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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGIO), a leader in the fields of cancer metabolism and rare genetic diseases, today announced the appointment of David Scadden, M.D., to its board of directors. Dr. Scadden is the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Professor of Medicine at Harvard University. He founded and directs the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and co-founded and co-directs the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and is chairman and professor of the Harvard University Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology.

“Throughout Dr. Scadden’s career, he has made pioneering research achievements in hematology, and we are honored to welcome him to our board of directors,” said David Schenkein, M.D., chief executive officer of Agios. “The quality and strength of our research is central to our success, and Dr. Scadden’s unique perspective as a world-renowned physician and medical researcher will be of tremendous value to our organization.”

Dr. Scadden is a hematologist/oncologist and an expert on the medical applications of stem cell biology with a particular emphasis on its use in the settings of cancer and AIDS. He has published over 300 scientific papers and book chapters, and his laboratory has made fundamental contributions in understanding the regulation of stem cell function. Dr. Scadden is the recipient of numerous honors including membership in the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and awards from the American Society of Hematology, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Burroughs Welcome Fund, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He has served or serves on the board of scientific counselors for the National Cancer Institute, the board of external experts for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, board of directors of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), and is an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He serves on multiple editorial and scientific advisory boards and is a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics and Magenta Therapeutics, respectively a public and a private biotechnology company.

“I’m delighted to join Agios’ board of directors and work together to achieve a shared vision of making a difference in the lives of people with cancer,” said Dr. Scadden. “I look forward to combining my expertise with Agios’ proven ability to translate internally discovered novel targets into precision medicines.”

Concurrent with the appointment of Dr. Scadden, Robert Nelsen, a managing partner at ARCH Venture Corporation, has notified the company of his decision to resign from the company’s board of directors and its compensation committee, effective June 30, 2017. Mr. Nelson has served as a member of the company’s board of directors since December 2007.

About Agios

Agios is focused on discovering and developing novel investigational medicines to treat cancer and rare genetic diseases through scientific leadership in the field of cellular metabolism. In addition to an active research and discovery pipeline across both therapeutic areas, Agios has multiple first-in-class investigational medicines in clinical and/or preclinical development. All Agios programs focus on genetically identified patient populations, leveraging our knowledge of metabolism, biology and genomics. For more information, please visit the company's website at

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include those regarding the expected benefits of Dr. Scadden's service on the board of directors of Agios and the company's plans for growth and advancement of its programs. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "potential," "possible," "hope," "could," "would" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Such statements are subject to numerous important factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from Agios' current expectations and beliefs, including the risks described under the caption "Risk Factors" included in Agios’ public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Agios expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.