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LifeSci Advisors’ Board Placement Initiative Announces Fifth Board Placement


NEW YORK, 2016-11-04 15:00 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LifeSci Advisors, a leading life sciences-focused investor relations consultancy, announced today the fifth placement of a female executive to a life science company board, as part of their Board Placement Initiative (BPI), launched this year to match qualified female candidates with open seats on corporate boards of life sciences companies. Cynthia Smith, Chief Commercial Officer of ZS Pharma, Inc, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, has joined the Board of Directors of Nivalis Therapeutics, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative solutions for people with cystic fibrosis (CF).  

Ms. Smith’s placement marks the fifth successful connection made by the program, with LifeSci Advisors looking to match many more candidates in the coming months. Ms. Smith is also one of the 20 recent graduates of Women In Bio’s Boardroom Ready Program, of which LifeSci Advisors is the founding sponsor.

“I am delighted to join the Nivalis team and look forward to contributing my experience and helping to further the company’s efforts to deliver promising therapeutic options for the cystic fibrosis community,” said Cynthia Smith. “I want to thank LifeSci Advisors and Women In Bio for providing additional networking and professional development opportunities to women eager to lend their talents to boards in our industry.”

Ms. Smith brings more than 20 years of experience to her new role. Since 2013, she has served as chief commercial officer and a member of the executive team of ZS Pharma, where she led efforts to transition the company from the development stage to a commercial enterprise. Prior to joining ZS Pharma, Ms. Smith held the position of Vice President, Market Access and Commercial Development at Affymax, Inc. Ms. Smith has also held various senior leadership positions in market access, corporate strategy, government relations and external affairs at Merck & Co. and served as a healthcare policy analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

“Supporting outstanding female leaders like Ms. Smith and cultivating diversity on boards in the life sciences industry is at the core of our gender diversity work,” said Michael Rice, Founding Partner of LifeSci Advisors. “It is our hope that our own Board Placement Initiative and Women In Bio’s Boardroom Ready Program will continue to support women in our industry in overcoming barriers and make the life sciences industry a more diverse and inclusive space.”

“We are pleased to welcome Cynthia to the Nivalis Board of Directors. Her impressive industry experience, corporate leadership and commercialization expertise will be profound assets to our team,” said Jon Congleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nivalis Therapeutics. “We are delighted to have been introduced to Cynthia through LifeSci Advisors, and applaud their work in connecting board candidates with companies like ours.”

LifeSci Advisors’ BPI is accepting resumes from interested candidates on an ongoing basis. Resumes or open board seat positions can be sent to

About LifeSci Advisors, LLC
LifeSci Advisors, LLC ( is a unique investor relations consultancy founded to provide companies in the life sciences a comprehensive solution to investor communications and outreach. With a local presence in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, London, Geneva and Tel Aviv, the firm provides the highest quality service for its clients through its deep sector specialization. Our roster of PhDs enables us to better understand our clients' R&D, regulatory, and commercial strategy, and our team of capital markets, investor relations, and public relations specialists help our clients effectively communicate to the marketplace. This combination of life sciences, capital markets, and investor relations competencies allows us to provide a valuable and highly differentiated service offering to our clients.

About Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc.
Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. ( is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for people with CF. In addition to developing innovative solutions intended to extend and improve the lives of people with CF, Nivalis plans to utilize its proprietary GSNOR inhibitor portfolio to develop therapeutics for other diseases.

         Media Contact: Ann Kaiser
         The TASC Group
         Phone: 212-337-8870

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