NOVATO, Calif., June 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq:RARE), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel products for rare and ultra-rare diseases, today announced the Board of Directors has elected Daniel G. Welch as the Company's non-executive Chairman of the Board effective June 18, 2015. Mr. Welch, Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at InterMune, Inc., has served as an independent director to Ultragenyx since April 2015. In addition to serving as Chairman, Mr. Welch will also serve as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee.
Ultragenyx also extends gratitude and appreciation for the counsel provided by the past Chairman, Dr. Eran Nadav, whose term as a director expired on June 18, 2015. Eran has been a critical contributing Board member during the Company's early development beginning with the Series A financing in June 2011 as the lead investor representative of TPG.
"We are extremely pleased to name Dan as the new Chairman of the Board for Ultragenyx. His insight and leadership will be incredibly valuable to the company as we enter a period of substantial corporate growth internationally and potential commercialization of our first products," said Emil D. Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ultragenyx.
"Over the past 5 years, Ultragenyx has achieved significant progress in advancing rare disease therapeutics with their innovative approach and committed focus on treating patients with unmet medical needs," said Mr. Welch. "I look forward to working with the Board and Emil to support Ultragenyx's continued growth and success in the coming years."
Mr. Welch has a distinguished track record as a life sciences executive, with over 30 years of experience across both multi-national pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mr. Welch joined Sofinnova Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in biotechnology, in 2015 as an Executive Partner. From 2003 until the acquisition by Roche in October 2014, Mr. Welch was the Chairman, CEO and President of InterMune, where he built the development and commercial teams that delivered the successful approval of Esbriet in the U.S., Europe and other territories. Prior to InterMune, Mr. Welch served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc., President of the pharmaceutical division of Elan Corporation, PLC, and served in various senior management roles at Sanofi-Synthelabo (now Sanofi-Aventis) and its predecessor companies. Prior to this, Mr. Welch was with American Critical Care, a division of American Hospital Supply.
Mr. Welch serves on the board of directors of Seattle Genetics and served on the board of directors of Hyperion Therapeutics until the May 2015 acquisition of that company by Horizon Pharma plc.
Mr. Welch holds a B.S. from the University of Miami and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina.
Ultragenyx is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, with a focus on serious, debilitating genetic diseases. Founded in 2010, the company has rapidly built a diverse portfolio of product candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no approved therapies.
The company is led by a management team experienced in the development and commercialization of rare disease therapeutics. Ultragenyx's strategy is predicated upon time and cost-efficient drug development, with the goal of delivering safe and effective therapies to patients with the utmost urgency.
For more information on Ultragenyx, please visit the company's website at www.ultragenyx.com.
CONTACT: Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. Investors & Media Robert Anstey 844-758-7273