updated 9/27/2010 7:16:13 AM ET 2010-09-27T11:16:13

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that Franklin Berger has been elected to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Berger brings over 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis to FivePrime. Mr. Berger has served as biotechnology analyst and a portfolio manager. Mr. Berger worked at Sectoral Asset Management as a senior portfolio manager on the buy-side and founder of the small-cap focused NEMO Fund from 2007 through June 2008.

Mr. Berger was a managing director, equity research and senior biotechnology analyst for J. P. Morgan Securities, Inc from 1998 to 2003. During his years at J.P. Morgan he was involved with the issuance of over $12 billion in biotechnology company equity or equity-linked securities, including the Genentech initial public offering, the largest biotechnology financing. From 1997 to 1998, he served as a director, equity research and senior biotechnology analyst for Salomon Smith Barney. From 1991 to 1997, he served as a sell-side analyst for Josephthal & Co.

The Wall Street Journal selected Mr. Berger as the No. 1 ranked biotechnology analyst in its All-Star Analyst Survey in 1997 and No. 2 ranked in the WSJ's 2000 Survey. In 2002, Institutional Investor Magazine ranked him on J. P. Morgan's 3rd-placed All-Star Research Team.

Mr. Berger currently serves as a director of Seattle Genetics since June 2004 and is Chairman of its Audit Committee. Other boards on which he currently serves include Thallion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bellus Health, Inc., and Isotechnika, Inc. Mr. Berger received a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He is a Founding Fellow of the Biotechnology Study Center at New York University School of Medicine.

"I welcome Franklin Berger to FivePrime's Board of Directors. His extensive capital markets background is a strategic complement to the significant scientific, pharmaceutical and venture capital expertise which already exists on FivePrime's Board of Directors," said Lewis T. Williams, chairman of FivePrime. "Mr. Berger brings to FivePrime deep experience in the growth of public biotechnology companies as we build our clinical pipeline," added Julia P. Gregory, FivePrime's president and chief executive officer.

"It is an exciting time to join Five Prime Therapeutics' experienced board of directors as the company translates it innovative discoveries into first-in-class drug candidates," said Mr. Berger. "I have great expectations that FivePrime's drug programs have the potential to make a significant medical impact for patients."

About FivePrime

Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage, privately-held, biotechnology company discovering and developing innovative protein and antibody therapeutics. FivePrime is currently testing FP-1039, a first-in-class biologic, in a Phase I study for patients with solid tumors and a Phase II trial in mutant endometrial cancer will begin soon. Using its world-class biologics discovery platform, FivePrime is building a strong product pipeline in oncology, immunology and metabolic diseases. Its proprietary platform integrates a unique suite of technologies to mine the entire extracellular human proteome – the complete collection of secreted proteins and receptors - for medically relevant therapeutic protein drugs. FivePrime is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. in the fields of oncology and diabetes and GlaxoSmithKline for skeletal muscle disorders. For more information, visit www.fiveprime.com.

The Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8029

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