Onyx Pharma CEO Hollings Renton To Retire; Promotes Laura Brege To COO
EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 4 -- Onyx Pharmaceuticals today announced that Hollings C. Renton, the company's chief executive officer, plans to retire next year. Renton, 60, will remain chairman of the board of directors. As a result of his decision, the company is initiating a search for a successor. The company also announced the promotion of Laura A. Brege to the newly created position of executive vice president & chief operating officer and Randy A. Kelley to senior vice president of sales and marketing.
"With Nexavar established as an effective and well tolerated anti-cancer drug and with broad development and commercial plans in place, Onyx is poised to enter a new phase of corporate growth," said Renton. "After almost 15 years as CEO, it's the perfect time for me to relinquish my operating role so I can spend more time with my family. I am committed to the company and its continued success, and will remain closely involved until a successor is appointed, and subsequently as chairman."
Brege joined Onyx in June 2006 as executive vice president & chief business officer. In her new role as executive vice president & chief operating officer, Brege will be responsible for the sales and marketing, medical affairs, legal, business development, and compliance functions. Since arriving at Onyx, Brege has overseen the expansion of key corporate capabilities and strengthened Onyx's financial position by significantly adding to its cash reserves. Before joining Onyx, Brege was a general partner at Red Rock Management, a venture capital firm. Prior to Red Rock, she was the senior vice president and chief financial officer at COR Therapeutics. Earlier in her career, Brege served as vice president and chief financial officer at Flextronics and vice president and treasurer of The Cooper Companies. Brege earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and has an MBA from the University of Chicago. Brege serves on the boards of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and The Ohio University Foundation.
"Since her arrival at Onyx, Laura has overseen the expansion of key corporate capabilities, guided our business planning, and strengthened our financial position," said Renton. "Laura's superb leadership skills and diverse experience will help ensure Onyx continues to deliver on our mission to improve the lives of people living with cancer."
Kelley, previously vice president of sales, joined Onyx in September 2004. While at Onyx, Kelley established its U.S. sales organization and managed, with the company's collaborator, Bayer, the successful launch of Nexavar, a targeted oncology agent approved for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. From 1994 to 2004, Kelley served in various senior sales and marketing positions at Chiron Corporation, including vice president, North American sales for the company's biopharmaceutical division. Previously Kelley was vice president of sales at Immunex Corporation and held various sales management positions at Adria Laboratories. Kelley earned his B.A. from the University of the Pacific. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the William S. Graham Foundation for Melanoma Research.
"As a veteran oncology executive, Randy moved swiftly to build Onyx's commercial infrastructure from the ground up," said Renton. "Randy's dedication, team-building skills, and commitment to performance will be instrumental in driving Nexavar's planned commercial launch in liver cancer and beyond."
About Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies that target the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer. The company is commercializing and developing NexavarÂ®, a small molecule drug, with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. Nexavar has been approved for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. For more information about Onyx's pipeline and activities, visit the company's website at: http://www.onyx-pharm.com.
NexavarÂ® (sorafenib) tablets is a registered trademark of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the planned commercial launch of Nexavar as a treatment for liver cancer and the anticipated contributions of Onyx's management team. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks (i) that Nexavar may never be approved for use in liver cancer or that its approval may be significantly delayed, and (ii) that we depend upon our collaborative relationship with Bayer to manufacture and to further develop and commercialize Nexavar. These and other risk factors are discussed under "Risk Factors" in Onyx's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, as well as Onyx's subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this release. Onyx undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events, or circumstances after the date of this release except as required by law.