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.
Stephana Patton, Ph.D., J.D.
Vice President and General Counsel
Stephana Patton, Ph.D., J.D. has been our Vice President & General Counsel since joining the company in June 2015, with over 15 years of combined experience in the pharmaceutical industry and the law. Dr. Patton heads our legal, compliance and intellectual property functions. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Patton held various senior management positions, including Head of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Salix Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded, global pharmaceutical company acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Salix, Dr. Patton was in private practice at a large international law firm known for its intellectual property expertise. Her practice focused on counseling clients on intellectual property matters, including patent prosecution and litigation, as well as licensing transactions for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies at varying stages of product development and company life cycle. Dr. Patton earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law from the Boston University School of Law and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University.
Senior VP of Sales
Scott Plesha has been our Senior Vice President, Sales since joining the company in August 2015, with more than 26 years of sales experience and over 18 years of sales management experience within the pharmaceutical and medical industries. Mr. Plesha leads our specialty sales force and training department. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Plesha was Senior Vice President, GI Sales Force & Training at Salix Pharmaceuticals, where since 2002 he led Salix’s top rated gastrointestinal (GI) sales forces, the sales training department as well as many other sales operations functions. During Mr. Plesha’s tenure at Salix he was responsible for launching or growing product sales as well as optimizing and expanding the sales force to accommodate the multiple companies and products that Salix acquired. Prior to joining Salix, Mr. Plesha was a Regional Sales Manager for the O’Classen Dermatologics division of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Plesha began his pharmaceutical sales career with Solvay Pharmaceuticals where he was a field as well institutional sales representative. Mr. Plesha received a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Medical Studies from DePauw University.