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Portola Pharmaceuticals Appoints Biotech Legal Veteran John Moriarty as Executive Vice President and General Counsel

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.® (Nasdaq:PTLA) today announced the appointment of John B. Moriarty, J.D., as executive vice president and general counsel, effective immediately. Mr. Moriarty will report to William Lis, chief executive officer, and will serve as Portola’s chief legal officer, responsible for leading all legal, regulatory, governance and compliance initiatives. He also will be directly involved in strategic business transactions and corporate expansion as a member of Portola’s Executive Committee.

“John’s appointment comes at a critical time for Portola, as we execute on the successful launch of our first medicine Bevyxxa (betrixaban), and continue to advance our two other lead development programs, andexanet alfa and cerdulatinib, through key clinical and regulatory milestones,” said Mr. Lis.  “His extensive legal and business expertise, as well as his leadership track record, will be invaluable in addressing the complex issues that accompany our transition into a global commercial organization, and we are thrilled to welcome John to the team.”

Mr. Moriarty joins Portola from Alexion Pharmaceuticals where, as executive vice president and general counsel for more than five years, he was responsible for overseeing all global legal matters spanning 50 countries, as well as managing Alexion’s Global Government Affairs and Global Corporate Communications teams during his tenure. Previously, he was senior vice president, general counsel and chief legal officer at Elan Corporation plc, and served as a member of Elan’s Executive Management team. Prior to joining Elan, Mr. Moriarty held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership at Amgen. Earlier in his career, he worked as an attorney in the healthcare practice of a national law firm and was a healthcare fraud prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office and in the Virginia Attorney General’s office. 

"Portola has made substantial and rapid progress in its commercial evolution and I am excited to join the team at such a pivotal time,” said Mr. Moriarty. “Portola has a well-recognized, science-based culture and I look forward to working alongside such a talented and passionate team to deliver new medicines that have the potential to transform patient care in the fields of thrombosis and hematology.”

Mr. Moriarty received his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia. He has served on the board of trustees for the American Kidney Fund since 2015.

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 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: 
Cara Miller 
Portola Pharmaceuticals

Media Contact: 
Laurie Masonson 
Pure Communications

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