RXi Pharmaceuticals Appoints Industry Veteran Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh as President and Chief Executive Officer

WORCESTER, Mass.--()--RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTCBB: RXII.OB) today announced that Geert Cauwenbergh, Dr. Med. Sc. has been appointed as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Cauwenbergh brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including a successful track record developing and commercializing dermatological drugs. Dr. Cauwenbergh will also serve as a director on the Company’s board.

“RXi’s next generation RNAi platform shows great promise, and I am excited to be joining this science-driven company,” stated Dr. Cauwenbergh. “I look forward to working closely with the RXi team as we progress the Company’s lead product candidate for dermal scarring, RXI-109, into human clinical trials in 2012, while also working to create long-term shareholder value through the advancement of RXi’s robust platform.”

Prior to joining RXi, Dr. Cauwenbergh served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Barrier Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company he founded in 2001 that focused on dermatology drug development. Barrier was acquired by Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. in 2008. Prior to founding Barrier, Dr. Cauwenbergh held a number of ascending senior management positions at Johnson & Johnson, where he was employed for 23 years. As Vice President, Research and Development for Johnson & Johnson’s Skin Research Center, he was responsible for the worldwide research and development of all skin care products for the Johnson & Johnson consumer companies. He is a member of the board of directors of Ablynx NV and Euroscreen S.A., both European biotechnology companies. In 2005, Dr. Cauwenbergh was inducted into the New Jersey High-Tech Hall of Fame, and, from 2009 to 2010, he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ. He has authored more than 100 publications and has been a guest editor for a number of books in mycology and infectious diseases. Dr. Cauwenbergh received his Doctorate in Medical Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven, Faculty of Medicine (Belgium), where he also completed his masters and undergraduate work.

About RXi Pharmaceuticals

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTCBB: RXII.OB) is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies based on its proprietary, next-generation RNAi platform. Therapeutics that use RNA interference, or “RNAi,” have great promise because of their ability to “silence,” or down-regulate, the expression of a specific gene that may be overexpressed in a disease condition. Building on the pioneering work of scientific founder and Nobel Laureate Dr. Craig Mello, RXi’s first RNAi product candidate, RXI-109, which targets CTGF (connective tissue growth factor), is scheduled to commence human clinical trials for scar prevention in 2012. For more information, please visit www.rxipharma.com.

About RXI-109

RXi Pharmaceuticals has initiated development of clinical candidate RXI-109, a self-delivering RNAi compound (sd-rxRNA) for the reduction of dermal scarring in planned surgeries. RXI-109 is designed to reduce the expression of CTGF, a critical regulator of several biological pathways involved in fibrosis, including scar formation in the skin. RXI-109 is expected to enter clinical trials in 2012.

About Self-delivering rxRNA® (or sd-rxRNA)

RXi’s sd-rxRNA compounds are designed for therapeutic use and have drug-like properties, such as high potency, target specificity, serum stability, reduced immune response activation, and efficient cellular uptake. They are hybrid oligonucleotide molecules that RXi believes combine the beneficial properties of both conventional RNAi and antisense technologies. sd-rxRNAs have a single-stranded phosphorothioate region, a short duplex region, and contain a variety of nuclease-stabilizing and lipophilic chemical modifications. The combination of these features has the potential to allow sd-rxRNAs to achieve efficient spontaneous cellular uptake and potent, long-lasting intracellular activity.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future expectations, plan and future development of RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s products and technologies. These forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and prospects of the development of RXi’s products and technologies involve significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the risk that RXi may not be able to successfully develop its candidates, the risk that the development of our RNAi-based therapeutics may be delayed or may not proceed as planned and we may not be able to complete development of any RNAi-based product, the risk that the development process for our product candidates may be delayed, risks related to development and commercialization of products by our competitors, risks related to our ability to control the timing and terms of collaborations with third parties and the possibility that other companies or organizations may assert patent rights that prevent us from developing our products. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. RXi does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.

Contacts

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Tamara McGrillen, 508-929-3646
tmcgrillen@rxipharma.com

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Contacts

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Tamara McGrillen, 508-929-3646
tmcgrillen@rxipharma.com