Mark A. Sirgo, Pharm. D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mark A. Sirgo, Pharm.D., has been our President since January 2005 and Chief Executive Officer and Director since August 2005. He joined our company in August 2004 as Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Corporate Development upon our acquisition of Arius Pharmaceuticals, of which he was a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. He has also served as our Executive Vice President, Corporate and Commercial Development and our Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Sirgo has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including 16 years in clinical drug development, 7 years in marketing, sales, and business development and 12 years in executive management positions. Prior to his involvement with Arius Pharmaceuticals from 2003 to 2004, he spent 16 years in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in both clinical development and marketing at Glaxo, Glaxo Wellcome, and GlaxoSmithKline, including Vice President of International OTC Development and Vice President of New Product Marketing. Dr. Sirgo was responsible for managing the development and FDA approval of Zantac 75 while at Glaxo Wellcome, among other accomplishments. From 1996 to 1999, Dr. Sirgo was Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc., a leading contract service provider to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Sirgo serves on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLXP), a specialty pharmaceutical company specializing in gastrointestinal products since 2008. Dr. Sirgo is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience in specialty biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Sirgo received his BS in Pharmacy from The Ohio State University and his Doctorate from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.
Andrew L. Finn, Pharm.D.
Executive Vice President of Product Development
Andrew L. Finn, Pharm.D., has been our Executive Vice President of Product Development since January 2007. He joined the company in August 2004 upon our acquisition of Arius Pharmaceuticals, of which he was a co-founder. Dr. Finn has previously served as our Senior Vice President of Product Development and Executive Vice President of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Finn has over 30 years' experience in pharmaceutical product development. Prior to his involvement with Arius, he was, from 2000 to 2003, Executive Vice President of Product Development at POZEN Inc. with responsibilities for formulation development, non-clinical development, clinical research and regulatory affairs. He participated in the POZEN activities leading up to the initial public offering and submitted marketing applications in Europe and the U.S. for two migraine products. From 1996 to 1999, Dr. Finn was Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of enVision Sciences, a regulatory and clinical service company. From 1991 to 1996, he was Vice President of Clinical Research and Biometrics for Solvay Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw NDA submissions in the areas of inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis prevention and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prior to this, he spent 10 years in positions of increasing responsibility at Glaxo Inc., where he oversaw a number of NDA submissions, including Zofran for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Dr. Finn is qualified to serve on our management team because of his extensive experience in specialty biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Finn received his BS in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina and his Doctorate from the University of Michigan.
Ernest R. De Paolantonio, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Ernest R. De Paolantonio, CPA MBA, has been our Chief Financial Officer since October of 2013 and has over 35 years of varied financial and business experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining the company, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of CorePharma LLC, a private specialty generic company, and was directly involved in the financial and commercial strategy to establish Core's proprietary labeled portfolio of products. In addition, he previously served in finance and controllers positions in roles of increasing responsibility at Colombia Laboratories, where he was also responsible for business development and logistics, including supply chain management for the company's first commercial product launch. Mr. De Paolantonio has served in various financial positions in senior management at Taro Pharmaceuticals where he was the Corporate Controller, Watson Pharmaceuticals where he was Executive Director of Finance, Group Controller and responsible for managing the Corporation's supply chain of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, and GlaxoSmithKline where began his career in finance and spent over 17 years in areas of increasing responsibility including; Manufacturing, Corporate Finance, R&D and U.S. Pharmaceuticals where he was Group Controller. Mr. De Paolantonio received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Lycoming College, his MBA in Finance at Saint Joseph's University and is a licensed CPA.
Albert J. Medwar, M.B.A.
Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Development
Albert J. Medwar, M.B.A. has been our Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development since joining the company in April 2007, with over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, and marketing research. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Medwar was the Head of Oncology Marketing at EMD Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. subsidiary of Merck KGaA, where he was responsible for developing the global market for a pipeline of oncology products. Mr. Medwar was also the Marketing Director for Triangle Pharmaceuticals, a start-up company focusing on the development and commercialization of compounds for HIV and hepatitis. Mr. Medwar’s pharmaceutical career began in sales at Burroughs Wellcome, which later became Glaxo Wellcome. After six years of sales experience, he took on marketing research responsibilities, and then played an important role in the launch of a short acting opioid analgesic, remifentanil, and held increasing marketing responsibility for a number of products including a portfolio of anesthetic/analgesic agents, Zofran, and Wellbutrin SR. Mr. Medwar received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Masters of Business Administration from Bentley College.
Niraj Vasisht, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Product Development & Chief Technical Officer
Niraj Vasisht, Ph.D. has been our Senior Vice President of Product Development and Chief Technical Officer since October 2008. He joined the company in February 2005 as the Vice President of Product Development. Dr. Vasisht heads the chemistry, manufacturing and control operations for BDSI pipeline products. He directs and oversees the product design, formulation development, quality control, process engineering, validation and stability testing of the drug product and CTM and commercial manufacturing operations at our vendor sites worldwide. In addition, he is responsible for creation of relevant intellectual property, provides risk assessment for the development program, and provides technical and strategic leadership to the business development function. He evaluates technical suitability of drug delivery platforms and candidate molecules suitable for the technology. Dr. Vasisht serves as BDSI's pharmaceutical development representative for FDA interactions for NDA and MAA filings. Dr. Vasisht is known worldwide for his expertise in microencapsulation based controlled release and drug delivery technologies. From 1994 to 2005, Dr. Vasisht held positions of increasing responsibility at Southwest Research Institute where he ultimately served as the Director of Microencapsulation, Pharmaceutical Development and Nanomaterials and was responsible for leading the group that provides research and development and product development services to pharmaceutical, consumer health, and nutraceutical companies. Dr. Vasisht is the inventor/co-inventor on multiple patents in drug delivery. Dr. Vasisht received a BTech degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, a Master’s of Science from the University of New Hampshire and a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
George K. Ng, Esq.
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
George K. Ng, J.D. has been our Senior Vice President & General Counsel since joining the company in December 2012, with over 10 years of combined experience in pharmaceuticals and the law. Mr. Ng heads our legal, compliance and intellectual property functions. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Ng held various senior management positions, including Head of Legal, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, with publicly-traded, global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Alpharma, Inc., with oversight over legal, intellectual property, litigation and compliance matters. Additionally, Mr. Ng has held responsibility for being the legal lead in due diligence, negotiations, and contract preparation for multiple business development transactions, including U.S. and ex-U.S. licenses, global collaboration agreements and intellectual property and product acquisitions. Previously, in private practice, Mr. Ng was a partner in two AMLAW 200 law firms where he had leadership roles, including establishing the life sciences practice group for one firm and heading it as the national co-chair. In his private practice positions, Mr. Ng’s responsibilities included patent and trademark prosecution, licensing and litigation support, with areas of expertise including drug delivery technologies and medical devices. Mr. Ng earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law from the University of Notre Dame School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (B.A.S.) dual degree in Biochemistry & Economics from the University of California, Davis.
Vice President Sales and Managed Markets
David Acheson has been our Vice President of Sales and Managed Markets since joining the company in December 2013, with over 18 years of sales and commercial experience. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Acheson was with CSL Behring as the National Director of Sales, Immunology and Pulmonary for two specialty teams focused in rare and orphan diseases. Mr. Acheson also led the full build and deployment of the sales organization for Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc., an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the clinical and commercial development of products focused in the post-surgical pain market. Mr. Acheson's pharmaceutical and biotech career began with Roche Pharmaceuticals where we worked as a Sales Representative, Medical Center Representative, and Division Sales Manager. After his success in the hospital and oncology supportive care arena at Roche, Mr. Acheson joined MedPointe/Meda Pharmaceuticals where he worked in multiple areas of responsibility as a District Sales Manager, Regional Sales Director, and National Sales Director in the respiratory business. Also at Meda, Mr. Acheson served as the National Sales Director, Pain and Supportive Care Team and was responsible for building a full pain and oncology supportive care division of the company from start-up operations, deploying a full sales team as well as operational needs within the company. Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, Mr. Acheson was with American Cyanamid Company in their Ag-Chemical Division, serving in multiple levels of responsibility. Mr. Acheson has experience in a number of complex markets such as pain, palliative care, immunotherapy, and orphan disease state products, many of which had afforded him a great deal of involvement in the equally complex managed markets settings, developing and pulling through payer strategies as well as partnerships at the distribution and channel level. Mr. Acheson received a Bachelor degree in Business from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.