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Exelixis Names New Chief Medical Officer

NEW YORK, July 31 – Exelixis of South San Francisco, Calif., has appointed Jeffrey Latts chief medical officer and senior vice president for clinical development.

The appointment comes as part of Exelixis plans to step up its drug discovery efforts and advances a newly acquired drug through clinical trials.

"Jeff’s extensive experience in designing and implementing early- through late-stage clinical trials for cancer and other diseases adds an important component to Exelixis’ aggressive plans for product development," George Scangos, Exelixis’ CEO, said in a statement.

"His experience will be invaluable in achieving smooth integration of the clinical development of our new phase I/II rebeccamycin analogue and in the rapid advancement of our proprietary programs that are nearing the development stage," said Scangos, referring to the cancer drug the company recently acquired from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

As part of that deal, Exelixis and Bristol-Myers Squibb also agreed to work together to develop cancer drugs that target cells with defective tumor suppressor gene pathways.

Latts previously worked as vice president of clinical research and development and corporate chief medical officer at Berlex Laboratories. He has also worked as an executive in charge of clinical research at Wyeth Ayerst.

Exelixis has developed tools for understanding gene function based on comparative genomics and model system genetics.

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