October 09, 2009 06:30 ET

Investment Banking Executive Ira Z. Leiderman and Dr. Mary Ann Gray Join the Board of Directors at Apthera, Inc.

Mr. Leiderman Appointed as Apthera's Executive Chairman

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - October 9, 2009) - Apthera, Inc. ("Apthera") today announced the appointments of Mr. Ira Z. Leiderman and Dr. Mary Ann Gray to the Apthera Board as independent directors and the appointment of Mr. Leiderman as its Executive Chairman.

"Apthera made a commitment to build an outstanding independent board that will accelerate the development of Apthera and its lead product, NeuVax™, an active specific immunotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. Ira's prior relationship with the Company, along with his extensive life sciences industry knowledge and relationships, uniquely qualified him to assist the Company in meeting its objectives," said Dr. Joseph Sinkule, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Apthera.

In his role as Executive Chairman, Mr. Leiderman's primary responsibilities are to lead the Company's effort to build an independent board, reevaluate its strategies and goals, and to accelerate the Company's product development and partnering/alliance activities. "I have been tracking Apthera for some time and believe its lead candidate, NeuVax, addresses a crucial medical need, particularly in women with triple-negative breast cancer. With the FDA's acceptance of Apthera's Phase III Special Protocol Assessment (SPA), the Company's immediate focus is to position NeuVax for continued development, either by partnering or raising sufficient capital to enter this pivotal stage of clinical development. I am excited to play a role in taking Apthera in this direction," said Mr. Leiderman.

Dr. Mary Ann Gray presently serves on the board of two public biotechnology companies. "We are excited that Dr. Gray has joined the Apthera board. Mary Ann brings to Apthera a wealth of experience, which spans all areas of building a successful biotech company," stated Dr. William Gannon, Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer.

Apthera, Inc. today also announced the resignation of Dr. A. Charles Morgan as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Morgan left the Company to pursue other interests. Mr. Leiderman said, "Charles has devoted substantial efforts in bringing Apthera forward. We plan to build on his work. We wish him much success in his future endeavors."

About Apthera

Apthera, Inc. is a privately-held, Arizona-based biotechnology company developing a pipeline of peptide-based active specific immunotherapies for cancers that express HER2/neu, a well-validated and established oncology target. The Company's lead product, NeuVax, contains a patented peptide which has been documented over the past 8 years to elevate or boost pre-existing anti-cancer immunity in cancer patients. NeuVax's initial indication is for front-line therapy of early-stage breast cancer patients who express HER2/neu but don't qualify for trastuzumab (Herceptin®) or lapatinib (Tykerb®) therapy. For more information about the Company visit www.apthera.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are not historical facts and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from those set forth in or implied herein including, without limitation, risks associated with clinical development, regulatory approvals, product commercialization, intellectual property claims litigation and other risks associated with the Company's proposed activities.

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