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BERG Strengthens Financial Leadership And Expands Board Of Directors

BOSTON, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — BERG, a technology-based biopharmaceutical company uncovering health solutions through a data-driven, systems biological research approach, today announced an expansion of its Board of Directors, adding three new members who bring a wealth of healthcare, financial and executive leadership to the company. The additions to BERG’s Board of Directors include Shumeet Banerji, Ph.D., Elder Granger, M.D., U.S. Army Major General (retired) and Eric Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. In addition, Jonathan Symonds, CBE will become an observer and strategic adviser to BERG’s Board.

“It is both an honor and privilege to welcome such accomplished and seasoned executives to our Board at a key inflection point in the company,” said Niven R. Narain, BERG’s Co-Founder, President and CEO.  “They will provide us with an even greater range of skills and expertise as BERG enters its next chapter of commercial development. We are ensuring that the Company has the right technical, financial and operational leadership in place as we continue to translate our science into products for patients.”

These changes mark a significant strengthening of BERG’s operational and financial leadership as it seeks to realize the full potential of precision medicine – to deliver the right drug, at the right dose, for the right patient, at the right time.  BERG’s leading assets in cancer together with its pipeline in diabetes and Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases position the company to have a broad impact on patient populations.

Shumeet Banerji, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Partner at Condorcet, LP, an advisory and investment firm, has been elected as a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee. Additionally, Mr. Banerji is a member of HP’s Board of Directors. Previously, he served as a senior partner of Booz & Company, a consulting firm, from May 2012 until March 2013. FromJuly 2008 to May 2012, Mr. Banerji also served as CEO of Booz & Company. Mr. Banerji’s appointment to BERG’s Board of Directors follows the recent promotion of Kevin Coveney to Vice President of Finance and Controller. Mr. Banerji will work closely alongside Mr. Coveney to provide the right financial leadership at this crucial time for BERG.

Elder Granger, M.D., U.S. Army Major General and President and Chief Executive of The 5Ps LLC, has been elected to BERG’s Board of Directors. Major General Elder Granger, M.D. served in the U.S. Army for 37 years and was most recently the Deputy Director and Program Executive Officer of the TRICARE Management Activity. In that role he served as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) on Department of Defense health plan policy and performance. He brings a unique depth of insight into the diseases BERG is focused on while lending insight into scaling opportunities for the Interrogative Biology® platform.

Eric Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Director of the Friedman Brain Institute, and Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, has been elected to BERG’s Board of Directors. Dr. Nestler has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, on the National Advisory Mental Health Council for the National Institute of Mental Health, and as Council Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (for which he served as president in 2011) and is the President-elect for the Society for Neuroscience.  He has served as a senior Advisor to major pharmaceutical companies and adds exemplary oversight to translational guidance to BERG’s pipeline of products.

Jonathan Symonds, CBE, will become an observer and strategic adviser to BERG’s Board of Directors.  He is the former Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG and non-executive Director of HSBC Holdings plc. Prior to Novartis, Mr. Symonds was a Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca plc, and a Partner at KPMG. He brings an invaluable global scope of the industry and offers key strategic guidance to the company’s governance and execution.

BERG’s full Board of Directors includes the following members:

  • Carl E. Berg, Chairman of the Board
  • Shumeet Banerji, PhD, Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee
  • Major General Elder Granger, M.D., Director
  • Niven R. Narain, Director, President and CEO
  • Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., Director
  • Jonathan Symonds, CBE, Board Advisor

“I am excited to partner with Niven Narain and the team at such a pivotal time in BERG’s history,” said Shumeet Banerji, Director and Audit Chair. “Few people are challenging the status quo in drug discovery in such an innovative way.”

Carl E. Berg, Co-Founder and Chairman added, “Bringing the right team together to BERG’s board at this key time in the lifecycle of the company will ensure a bright future for our business to ensure that BERG is challenged by world leaders to maintain a level of excellence as we strive to improve the live of patients and lead a new model for healthcare.”

About BERG
BERG is a clinical-stage company disrupting and re-defining the approach to drug discovery, research and development through its Interrogative Biology® platform.  Its platform identifies therapies and biomarkers by applying algorithm- and probability-based artificial intelligence to analyze large numbers of patients’ genotypic, phenotypic and other characteristics.  BERG’s platform operates at the intersection of biology, technology and artificial intelligence analytics and integrates many data characteristics regarding patients’ lifestyles, demographics and biology.  BERG believes this allows the company to better understand patients’ disease profiles and consequently to identify and reveal molecular signatures to guide and accelerate product candidate selection and development. By identifying biomarkers and patient characteristics that are unique to the disease state, BERG is able to identify novel therapeutic product candidates and develop companion diagnostics to enhance specificity in its drug development process.

BERG has leveraged its Interrogative Biology® platform to develop a robust pipeline of therapeutic product candidates and diagnostics in cancer, diabetes and neurology.  Its lead drug, BPM-31510 (IV), has the potential to slow or reverse cancer cell growth by changing a hypothesized fundamental driver of many different types of cancer.  BERG has initiated a Phase II clinical trial for BPM-31510 (IV) in advanced pancreatic cancer in combination with a common cancer drug, among other ongoing and planned trials for BPM-31510 (IV) in various oncological indications.

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