Cambridge, MA, February 8, 2005 -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) announced today that Dr. Vicki Sato will retire as President of the Company effective during the second quarter of 2005. Dr. Sato joined Vertex in 1992 as Vice President of Research and was named President of the Company in 2000. She plans to continue working with companies in the areas of life science and biotechnology and on expanding her commitment to her interests in education.
"Vicki has been instrumental in establishing Vertex as a leading innovator in small molecule drug discovery and in guiding the progress of our drug candidates into advanced clinical trials," said Dr. Joshua Boger, Vertex's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We appreciate her many significant contributions to our business during her 14 years at Vertex."
Additionally, Vertex announced today that Dr. Victor A. Hartmann, M.D. will join Vertex as Executive Vice President, Strategic and Corporate Development. Dr. Hartmann joins Vertex from Novartis Pharma AG. Dr. Hartmann has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience primarily in the areas of drug development, portfolio management and licensing. In this newly created position, Dr. Hartmann will lead the areas of Strategic Development and Portfolio Management, and will have responsibility for management of the Company's Business Development and Corporate Development functions. In his role leading Strategic Development, Dr. Hartmann will work closely with Vertex's Drug Evaluation & Approval and Drug Discovery & Innovation organizations. In addition, the Program Executives who lead Vertex's cross-functional project teams through to launch will report directly to him. Dr. Hartmann will also serve on the senior management team. Dr. Hartmann will report to Dr. Vicki Sato during a planned transition period, and following that will report directly to Dr. Joshua Boger, Vertex's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Following the transition period, Dr. Boger will also assume the title of President.
"Victor Hartmann brings broad pharmaceutical industry experience and an outstanding track record to Vertex. We look forward to Victor's leadership and contributions to setting the strategic direction of the business as Vertex's product candidates advance toward the market," said Dr. Sato. "I am delighted to welcome him to Vertex."
"I have come to know Vertex well and have been impressed with the innovative drive of the Company as well as its success in new areas of drug discovery and development," said Dr. Victor Hartmann. "I am enthusiastic about joining the Vertex organization and view Vertex as a Company that can play a key role in the future of the pharmaceutical industry."
"I've known Victor a number of years and believe that he brings leadership talent and a broad skill set that will benefit the organization at this stage of development and beyond," said Dr. Boger. "I expect Victor will play a pivotal role at Vertex as we continue to attract value creating partnerships and further advance our pipeline of innovative drugs."
Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Hartmann held various positions at Novartis, most recently as Senior Vice President, Head Global Business Development and Licensing from 2000 to 2005. Prior to that, Dr. Hartmann was Vice President, Head Scientific and Business Evaluation, and from 1996 to 1999, Dr. Hartmann was Vice President, Head Global Project Management. From 1994 to 1996, he held various positions at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation (U.S.) and Sandoz Pharma AG including Vice President, Head Corporate Project Management. From 1982 to 1994, Dr. Hartmann served in a variety of roles at Boehringer Ingelheim including Vice President Medical Affairs in the United States. He earned his B.S. in Biology from Macalester College. He earned his M.D. degree at the University of Bonn, Germany and has a degree as a specialist in internal medicine.
Vertex Safe Harbor Statement
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. While management makes its best efforts to be accurate in making forward-looking statements, such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause Vertex's actual results to vary materially. These risks and uncertainties include those risks listed under Risk Factors in Vertex's form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15, 2004 and amended on September 8, 2004.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a global biotechnology company committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases. The Company's strategy is to commercialize its products both independently and in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies. Vertex's product pipeline is principally focused on viral diseases, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Vertex co-promotes the HIV protease inhibitor, Lexiva®, with GlaxoSmithKline.
Lexiva® is a registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.
Lynne H. Brum, VP, Corporate Communications and Financial Planning (617) 444-6614
Michael Partridge, Director, Corporate Communications, (617) 444-6108