Sean Cunliffe Named Chief Executive Officer Of Sitka Biopharma

Sean Cunliffe Named Chief Executive Officer Of Sitka Biopharma


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 3, 2013) - Sitka Biopharma Inc., a biotechnology company developing a new bladder cancer treatment, has named Mr. Sean Cunliffe Chief Executive Officer. Sitka is a spin-off of CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), the commercialization vehicle of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and the University of British Columbia (UBC).

CVI President and CEO, Ms. Natalie Dakers stated, "We are pleased to welcome Sean Cunliffe as the CEO of Sitka. He has an impressive track record in partnering and commercializing promising technologies and we are confident he can advance this polymer technology platform to commercial viability."

Sean Cunliffe, Chief Executive Officer of Sitka commented, "Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in males, and due to frequent recurrences and in some cases progression to more invasive forms, is the most expensive of all cancer to treat on a per patient basis. The quality of life for patients, particularly those whose disease progresses to the point of losing their bladder, is very poor. Despite this, the treatment options are strikingly limited," Mr. Cunliffe added, "The founding scientists, Drs. Helen Burt and Don Brooks, both of the University of British Columbia and Dr. Martin Gleave of the Vancouver Prostate Centre and PC-TRiADD have a successful track record of commercializing their discoveries. I am very optimistic that the Sitka technology will eventually deliver on the promise of changing outcomes for thousands of bladder cancer patients and also lead to an exploration of the full potential of this platform technology for use in other conditions."

About Sean Cunliffe

Mr. Sean Cunliffe has more than 30 years of pharmaceutical marketing and sales experience in both large companies and start-ups across a wide variety of therapeutic areas. Most recently, he has held senior roles at Angiotech Pharmaceutical and Neuromed Pharmaceuticals, now Zalicus Inc. Mr. Cunliffe has held several leadership roles at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Collegeville, PA, including Vice President of New Product Marketing where he co-chaired, along with Discovery, both the Neuroscience and Cardiovascular leadership teams, Vice President Marketing and Global Business Manager of Neuroscience and Vice President of Cardiovascular and Gastrointestinal Marketing. Prior to Wyeth, he was the Group Director U.S. Marketing, Gastrointestinal and Anti-Viral Products at Glaxo Wellcome in Research Triangle Park, NC. Mr. Cunliffe also served for Glaxo and Astra Pharmaceuticals in a variety of sales and marketing roles in Canada before moving to the U.S. to work in both global and U.S. domestic commercial functions. Mr. Cunliffe received an MBA in Finance from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and an Honours B.Sc. in Biology from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

About Sitka Biopharma

Sitka Biopharma has developed a novel polymer platform technology that improves drug absorption for cancer treatments. Its lead candidate is a formulation that allows taxane drugs to adhere and penetrate into the bladder wall, enhancing treatment benefit for bladder cancer. Preclinical proof-of-concept has been established and the company's near term goal is to enter clinical trials. Sitka is a spin-off company of CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), the commercialization vehicle of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), and the University of British Columbia (UBC). For more information, visit

About CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI)

CVI is the commercialization vehicle of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). With a first right to negotiate for any of the technologies developed at CDRD, CVI has a continuous and unparalleled pipeline of the most innovative and commercially-promising pre-validated and thus de-risked technologies in Canada. From CDRD's drug development projects and/or external opportunities, CVI licenses select promising technologies with the goal to further advance them to a stage where they can attract licensing partners, form the foundation for a new spin-off company, or secure the investment needed for clinical development.


CDRD & CDRD Ventures Inc.

Barry Gee

Director, Communications


[email protected]

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