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XOMA NAMES CASTELLO PRESIDENT AND CEO, EXPANDS MANAGEMENT TEAM; NEWS CONFERENCE AT 10 A.M. PDT IN SAN FRANCISCO'S PARK HYATT HOTEL

 XOMA NAMES CASTELLO PRESIDENT AND CEO, EXPANDS MANAGEMENT TEAM;
 NEWS CONFERENCE AT 10 A.M. PDT IN SAN FRANCISCO'S PARK HYATT HOTEL
 BERKELEY, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- John L. Castello, former president and chief operating officer of Ares Serono Group, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, has been named president and chief executive officer of XOMA Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: XOMA), a leading biotechnology company, XOMA Chairman Steve C. Mendell announced today.
 "With the appointment of Jack Castello as president and CEO, XOMA has taken a major step in the implementation of our long-term business plan to build an international pharmaceutical organization," Mendell said.
 Mendell, Castello and Patrick J. Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., XOMA's founder, will discuss the company's new management structure at a news conference at 10 a.m. (PDT) in the Consortium Room of the Park Hyatt Hotel in San Francisco.
 This move positions the company to manage anticipated growth and allows each of the executives to focus on the area of his greatest expertise:
 -- Mendell, as chairman, will focus externally, working with government agencies and regulators, as well as stockholders and the financial community.
 -- Castello, as CEO and president, will lead the company, both strategically and operationally, while preparing the organization for the growth expected from its new products.
 -- Scannon, as vice chairman for scientific and medical affairs, will continue to direct XOMA's research and development strategy and related clinical and scientific activities.
 -- Gary Wilcox, Ph.D., vice chairman for scientific and business development, as well as head of XOMA's Santa Monica, Calif., operations, will continue to manage key corporate development activities.
 Castello joined Ares Serono in 1986 as president of the Serono Diagnostics division and served as president and chief operating officer of the parent company from 1988 through August 1991.
 "While Jack was president of Ares Serono the company's annual sales volume grew from $300 million to $750 million, principally through new product introduction and market expansion," Mendell said.
 Ares Serono is known in the United States for fertility drugs, such as Pergonal and Metrodin, and is also the manufacturer of a bioengineered growth hormone, Saizen, which is marketed outside the United States.
 Castello previously held management positions at Amersham International PLC and Abbott Laboratories.
 "My experience has been running technology-based organizations, primarily in the health care sector," Castello said. "Because XOMA is poised to become an operational, multi-product company, now is the ideal time for me to come on board.
 "I recognized the opportunity XOMA represents because of its excellent technology base and the number of important therapies in the research pipeline," Castello added. "XOMA's strategy to market its two initial products through large established pharmaceutical companies provides the company with the sales and marketing muscle to maximize the products' market penetration without incurring the cost of establishing a direct selling effort at this time. This plan should provide the revenue stream to further accelerate XOMA's research efforts, and allow ongoing expansion of the company's business."
 As previously reported, XOMA has submitted two products for licensure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- E5(R), a monoclonal antibody to treat gram-negative sepsis, and CD5 Plus(TM), an immunoconjugate to treat graft-versus-host disease, a frequent complication of donor bone marrow transplants. XOMA has entered into marketing agreements with Pfizer Inc. for E5 and with the Ortho Biotech division of Johnson & Johnson for its CD5 Plus product.
 Scannon, who founded XOMA in 1981, said he was particularly gratified by Castello's appointment because it is evidence of XOMA's growth. "I'm first and foremost a physician and scientist," he said. "As XOMA expanded in the early years, I needed a professional manager to help me run the operation. I hired Steve Mendell in 1984, and, along with Gary Wilcox, we have built XOMA to the point where a senior executive with Jack's complementary skills can expand XOMA's opportunities for growth."
 Mendell said: "XOMA is at the threshold of becoming an integrated pharmaceutical business. We have no debt, sufficient cash, a tight control on expenses, efficient manufacturing procedures and sufficient inventories of E5 and CD5 Plus for product launch.
 "With an executive of Jack Castello's proven talent and experience in place, I can now confidently focus more of my efforts on interacting with XOMA's key external constituents," Mendell added.
 XOMA is a leading company in the development of therapeutic products based on monoclonal antibody and recombinant DNA technologies.
 -0-
 NEWS CONFERENCE ALERT
 WHAT: XOMA Corporation news conference to discuss the appointment


of John L. Castello as president and chief executive officer of the company.
 WHEN: 10 a.m. (PDT)
 WHERE: Consortium Room, Park Hyatt Hotel, 333 Battery St.,
 San Francisco
 WHO: XOMA Chairman Steven C. Mendell and founder Patrick J.


Scannon will introduce John L. Castello, the new president and chief executive officer.
 -0- 4/28/92
 /CONTACT: Carol D. DeGuzman of XOMA, 510-644-1170; or Dina Dalsass or Dan O'Connell of Robert Marston and Associates, 212-371-2200, for XOMA/
 (XOMA) CO: XOMA Corporation ST: California IN: MTC SU: PER


GK-TS -- NY010 -- 3541 04/28/92 08:07 EDT
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 28, 1992
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