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Portola Pharmaceuticals Appoints Industry Veteran John H. Lawrence, M.D., as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Portola Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:PTLA) today announced the appointment of John H. (Jack) Lawrence, M.D., as senior vice president and chief medical officer (CMO), effective immediately. Dr. Lawrence will report to William Lis, chief executive officer, and will be responsible for leading all product development, as well as clinical strategies. He will also serve on the company’s Executive Committee.

"Jack’s reputation and achievements in global thrombosis product development and regulatory approvals will be valuable assets to Portola as we begin to launch betrixaban and prepare for the potential approval of andexanet in 2018,” said Mr. Lis. “We’re pleased to add his executive leadership and expertise to our management team to help us continue to advance Portola as a leading thrombosis and hematologic biotechnology company.”

Dr. Lawrence joins Portola from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he held positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s cardiovascular division. He was vice president and cardiovascular therapeutic area head with responsibility for global clinical development and regulatory activities of the Factor Xa inhibitor, apixaban. He also provided strategic input into the discovery and early development efforts for BMS’ cardiovascular programs, including phase 2 trials in heart failure and stroke prevention.

"I have long admired Portola’s leadership team and am incredibly excited by the unique opportunity to bring two important new therapies – andexanet alfa, the first ever reversal agent for Factor Xa inhibitors, and Bevyxxa (betrixaban), the first and only drug approved for extended-duration prophylaxis of VTE – to patients in need,” said Dr. Lawrence. “I’m confident that my experience will support the company’s goals of continuing to develop transformative medicines and getting them to the patients who need them most.”

Dr. Lawrence received his medical degree from the University of Virginia and completed his cardiology fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he later served as an associate professor.

About Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.    
Portola Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing product candidates that could significantly advance the fields of thrombosis and other hematologic diseases. The Company’s first medicine Bevyxxa® (betrixaban), an oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2017. The company is also working to advance two clinical programs for AndexXa® (andexanet alfa), a recombinant protein designed to reverse the anticoagulant effect in patients treated with an oral or injectable Factor Xa inhibitor; and cerdulatinib, a SYK/JAK inhibitor in development to treat hematologic cancers. Portola's partnered program is focused on developing selective SYK inhibitors for inflammatory conditions. For more information, visit and follow the Company on Twitter @Portola_Pharma.

Investor Contact:
Michele Mantynen
Portola Pharmaceuticals  

Media Contact:
Patrick Ryan
W2O Group

Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.