Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ:SNTA) announced the appointment ofAlan C. Rigby, Ph.D., as the Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Rigby brings over 20 years of academic and industry experience in the areas of structural and computational biology, drug discovery, and translational research of small and large molecules in oncology. Most recently, Dr. Rigby served as Vice President, Global Antibody Drug Conjugate Biology, Oncology Research, forEli Lilly and Company at their New York site.

“Dr. Rigby is an accomplished scientist and leader whose insights and expertise will be important as we explore ganetespib combinations with emerging agents and continue our biomarker research effort. In addition, Alan will be instrumental in our efforts to leverage the recent findings of ganetespib enhancing the immune response to tumors and to advance the novel compounds emerging from our Hsp90 inhibitor Drug Conjugate (HDC) discovery platform,” said Chen Schor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synta. “Through his leadership at Lilly, Alan has direct experience guiding the discovery and development of several drug conjugate candidates for multiple oncology indications. Alan also brings a strong record of establishing translational collaborations within the academic medical community to accelerate the development of promising cancer therapies. We expect this experience will be important as we continue to develop a broad and robust portfolio of oncology therapeutics through relationship-based collaborations. We welcome Dr. Rigby to the team and look forward to his contributions.”

“Hsp90 is a fundamental component of tumor biology and a promising target with profound potential for affecting the growth and development of many cancers,” Dr. Rigby stated. “I look forward to contributing to the development of ganetespib, including efforts to develop a deeper understanding of the biological rationale behind novel ganetespib combination approaches and the genetic signatures driving its anti-cancer activity. Similarly, I look forward to contributing to the advancement of Synta’s HDC clinical candidates, including STA-12-8666, for which an IND is expected in the first quarter of next year. To date this molecule has provided robust and durable anti-tumor activity in difficult to treat in vivo cancer models.”

Dr. Rigby joined Eli Lilly and Company in 2010. Among his responsibilities there, he served as the Global Vice President of Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) Biology and was responsible for leading the Eli Lilly-ImmunoGen ADC collaboration, advancing novel therapeutics within the Lilly Oncology Pipeline. Dr. Rigby was also responsible for establishing and executing on translational collaborations with academic medical centers within greater New York City.

Prior to joining Eli Lilly in 2010, Alan was the Principal Investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded independent academic laboratory and the Director of the Drug Discovery and Target Validation Program within the Center for Vascular Biology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rigby has served and continues to serve on national and international granting councils including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Genome Quebec’s PRIVAC. He is the North American Editor for Current Computer Aided Drug Discovery and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Future Medicinal Chemistry. He has published more than 50 scientific papers, a book chapter and has more than 10 patents that have published or are pending. Dr. Rigby holds an Honors BSc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. (Original Source)

Shares of Synta Pharmaceuticals closed yesterday at $2.07. SNTA has a 1-year high of $4 and a 1-year low of $1.75. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.06 and its 200-day moving average is $2.29.

On the ratings front, Synta has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 6, MLV & Co. analyst Arlinda Lee maintained a Buy rating on SNTA, with a price target of $6.50, which implies an upside of 214.0% from current levels. Separately, on June 3, Roth Capital’s Joseph Pantginis reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $13.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Arlinda Lee and Joseph Pantginis have a total average return of -12.3% and -1.8% respectively. Lee has a success rate of 31.0% and is ranked #3687 out of 3752 analysts, while Pantginis has a success rate of 39.8% and is ranked #3376.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. It is engaged inresearch, development and commercialization of novel oncology medicines that have the potential to change the lives of cancer patients.