Conatus Pharma Appoints Mason M. Yamashita As Vice President, Pharmacovigilance

SAN DIEGO, June 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:CNAT), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease, today announced the appointment of Mason M. Yamashita, M.D., Ph.D., as Vice President, Pharmacovigilance, reporting to David T. Hagerty, M.D., Executive Vice President, Clinical Development.

"We are pleased to welcome Mason to Conatus and to expand the capabilities of our Clinical Development team," said Dr. Hagerty. "Mason brings a wealth of drug development and pharmacovigilance experience that strengthens our internal clinical development capabilities. His knowledge of clinical trial and regulatory reporting best practices and his successful record of building a pharmacovigilance function across a broad range of development programs provides an excellent background for leadership of this important function at Conatus. As Mason assumes responsibility for assessing and reporting on emricasan's safety profile, we anticipate continued progress toward the initial registration of emricasan."

Dr. Yamashita has been Executive Director (initially) and Vice President (most recently) of Clinical Development/Drug Safety since 2011 at Isis Pharmaceuticals. He was previously Senior Director of Clinical Development from 2010 to 2011 at Ambit Biosciences, Medical Director of Drug Safety Clinical Research from 2008 to 2010 and Associate Director of Drug Safety Clinical Research from 2007 to 2008 at Biogen Idec, Associate Medical Director of Clinical Development from 2006 to 2007 and Manager/Senior Manager of Preclinical Development from 2003 to 2006 at Neurocrine Biosciences, and Associate Director of Preclinical Development from 2001 to 2003 at CancerVax. He previously worked as a scientist at Signal Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Yamashita received an M.D. from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Hawaii. He completed an internship in 2001 at the University of California, San Diego, with a focus on psychiatry and neurology, and a fellowship in 1998 at The Scripps Research Institute with a focus on the development of cellular assays to test novel anti-tumor compounds.

About Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Conatus is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease. Conatus is developing its lead compound, emricasan, for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease. Emricasan is a first-in-class, orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor designed to reduce the activity of enzymes that mediate inflammation and apoptosis. Conatus believes that by reducing the activity of these enzymes, emricasan has the potential to interrupt the disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. For additional information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding continued progress toward the initial registration of emricasan and emricasan's potential to interrupt the disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "could," "intend," "target," "project," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those risks described in the company's prior press releases and in the periodic reports it files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The events and circumstances reflected in the company's forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, the company does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

CONTACT: MEDIA: David Schull Russo Partners, LLC (858) 717-2310 [email protected] INVESTORS: Alan Engbring Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (858) 376-2637 [email protected]

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