Dermavant Expands Pipeline and Strengthens Executive Team with Key Hires
Published: Apr 03, 2018
BASEL, Switzerland, April 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Dermavant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative therapies for dermatologic conditions, today announced that it has expanded its pipeline by in-licensing an investigational drug for the treatment of multi-focal hyperhidrosis. It has also strengthened its management team through the appointment of David Rubenstein, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer, Richard Peterson as Chief Financial Officer, Ariel D. Jasie as Chief Business & Strategy Officer, and Chris Van Tuyl as General Counsel.
"I am delighted to welcome David, Ric, Ariel, and Chris to our team and we look forward to advancing the development of a promising treatment for hyperhidrosis," said Dr. Jacqualyn A. Fouse, Executive Chair of Dermavant. "I'm proud of the progress we've made in building a diverse pipeline and I look forward to continuing to build Dermavant into the industry leader in medical dermatology."
Dermavant's fifth drug in development will be RVT-504 (previously THVD-102), a potential systemic treatment for hyperhidrosis in-licensed from TheraVida, Inc. Dermavant has secured rights for development and commercialization; deal terms include an upfront payment, milestone payments, and royalties.
Dr. Rubenstein has joined Dermavant from GlaxoSmithKline Dermatology where he built an industry-leading dermatology drug development organization as Vice President, Discovery and Preclinical Development. Prior to GSK, he held academic roles at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, most recently serving as the Louis C. Skinner Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dermatology. Dr. Rubenstein received his A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his dermatology residency and postdoctoral fellowship in dermatology and biology at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Mr. Peterson has joined Dermavant from Sienna Biopharmaceuticals where he served as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Peterson has extensive experience in the dermatology space, previously serving as Chief Financial Officer of Novan and as Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, and Treasurer of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation through the company's $2.6 billion acquisition in 2012. Before joining Medicis in 1995, Mr. Peterson was a Senior Financial Auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He received his B.S. in Accounting from Arizona State University.
Mr. Jasie has joined Dermavant from Codiak BioSciences where he served as Chief Business Officer. Prior to Codiak, he served in various executive roles at Celgene Corporation, most recently as Executive Director for Strategy and Operations for the company's Research & Early Development Group. Before joining Celgene, Mr. Jasie served as in-house counsel at Reliant Pharmaceuticals through the company's $1.6 billion acquisition in 2007. He received his B.A. in History from the University of Maryland and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Mr. Van Tuyl has joined Dermavant from Sacks Tierney P.A., where he was a partner in the firm's corporate practice group. He previously served as Corporate Secretary, Chief Compliance Officer, and Associate General Counsel at Rayonier, Inc., where he oversaw key aspects of the company's multi-billion-dollar spinoff of its chemicals business in 2014, and as Associate General Counsel at Medicis Pharmaceuticals through the company's $2.6 billion acquisition in 2012. Prior to joining Medicis, Mr. Van Tuyl was a corporate attorney at Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP in Phoenix and Clifford Chance LLP in New York. He received his B.S. in Finance summa cum laude from Arizona State University and his J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Hyperhidrosis consists of abnormal sweating beyond the amount necessary for thermal regulation. The most common form of the disorder is primary focal hyperhidrosis in which sweat glands in the hands, underarms, face, groin, and feet are chronically overactive in the absence of physical activity or an increase in temperature. Recent studies have suggested that this form of hyperhidrosis is primarily multi-focal, with approximately 80 percent of individuals experiencing excessive sweating at multiple locations on their bodies.1,2 Secondary hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating caused by another medical condition or as a side effect of a medication. In the United States alone it is estimated that there are over 15 million individuals suffering from hyperhidrosis.1
RVT-504 is a combination of the muscarinic antagonist oxybutynin with the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine in a twice-daily oral formulation. RVT-504 uses proprietary technology to control the release and dosing of pilocarpine with the goal of reducing the frequency and severity of dry mouth and potentially other side effects associated with oxybutynin. In a completed Phase 2 clinical trial in primary focal hyperhidrosis, RVT-504 demonstrated statistically significant improvements from baseline relative to placebo on multiple endpoints including the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale, the Hyperhidrosis Visual Analog Scale, and the Hyperhidrosis Visual Quantification Scale. RVT-504 also demonstrated statistically significant reductions in the severity of dry mouth when compared to dosing with oxybutynin alone. RVT-504 is the only oral, systemically acting drug for primary focal hyperhidrosis currently in development.
About Dermavant Sciences
Dermavant Sciences is dedicated to developing and, upon regulatory approval, commercializing innovative therapies in medical dermatology. Dermavant currently has five investigational drugs in development: RVT-501, RVT-502, RVT-503, RVT-504, and RVT-201.
RVT-501 is a highly potent and selective topical phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor being developed as a topical therapy for patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. RVT-502 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-503 is a preclinical asset being studied for the treatment of acne. RVT-504 is a combination of a muscarinic antagonist with a muscarinic agonist being developed as an oral therapy for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. RVT-201 is a caspase-1 inhibitor that acts to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines and is being developed as a topical therapy for inflammatory skin diseases.
For more information, please visit dermavant.com.
- Doolittle J, Walker P, Mills T, et al. Hyperhidrosis: an update on prevalence and severity in the United States. Arch Dermatol Res (2016) 308:743.
- Glaser DA, Ballard AM, Hunt NL, et al. Prevalence of multifocal primary hyperhidrosis and symptom severity over time: results of a targeted survey. Dermatol Surg (2016) 42:1347-1353.