Richard Glickman, founder and chairman of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AUPH; TSX:AUP), was named to the added post of CEO. The board also accepted the resignation of Charles Rowland as CEO and an executive member of the board, effective immediately.
“My decision to take on the CEO role at this important time for Aurinia is fueled by my absolute conviction in the potential for voclosporin to transform the lupus nephritis (LN) treatment landscape,” Dr. Glickman said in a statement. “I have worked on LN for much of my career and believe that voclosporin will significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from this disease.”
Building on the success of the Phase 2 AURA study, he said Aurinia’s goal is to advance voclosporin while optimizing the company’s strategic vision and maximizing shareholder value. A planned Phase 3 trial is scheduled to begin in the second quarter this year.
“On behalf of the board, I am grateful to Charlie for his leadership as CEO over the last year and his many contributions to the strategic and operating imperatives of the company,” Dr. Glickman added.
Dr. Glickman brings over 30 years of experience in the creation and operation of healthcare ventures. As a co-founder, chairman and CEO of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, he played an integral role in developing and establishing CellCept, or MMF, as the current standard of care for the treatment of LN. Swiss-based Galenica acquired Aspreva for nearly $1-billion in 2008.
Sandra Raymond, president and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America, said Dr. Glickman is a long-time supporter of lupus patients, clinicians and researchers. “He is a true visionary and a pioneer in lupus, a field in which development of new medications to treat the disease has been challenging.”