Akela Pharma announces new leadership

Akela Pharma announces new leadership

AUSTIN, TX, Sep. 2, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- VLTS | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Akela Pharma, Inc., (TSX: AKL | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating) and its wholly owned subsidiary, PharmaForm, leaders in the development of therapeutics for the treatment of pain as well as the manufacture of a range of controlled substances, today announced the appointment of Greg McKee to the position of president and chief executive officer and Robert Rieder to the position of chairman, effective immediately.
Mr. McKee, who currently serves as, and will remain a member of, Akela's board of directors, brings more than 20 years of biotechnology and life sciences management and leadership experience to the company. Before joining Akela, he served as president and chief executive officer of Nventa Biopharmaceuticals Corporation, which successfully merged with Akela in May of 2009. Prior to his position as chief executive officer of Nventa, Mr. McKee served as the company's vice president, corporate development and chief financial officer. Mr. McKee previously served as senior director, corporate development for Valentis, Inc., a San-Francisco-based gene delivery company, and held several positions at Genzyme Corporation including Director - Asia. He spent several years overseas as an investment banker and aide to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Mr. McKee earned an MBA and an M.A. from the Wharton School and the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Washington.

Mr. Rieder currently serves as executive chairman of the board of directors of Cardiome Pharma Corp. He served as Cardiome's chief executive officer from the time he joined Cardiome in April 1998 until August 2009 and has extensive previous experience in venture capital and operational management. Prior to joining Cardiome, Mr. Rieder was vice president at MDS Ventures Pacific Inc., the Vancouver-based affiliate of MDS Capital Corp., through which he served as a director for nine public and private technology companies. Mr. Rieder has also held the positions of chief operating officer for DBA Telecom Inc., and chief executive officer for Synapse Technologies Inc. Mr. Rieder received his MBA from the University of Western Ontario.

"Greg McKee has played an integral role in mapping the future direction of Akela as a member of the company's board of directors since closing the merger with Nventa," said Mr. Rieder. "His broad industry experience, as well as the time he's already spent working with Akela over the past several months, will allow for an immediate transition of responsibilities. Greg has already assembled a strong and experienced team of professionals to execute Akela's new corporate objectives, and we look forward to an exciting and productive future for Akela under his leadership."

About Akela Pharma Inc.:

Akela Pharma is a drug development company with its lead product, Fentanyl TAIFUN(R), being developed for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain. Fentanyl TAIFUN(R) is a fast-acting fentanyl formulation delivered using the company's TAIFUN(R) multi-dose dry powder inhaler platform. Akela's pipeline also includes a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), which is being developed for frailty and wasting in chronic renal disease.

About PharmaForm:

PharmaForm, Akela's wholly owned subsidiary, is a leading specialty contract service provider in the area of hot melt extrusion, and also offers a portfolio of other innovative technologies in drug product development, manufacturing and analytical testing to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Through its diverse offerings, PharmaForm solutions help clients reach their development targets, reduce development costs and accelerate time-to-market.

Akela's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") under the symbol "AKL" with 30.9 million shares outstanding.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of Akela Pharma Inc. with respect to performance, business and future events. Such statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and events may vary significantly.