Nektar Therapeutics Names Stephen K. Doberstein, Ph.D. Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer

Jan 06, 2010, 17:54 ET from Nektar Therapeutics

SAN CARLOS, Calif., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) today announced the appointment of Stephen K. Doberstein, Ph.D., to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Doberstein will report to Nektar's President and Chief Executive Officer, Howard W. Robin.

Dr. Doberstein brings over 17 years of experience in biotechnology research and development to Nektar. In this newly-created role, he will lead all aspects of discovery research at Nektar.

"We are delighted to have Steve join the Nektar executive team as we execute on our research strategy to develop innovative therapeutics with our proven polymer conjugate technology platform," said Howard W. Robin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nektar Therapeutics. "Steve is a highly talented executive with an impressive track record. His experience and leadership will be instrumental as we continue to build our pipeline of proprietary drug candidates."

Prior to joining Nektar, Dr. Doberstein, 50, was Vice President of Research at Xoma where he was responsible for directing the discovery and development of their drug candidates, including antibody discovery and support of clinical development through non-clinical safety, translational medicine and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics. Prior to that, Dr. Doberstein served as Vice President, Research at Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc, a protein and antibody discovery and development company where he built and led a high performance discovery research and process development group. While at Five Prime, he established programs resulting in multiple strategic alliances with pharmaceutical partners, built a strong proprietary pipeline, and moved multiple product candidates from concept to pre-IND stages in diabetes, oncology, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Prior to that, Dr. Doberstein was Vice President, Research at Xencor, an antibody and protein engineering and development company. At Xencor, he was instrumental in advancing its protein platform technologies and preclinical product candidates. Before that, he also held a number of senior positions at Exelixis.

Dr. Doberstein received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed his postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. Earlier in his career, Dr. Doberstein held a variety of engineering roles at DuPont after receiving his B.S.Ch.E. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

"I am excited to join Nektar, the clear industry leader in PEGylation chemistry and advanced polymer conjugate technologies," said Dr. Doberstein. "Nektar's innovative drug discovery and development platform is among the most promising in the biopharmaceutical industry. I look forward to working with Nektar's world-class research scientists to apply this platform to the discovery of new drug candidates and to advance Nektar's discoveries rapidly into the clinic."

About Nektar

Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on its PEGylation and advanced polymer conjugation technology platforms. Nektar's technology and drug development expertise have enabled nine approved products in the U.S. or Europe for leading biopharmaceutical company partners, including UCB's Cimzia(R) for Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis, Roche's PEGASYS(R) for hepatitis C and Amgen's Neulasta(R) for neutropenia.

Nektar has created a robust pipeline of potentially high-value therapeutics to address unmet medical needs by leveraging and expanding its technology platforms to improve and enable molecules. Nektar is currently conducting clinical and preclinical programs in oncology, pain and other therapeutic areas. Nektar recently entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with AstraZeneca for its oral NKTR-118 program to treat opioid-induced constipation and its NKTR-119 program for the treatment of pain without constipation side effects. NKTR-102, PEGylated irinotecan, is currently being evaluated in Phase 2 clinical studies for the treatment of ovarian, breast and colorectal cancers. NKTR-105, PEGylated docetaxel, is currently in a Phase 1 clinical study in cancer patients with refractory solid tumors.

Nektar is headquartered in San Carlos, California, with additional R&D operations in Huntsville, Alabama and Hyderabad, India. Further information about the company and its drug development programs and capabilities may be found online at

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current views regarding the value and potential of Nektar's technology platform, Nektar's pipeline of product candidates in development, and Nektar's collaborations with third parties. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: (i) Nektar's proprietary product candidates and those of its partners are in the early to mid-stage phases of clinical development and the risk of failure is high and can occur at any stage prior to regulatory approval; (ii) Nektar or its partners may not be able to successfully obtain regulatory approval for product candidates in development; (iii) Nektar's commercialization partners may not be successful in their sales and marketing efforts even if current product candidates successfully receive future regulatory approval in one or more markets; (iv) Nektar's patent applications for its technology platforms and proprietary or partner product candidates may not issue, patents that have issued may not be enforceable; and or intellectual property licenses from third parties may be required in the future; and (v) other important risks and uncertainties set forth in Nektar's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 5, 2009 and its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 6, 2009. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Nektar undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information on Nektar Therapeutics, please visit

Jennifer Ruddock, 650-631-4954

SOURCE Nektar Therapeutics