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November 07, 2006 at 08:00 AM EST
KAI Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dr. Dirk Mendel as Vice President, Pharmacology & Preclinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

KAI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an emerging drug discovery and development company, announced today the appointment of Dirk B. Mendel, Ph.D. as Vice President of Pharmacology & Preclinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. Dr. Mendel will be responsible for leading the Companys pharmacology efforts, an integral part of both research and clinical development.

Dr. Mendel joins KAI from Chiron Corporation (recently acquired by Novartis) where he led the companys pharmacology team responsible for supporting all research and development projects. At Chiron, Dr. Mendel was also the project leader for several programs including a Raf kinase inhibitor which is currently in phase I clinical trials. Prior to Chiron, Dr. Mendel was Senior Director, Oncology, Preclinical Research and Exploratory Development at Sugen, Inc. (now Pfizer) where, among other responsibilities, he was project leader for Sutent® which was recently approved for marketing by the FDA. Prior to Sugen, Dr. Mendel spent 7 years in various roles of increasing responsibility at Gilead Sciences.

Dr. Mendel has 15 years of industry experience in preclinical and clinical discovery and development and has extensive experience developing and applying PK/PD approaches to targeted therapeutics in preclinical settings and translating those to the clinic. Dr. Mendel has led multiple projects at the research and early development phase, including those related to the discovery and development of Tamiflu®, an influenza neuraminidase inhibitor, and Sutent®. Dr. Mendel also has broad regulatory experience including many interactions with the FDA and EMEA and has authored numerous regulatory submissions. Dr. Mendel received his Ph.D. in Physiology from Dartmouth Medical School and a B.S. in Engineering from Stanford University.

Steve James, KAIs president and chief executive officer, stated, "We are delighted to have Dirk join the KAI team. His background and successes at Chiron, Sugen and Gilead Sciences are impressive and his broad experience with programs from early stage research to NDA will be extremely valuable as we continue to expand our pre-clinical and clinical programs."

About KAI Pharmaceuticals

KAI Pharmaceuticals is a privately held, venture-backed drug discovery and development company with preclinical and clinical programs in acute cardiovascular and other diseases representing unmet medical needs. The company has applied its core expertise in the biology of PKC to develop highly potent and selective inhibitors and activators for each of the PKC isozymes for the treatment of a broad array of human diseases. KAI has received Fast-Track designation from the FDA for its lead compound, KAI-9803, which has recently completed a Phase I/II clinical trial to assess safety and efficacy in treating reperfusion injury in acute myocardial infarction. KAI is based in South San Francisco, California, and can be found online at www.kaipharma.com.

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