Cidara CMO Jumps Ship to Helm Unnamed Bay Area Biotech

Cidara CMO Jumps Ship to Helm Unnamed Bay Area Biotech September 2, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

SAN DIEGO – After two years as chief medical officer of Cidara Therapeutics, Inc. , Dirk Thye is leaving the company to helm a new, yet unnamed Bay Area biotech startup, Cidara announced this morning.

Thye will assume the role of chief executive officer at the unnamed company, which Cidara said is a non-competing company. Thye will continue to assist Cidara as a consultant, the company said. With Thye’s resignation, Cidara tapped Taylor Sandison, the company’s current vice president of clinical development, as its active chief medical officer as of today.

“We wish Dirk all the best as he pursues his new endeavor, and we extend our sincere gratitude for his exceptional work in spearheading our antifungal development programs,” Jeffrey Stein, president and CEO of Cidara, said in a statement.

Prior to serving at Cidara, Thye founded Pfluent, Inc., a medical writing company in San Francisco. From 2005 to 2011, he served as president of Cerexa, Inc., where he was able to guide the company’s lead product, ceftaroline, through regulatory hurdles and ultimately win approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to his LinkedIn page.

“We are pleased to have a highly experienced internal replacement in Taylor, allowing for a seamless transition of responsibilities. Taylor’s extensive experience has already been extremely valuable to our progress,” Stein said in a statement.

Sandison has been with Cidara since October 2015. Prior to joining the company, he served as senior medical director at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from July 2014 to January 2015 and then, following Merck ’s acquisition of Cubist, as senior medical director at Merck from February to October 2015. Sandison has also held positions at Trius Therapeutics and Novartis Diagnostics.

As chief medical officer, Sandison will continue to oversee efforts to drive Cidara’s lead product, CD101, an anti-fungal, through the clinic. In May, the FDA designated the company’s novel antifungal product candidate, CD101 topical, as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product, with Fast Track status for its development program. The designation is for the development of CD101 for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and for the prevention of recurrent VVC (RVVC). CD101 also received Orphan Drug Designation in February.

Seventy-five percent of women worldwide suffer from VVC in their lifetime, and four to five million women in the United States alone have the recurrent form of the infection, which is caused by Candida. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain species of Candida are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antifungal medications. This emerging resistance intensifies the need for new antifungal agents, the company said in a statement.

CD101 topical is the first topical agent in the echinocandin class of antifungals and exhibits a broad spectrum of activity against Candida species. The company dosed its first Phase II patient in June.

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