'Retired' Celgene Alum Lands Chairman Gig at Biotech Guru Ramaswamy's Dermavant

'Retired' Celgene Alum Lands Chairman Gig at Biotech Guru Ramaswamy's Dermavant July 10, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

BASEL, Switzerland – After announcing in February her intentions to retire as president and chief operating officer of Celgene , Jacqualyn "Jackie" Fouse has landed a role as executive chairman of the board of Dermavant Sciences, a company founded by biotech guru Vivek Ramaswamy.

In a statement, Fouse said she looked forward to leading Dermavant into becoming the “world's leading innovative medical dermatology company.” Fouse said there has been an “innovation gap” in medical dermatology with little development of new therapies. That gap is something Fouse and Dermavant are looking to close.

"In less than two years, Dermavant has created a robust pipeline of promising potential therapies targeting multiple indications," Fouse said in a statement. "I believe the company is well on its way to being the ideal development and commercialization partner for innovative dermatology medicines. I am impressed with the quality of the Dermavant team and the entire Roivant organization.”

Fouse joined Celgene as chief financial officer in 2010. She was tapped as president of the company’s global Hematology & Oncology franchise in 2014. She was elevated to the role of COO and company president in January 2016 when Celgene shook up its company leadership. That shakeup saw Mark Alles assume the role of chief executive officer and former CEO Bob Hugin took on the role of executive chairman of the company board of directors.

Before departing Celgene, Fouse had been rumored to be a candidate for the CEO position that Alles assumed.

Before joining Celgene, Fouse served as chief financial officer of Bunge Limited, a leading global agribusiness and food company. Prior to Bunge, she was senior vice president, chief financial officer, and head of corporate strategy at Alcon Laboratories .

Ramaswamy called Fouse “an exceptional leader and one of the most admired executives in the biopharmaceutical industry.”

Ramaswamy is CEO of Dermavant’s parent company, Roivant. Under the leadership of Ramaswamy, Roivant has a unique approach to drug development. The company buys up drugs that have been abandoned by other companies for pennies on the dollar and tries to bring them new life.

While at Celgene, Fouse worked closely with the business unit that launched psoriasis therapy, Otezla. Now at Dermavant, Fouse will advise the company as it moves its three investigational dermatological drugs, RVT-501, RVT-502 and RVT-201, through development. According to company, RVT-501 is a highly potent and selective topical phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor currently in a Phase II clinical program for patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. RVT-502, also known as cerdulatinib, is a dual spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor being developed as a topical therapy for a variety of serious dermatologic conditions. RVT-201 is a caspase-1 inhibitor that acts to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines and is being developed for inflammatory skin diseases.

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