COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 23, 2019) – Sermonix Pharmaceuticals LLC, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of female-specific oncology products, today announced the addition of Richard U. DeSchutter, Michael A. Friedman, M.D., and Stephen Rubino, Ph.D., to its board of directors.
“Richard DeSchutter, Michael Friedman and Stephen Rubino each have undertaken careers marked by tremendous achievement, so we are thrilled to gain access to their deep experience and intellect while in the midst of an exciting and pivotal time period for Sermonix,” said Anthony H. Wild, Ph.D., Sermonix non-executive chairman of the board. “The new board members’ knowledge will help us draw closer to bringing lasofoxifene to metastatic breast cancer patients who are in need of new endocrine therapies that are both effective and well tolerated.”
Lasofoxifene, Sermonix’s lead investigational drug, is a nonsteroidal selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that could potentially hold promise as a precision medicine for patients who have acquired endocrine resistance and ESR1 mutations, a common mutation in the metastatic setting and an area of high unmet medical need. Sermonix is currently enrolling the Phase 2 Evaluation of Lasofoxifene in ESR1 Mutations (ELAINE) study, assessing the activity of oral lasofoxifene versus intramuscular fulvestrant in advanced breast cancer with ESR1 mutations.
DeSchutter has been president of asset management firm L.B. Gemini, Inc. since 2000. He previously was a chief executive officer and president of DuPont Pharmaceutical Co., and chief administration officer at Monsanto Co., where he worked for 35 years. He also held roles as chairman, CEO and president of G.D. Searle Pharmaceuticals & Co., and chief administration officer of Pharmacia LLC. DeSchutter has significant experience as a director of several companies, including Incyte Corp., Sprout Pharmaceuticals Inc., Smith & Nephew Inc., Ecolab, and ING Americas.
Dr. Friedman, former director at Celgene Corporation and currently a director of Intuitive Surgical, Inc., has held several roles, including CEO and holder of the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, at City of Hope cancer treatment and research center where he is currently emeritus cancer center director. His work experience also includes serving as acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Friedman has authored more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters. His commendations include the 1999 Surgeon General’s Medallion. He received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical and completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Friedman is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.
Dr. Rubino is currently chief business & strategy officer at Omega Therapeutics, a genomic medicine company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a board director at Ilkos Therapeutics. He brings over 30 years of pharmaceutical leadership experience to the Sermonix board, with emphasis in the areas of commercial operations, pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing, and investor relations.
Dr. Rubino has also served Novartis Pharmaceuticals in a wide range of roles and therapeutic areas, the last of which was as global head of business development and new product marketing, responsible for developing and building the product pipeline for Novartis’ Cell & Gene Therapies Unit. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Rubino worked for Schering-Plough (Merck) where his last role was head of the Global Solid Tumor Oncology & Autoimmune Business Unit, responsible for the licensing and launch of Remicade, as well as the launch and commercialization of several global oncology brands. Dr. Rubino received his doctorate from Weill Cornell University and his MBA from Baruch University.
“The additions of Richard, Michael, and Stephen to the board strengthen our pharmaceutical industry and oncology strategic expertise as we enter a critical Phase 2 operational and execution stage for lasofoxifene,” said David Portman, M.D., Sermonix chief executive officer. “Their unique experience complements Sermonix’s already deep bench of drug development talent.”
Sermonix Pharmaceuticals LLC is a biopharmaceutical company with a targeted focus on bringing female-specific oncology products through proof of concept, preclinical and clinical development, and regulatory approval. The company was founded in 2014 by David Portman, M.D., a leading clinical researcher and expert in women’s health, menopause and selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) therapy. Sermonix has as its lead product oral lasofoxifene. The Sermonix management team, led by Dr. Portman, has significant experience in all stages of the drug development and regulatory process. Paul Plourde, M.D., vice president of oncology clinical development, was previously with AstraZeneca, where he was instrumental in the development and approval of tamoxifen, Arimidex® and Faslodex®. Barry Komm, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, was formerly head of the SERM program at Wyeth and Pfizer, playing a key role in the development and approval of bazedoxifene and Duavee®. Elizabeth Attias, M.M.Sc., Sc.D., vice president of business development, has extensive experience in pharmaceutical drug commercialization. Simon Jenkins, Ph.D., vice president of operations, has over 30 years of experience in global drug development leadership roles at Wyeth and Pfizer across a range of therapeutic areas. Sermonix non-executive chairman of the board is Anthony Wild, Ph.D., former president of both Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals and Warner-Lambert’s Pharmaceutical Division. Learn more at https://sermonixpharma.com/.