SOURCE: AtheroGenics

February 07, 2007 11:21 ET

AtheroGenics Announces Key Promotions in Research and Development

ATLANTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 7, 2007 -- AtheroGenics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIX), a pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, today announced three key promotions within its research and development infrastructure. Charles Kunsch, Ph.D. has been promoted to Vice President Biology; James A. Sikorski, Ph.D. has been promoted to Vice President Medicinal Chemistry; and Cynthia L. Sundell, Ph.D. has been promoted to Vice President Pharmacology. Drs. Kunsch, Sikorski and Sundell all report directly to Rob Scott, M.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at AtheroGenics.

"It gives me tremendous pleasure to announce the promotions of these three leaders of research, as we cultivate the next generation of leadership at AtheroGenics," stated Dr. Scott. "I congratulate all on their achievements and look forward to working with them in their enhanced roles at AtheroGenics as we continue to grow our Company."

Charles Kunsch, Ph.D., was promoted to Vice President Biology from Senior Director of Biological Research. Dr. Kunsch, who joined AtheroGenics in 1997, oversees the Biology Department which is responsible for a range of discovery efforts focused on identifying and characterizing new drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Prior to joining AtheroGenics, he was employed at Human Genome Sciences, Inc. as a Research Scientist in the Department of Exploratory Research from 1993-1997, and at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology from 1991-1993. Dr. Kunsch is an ad-hoc reviewer for more than 15 peer-reviewed journals, co-inventor on more than 22 patents and patent applications and author or co-author of 55 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and review articles.

James A. Sikorski, Ph.D., was promoted to Vice President Medicinal Chemistry from Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Sikorski, who joined AtheroGenics in 2001, oversees the Medicinal Chemistry Department which is responsible for the identification, synthesis, scale-up and process chemistry development of new chemical entities suitable for therapeutic use. Prior to joining AtheroGenics, Dr. Sikorski was Science Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry at Pharmacia. With over 24 years of experience combined between the Monsanto, Searle and Pharmacia organizations, he contributed to successful drug discovery programs for cardiovascular, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Dr. Sikorski is co-inventor on more than 120 issued U.S. patients and has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and review articles. He has received two awards for research in enzyme-targeted inhibitor design: The St. Louis American Chemical Society Award and the International Kenneth A. Spencer Award.

Cynthia L. Sundell, Ph.D., was promoted to Vice President Pharmacology from Director of Pharmacology. Dr. Sundell, who joined AtheroGenics in 1995 as one of its first full-time employees, is responsible for managing the Pharmacology department which is responsible for the in vivo preclinical pharmacological characterization of compounds in the areas of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and chronic transplant rejection. These activities have led to three initial new drug applications and one near-term new drug application. Dr. Sundell is a co-inventor on two patent applications and author or co-author of 16 peer-reviewed scientific articles and review articles. From 1990 to 1995, she was on the faculty of the Department of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine where she conducted research in the areas of vascular and pulmonary biology.

About AtheroGenics

AtheroGenics is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel drugs for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, including heart disease (atherosclerosis), rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. The Company has two drug development programs currently in the clinic. AtheroGenics' lead compound, AGI-1067, is being evaluated in the pivotal Phase III ARISE clinical trial as an oral therapy for the treatment of atherosclerosis, in collaboration with AstraZeneca. AGI-1096 is a novel, oral agent in Phase I that is being developed for the prevention of organ transplant rejection in collaboration with Astellas. AtheroGenics also has preclinical programs in rheumatoid arthritis and asthma utilizing its proprietary vascular protectant® technology. For more information about AtheroGenics, please visit

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