Ardelyx Appoints Muna Bhanji, R.Ph, to its Board of Directors

FREMONT, Calif. and WALTHAM, Mass., March 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ardelyx, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARDX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative first-in-class medicines to improve treatment for people with kidney and cardiorenal diseases, today announced the appointment of Muna Bhanji, R.Ph, to the company's board of directors, effective March 11, 2021. Ardelyx also announced that long time director, Gordon Ringold, Ph.D., stepped down from the board effective March 11, 2021.  

"We are thrilled to welcome Muna to our board of directors," said Mike Raab, president and chief executive officer of Ardelyx. "She is a veteran leader recognized for developing global strategies in drug and pharmaceutical market access, with a key focus on affordability, management of commercial and advocacy operations, and deep experience with payers. Muna's guidance, especially her focus on the patient, will be vital to our continued corporate and commercial development as we advance towards the potential launch and commercialization of tenapanor for the control of serum phosphorus in chronic kidney disease patients (CKD) on dialysis."

"It is with great pleasure that I join the board of Ardelyx at this important inflection period on the eve of the potential approval and launch of the company's first commercialized product," said Ms. Bhanji. "I appreciate the innovation tenapanor represents in the field and embrace the company's first and foremost commitment to patient access.  I look forward to working closely with management and the company's impressive commercial organization on preparing for a successful launch." 

Mike Raab added, "We want to thank Gordon for his leadership, guidance and friendship over the past seven years. He has been an extremely valuable member of the board of directors, and it has been my pleasure to work with him."

Gordon Ringold joined the company's board of directors in 2014. With his broad range of entrepreneurial experience and industry expertise, Gordon has provided invaluable contributions to help advance the company's research and clinical development programs.

Ms. Bhanji brings more than 30 years of strategic and operational experience in commercializing new therapies in the biopharmaceutical industry with a proven track record of commercial leadership, growth, and value creation. Ms. Bhanji built her career at Merck where she demonstrated an unwavering commitment to saving and improving lives, working with healthcare providers, patients, and payers. As the former senior vice president, Global Market Access, she set the global strategy for pricing, market access, and affordability across the company's diverse portfolio. She also oversaw the global market access organization aimed at enabling access and payer reimbursement for both medicines and vaccines in the U.S. and globally.

In addition to her extensive commercial leadership roles, Ms. Bhanji recently joined the board of Cytokinetics and the non-profit board of Corus International. She previously served on the board of Possible Health, a non-profit with ties to Nepal that delivers affordable and high-quality care to rural and underserved communities. Ms. Bhanji also served on the board of the Foundation of Managed Care Pharmacy, which is the research, educational, and philanthropic arm of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. Ms. Bhanji earned her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Rutgers School of Pharmacy and an MBA from St. Joseph's University. 

About Ardelyx, Inc.
Ardelyx is focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing innovative first-in-class medicines to enhance the lives of patients with kidney and cardiorenal diseases. Ardelyx is advancing tenapanor, a novel product candidate to control serum phosphorus in adult patients with CKD on dialysis, for which the company's NDA is currently under review by the FDA, with a PDUFA date of April 29, 2021. Ardelyx is also advancing RDX013, a potassium secretagogue, for the potential treatment of elevated serum potassium, or hyperkalemia, a problem among certain patients with kidney and/or heart disease and has an early-stage program in metabolic acidosis, a serious electrolyte disorder in patients with CKD. In addition, Ardelyx received FDA approval of IBSRELA® (tenapanor) on September 12, 2019. Ardelyx has established agreements with Kyowa Kirin in Japan, Fosun Pharma in China and Knight Therapeutics in Canada for the development and commercialization of tenapanor in their respective territories.

Forward Looking Statements
To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Ardelyx, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor of the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995, including the potential for tenapanor to be approved for marketing by the FDA and commercialized for the control of serum phosphorus in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Ardelyx's future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties the uncertainties associated with the regulatory approval process. Ardelyx undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Ardelyx's business in general, please refer to Ardelyx's annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 8, 2021, and its future current and periodic reports to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Kimia Keshtbod, Sylvia Wheeler, Wheelhouse Life Science Advisors, Alex Santos, Wheelhouse Life Science Advisors,