andrea Rabney, 212-600-1494
Argot Partners
Eliza Schleifstein, 917-763-8106