Hollings C. Renton has been appointed president and chiefexecutive officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, the privately heldbiotech firm announced Tuesday.

Onyx, of Richmond, Calif., wasAformed in 1992 by Chiron Corp.(NASDAQ:CHIR) and a group of venture capital investors. AndRenton had been Chiron's president and chief operating officer,a job he assumed when Chiron acquired its Emeryville, Calif.,neighbor Cetus Corp.Hwhere he was presidentHback in 1991.

Onyx was formed to develop and commercialize small moleculetherapeutics for modulation of signal transductionHthe processby which extracellular signals are transmitted through the celland into the nucleus to regulate cell proliferation. Byintervening in these pathways, it may be possible to influencediseases where cellular proliferation is out of control, such ascancer, inflammation, psoriasis, restenosis and sepsis.

"It's a technology I know quite well," Renton told BioWorld,referring to work that had been conducted at Cetus during histenure. "The technology is extremely useful in developing newdrugs," and it's well understood at the research level, he added.But now, "our immediate challenge is to add downstream drugdevelopment capabilities and to establish relationships withpharmaceutical companies that will enable us to rapidlyconvert the science to therapeutic products," Renton said.

Onyx raised about $8 million in its initial 1992 financing, andcurrently has from $3 to 5 million in the bank, Renton toldBioWorld. HJennifer Van Brunt

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.