REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Menlo Therapeutics Inc., a late stage biopharmaceutical company, is developing a neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor antagonist (serlopitant) for the treatment of pruritus (itch) associated with various underlying conditions, and for the treatment of refractory chronic cough. The company, which continues to advance serlopitant into later stages of development, today announced key additions to its management team including:
- Kristine M. Ball, SVP of Corporate Strategy and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Ball joined Menlo Therapeutics with approximately 25 years of experience in the life-sciences industry. Most recently, Ms. Ball served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Relypsa, Inc., where she raised over $675 million in various equity and debt financings and played a key role in executing two pharmaceutical partnerships and the company's acquisition by Galenica for over $1.5 billion. Prior to Relypsa, Ms. Ball was Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of KAI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Mary C. Spellman, MD, SVP of Clinical Development. Dr. Spellman is a board-certified dermatologist with over 30 years of clinical experience, including 20 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Spellman most recently has been an independent consultant providing executive level medical, safety and development services to multiple life sciences companies, primarily supporting novel dermatology therapy clinical development programs. Prior to establishing her consulting practice, she held medical leadership roles at Revance Therapeutics, Biogen Idec, Connetics and Novartis.
- Danine Summers, SVP of Medical Affairs. Ms. Summers has 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, the last 20 years in dermatology specifically. Ms. Summers most recently served as SVP of Medical Affairs for Anacor, and previously led medical affairs activities for Medicis. She also has 18 years of experience in various areas of marketing with FCB Healthcare (clients included Syntex, Gilead Sciences Inc., Allergan and Neutrogena), Connetics and Roche Labs.
- Karen E. Smith, VP of Commercial Development. Ms. Smith has over 30 years in the healthcare field with experience in both pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Ms. Smith previously held senior leadership positions in commercial development and marketing for Johnson and Johnson and Medicis, where she was responsible for early commercialization strategies and new product launches for a number of dermatology brands, including REMICADE®, STELARA®, ZIANA®, and PERLANE®.
"Adding these key hires is a significant step forward for Menlo Therapeutics as we enter late stage clinical trials for serlopitant. We have built a management team with the skills and experience to bring serlopitant through development to an NDA, if our trials are successful, and experienced in pre-launch commercial planning and strategies in dermatology markets. We are pleased to welcome these accomplished executives to the company and we look forward to leveraging their expertise and industry knowledge to develop serlopitant as a potential treatment option for patients with pruritus, and for those with chronic cough," commented Steven Basta, Chief Executive Officer of Menlo Therapeutics.
Serlopitant is a once-daily NK1 receptor antagonist being developed for the treatment of pruritus, or itch, associated with atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and prurigo nodularis. Serlopitant is also being evaluated as a potential treatment option for refractory chronic cough, a cough for which a treatable cause cannot be found. Menlo Therapeutics has completed two Phase 2 studies with serlopitant showing a statistically significant reduction in pruritus compared to placebo. Originally developed by Merck and licensed to Menlo Therapeutics in 2012, serlopitant has been evaluated in more than 1,000 patients and has been shown to be well-tolerated, including in patients who have received treatment for up to a year. Serlopitant is an investigational drug that is not currently approved for use in any indication.
About Menlo Therapeutics Inc.
Menlo Therapeutics Inc. is a privately held late stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of serlopitant, a once-daily oral NK1 receptor antagonist, for the treatment of pruritus associated with various underlying dermatological conditions and refractory chronic cough. The company has initiated a broad clinical development program for serlopitant including Phase 2 studies for the treatment of pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis, pruritus associated with psoriasis, and refractory chronic cough, and expects to start Phase 3 trials for the treatment of pruritus associated with prurigo nodularis in the first half of 2018. Menlo Therapeutics has worldwide rights to serlopitant, excluding Japan where Menlo Therapeutics has licensed serlopitant to JT Torii. Menlo is funded by leading healthcare investors. More information is available at www.menlotherapeutics.com.
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SOURCE Menlo Therapeutics Inc.