Marinus Pharmaceuticals Bolsters Leadership Team with Two New Appointments

April 12, 2021 11:30 UTC


J&J veteran Steven Pfanstiel named as Chief Financial Officer

Lisa Lejuwaan to build out launch strategy as Vice President of Sales


RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. (Nasdaq: MRNS), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative therapeutics to treat rare seizure disorders, today announced the hiring of Steven E. Pfanstiel as Chief Financial Officer and Lisa Lejuwaan to the newly created position of Vice President of Sales. The appointments reflect Marinus’ continued commitment to building a strong leadership team and its planning for potential commercialization of ganaxolone in CDKL5 deficiency disorder (CDD).

“I am thrilled that Marinus continues to build and attract stellar leaders such as Lisa and Steve, who will be instrumental in positioning the company for its next phase of growth,” said Scott Braunstein, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Marinus Pharmaceuticals. “Both bring skills and seasoned expertise that will prove invaluable as we build our organization and prepare for potential commercial launch.”

Mr. Pfanstiel, has a long track record in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, supporting the financial side of R&D, supply chain, and global commercialization organizations. He brings 16 years of J&J experience in various financial reporting and business support roles and was most recently Vice President, Finance for LifeScan of Malvern, PA, a world leader in blood glucose monitoring known for its OneTouch brand products for managing diabetes. At LifeScan, he was responsible for a finance team of over 40 and drove significant cost savings while optimizing investment in sales and marketing.

Ms. Lejuwaan brings an extensive background in pharmaceutical and biotech sales, with a particular expertise in launching therapies for rare neurological disorders. She was most recently Executive Sales Director, Neurology Franchise at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where she managed a sales team of 56 and was responsible for creation and execution of the overall commercial plan in Alexion’s neurology business unit.

“Marinus is committed to making a significant difference in the lives of people touched by rare pediatric and refractory epilepsy,” said Steven Pfanstiel. “The science is strong, and I am pleased to bring a strong financial discipline and foundation to support the company in its continued development activities and as it plans for commercialization of ganaxolone.”

“I have seen first-hand the significance a new therapy can have for people and families affected by rare neurological disorders,” said Lisa Lejuwaan. “Ganaxolone holds promise for rare pediatric and refractory epilepsy, and I am honored for the opportunity to build the strategy and commercial launch plan for ganaxolone and make a difference in the lives of these patients.”

Steven Pfanstiel, Chief Financial Officer

Prior to LifeScan, Mr. Pfanstiel held financial leadership roles in a wide range of life sciences and pharmaceutical organizations, including Senior Director, Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) at Optinose; Senior Director, Global Strategic Marketing, at Depuy Synthes (Johnson & Johnson); Senior Director, North America Commercial, Worldwide Financial Reporting, and Portfolio for LifeScan & Animas (Johnson & Johnson). Prior to his roles with LifeScan and Optinose, Mr. Pfanstiel worked for 16 years in various divisions and operating companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Mr. Pfanstiel holds a B.A. in Physics from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN; an M.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering from Clemson University in Clemson, SC; and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis, IN.

Lisa Lejuwaan, Vice President of Sales

Lisa Lejuwaan has over 25 years of pharmaceutical sales and sales leadership experience. She joined Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2014 as an account manager for the Atlanta region, quickly moving into sales leadership in Alexion’s neurological franchise, first as Business Director and then as Executive Sales Director. There, she managed sales in two neurological rare diseases, generalized Myasthenia Gravis (gMG) and Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder, growing gMG to be the largest overall driver of revenue across Alexion.

Prior to Alexion, Ms. Lejuwaan worked for 13 years with Sanofi Genzyme in a variety of sales, field marketing and sales leadership roles for surgical devices and endocrine therapies. She has also held sales positions in Galena Biopharma, Sankyo Parke Davis, Abbott Laboratories, Mark Clark Medical Supplies, and Astra Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Lejuwaan holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Business from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, where she graduated with honors and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honor societies.

About Marinus Pharmaceuticals

Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative therapeutics to treat rare seizure disorders. Ganaxolone is a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors that acts on a well-characterized target in the brain known to have anti-seizure, antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. Ganaxolone is being developed in IV and oral dose formulations intended to maximize therapeutic reach to adult and pediatric patient populations in both acute and chronic care settings. Marinus recently completed the first ever Phase 3 pivotal trial in children with CDKL5 deficiency disorder, is conducting a Phase 2 trial in tuberous sclerosis complex, and has recently disclosed top line results from its Phase 2 proof-of-concept trial in PCDH19-related epilepsy. The company has initiated a Phase 3 trial in refractory status epilepticus. For more information visit

Forward-Looking Statements

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Marinus, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “believe”, and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, among others, statements regarding our clinical development plans for ganaxolone; our expectations regarding submission of a new drug application to FDA for use of ganaxolone in CDLK5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD); our plans to commercialize ganaxolone in CDD; our expectations that our cash, cash equivalents and investments will be sufficient to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditures into 2022; the potential safety and efficacy of ganaxolone; and the therapeutic potential of ganaxolone. Forward-looking statements in this press release involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, uncertainties relating to the ability to obtain FDA approval of the use of ganaxolone in CDD; actions or advice of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may affect the design, initiation, timing, continuation and/or progress of clinical trials or result in the need for additional clinical trials; our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidate; clinical trial results may not support regulatory approval or further development in a specified indication or at all; uncertainties and delays related to the design, enrollment, completion, and results of clinical trials; unanticipated costs and expenses; early clinical trials may not be indicative of the results in later clinical trials; our ability to obtain and maintain patent protection for our product candidates; the impact of third party patents; delays, interruptions or failures in the manufacture and supply of our product candidate; our ability to raise additional capital; the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, the medical community and the global economy; and the availability or potential availability of alternative products or treatments for conditions targeted by us that could affect the availability or commercial potential of our product candidate. Marinus undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the company in general, see filings Marinus has made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Sasha Damouni Ellis
Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Source: Marinus Pharmaceuticals

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