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Portola Pharmaceuticals Announces Retirement of Dr. John Curnutte, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development

1167 Days ago

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.® (Nasdaq: PTLA) today announced that Dr. John Curnutte, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development, will retire on May 17, 2019, after more than eight years of distinguished service. Dr. Curnutte will remain in a consultancy role, providing guidance to Portola’s President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Garland and engaging with key academic and scientific thoughtleaders in the field on the ongoing development of Andexxa® [coagulation factor Xa (recombinant), inactivated-zhzo] and cerdulatinib.

“On behalf of the entire Portola team, I would like to thank John for shepherding Portola’s unique portfolio of potentially life-saving medicines through various stages of development and regulatory approval, and for his unwavering commitment to patients,” said Mr. Garland. “John leaves behind a significant legacy of scientific accomplishment and we are grateful that the Company will continue to benefit from his guidance and counsel while he shifts his primary focus to spending more time with his family and grandchildren.”

Dr. Curnutte said: “I am incredibly fortunate to have worked with such talented and passionate individuals, and to have had the opportunity to advance several truly innovative compounds with the potential to transform patient outcomes. I look forward to continuing to raise awareness and understanding of the clinical benefits of Andexxa while also helping to expand its potential to benefit even more patients.”

Moving forward, and effective May 1, 2019, the Company’s research efforts will be led by Pamela Conley, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research, who has contributed to the discovery and development of Portola’s portfolio for more than 15 years. The Company expects to name a permanent Chief Medical Officer upon completion of the previously announced executive search. During the transition period, Portola’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, Jeff Myers, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as interim Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Myers is a former pediatric cardiac surgeon with extensive experience leading Medical Affairs for a number of large biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Genzyme.

About Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Portola Pharmaceuticals is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics that could significantly advance the fields of thrombosis and other hematologic diseases. The Company’s two FDA-approved medicines are Andexxa® [coagulation factor Xa (recombinant), inactivated-zhzo], the first and only antidote for patients treated with rivaroxaban or apixaban when reversal of anticoagulation is needed due to life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding, and Bevyxxa® (betrixaban), the first and only oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor for the prevention of VTE in adult patients hospitalized for an acute medical illness. The company also is advancing cerdulatinib, a Syk/JAK inhibitor for the treatment of hematologic cancers.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the growth potential for Portola and potential of Portola’s products. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: the risk that physicians, patients and payers may not see the benefits of utilizing Andexxa or Bevyxxa for the indications which they are approved; our ability to continue to manufacture our products and to expand approved manufacturing facilities; the possibility of unfavorable results from additional clinical trials involving Andexxa; the risk that the EMA may not approve Andexxa in the currently anticipated timelines or at all, and that any marketing approvals or reimbursement limitations may have significant limitations on its use; the risk that Portola may not obtain additional regulatory approvals necessary to expand approved indications for Andexxa; our expectation that we will incur losses for the foreseeable future and will need additional funds to finance our operations; the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses and capital requirements; our ability to successfully build a hospital-based sales force and commercial infrastructure; our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates; and our ability to retain key scientific or management personnel. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in our most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. We undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

Investor Contact: Media Contact:
Cara Miller Julie Normart
Portola Pharmaceuticals Pure Communications
ir@portola.com jnormart@purecommunications.com


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