Marathon Pharmaceuticals Appoints New Members to its Advisory Board

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--()--Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC, a biopharmaceutical company focused solely on developing treatments for rare diseases, today announced the appointment of three new members to its Advisory Board.

“As a growing company it’s important that our Advisory Board members reflect diverse perspectives, share our commitment to patients and have experience from across the healthcare sector and beyond as we work to address unmet medical needs in the rare disease community,” said Jeff Aronin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marathon Pharmaceuticals. “I am pleased to welcome the three outstanding individuals joining our Board today, all of whom are known for their commitment to patients and access to quality care.”

Scott Serota

Scott Serota has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association since 2000 and brings to the Board decades of experience in the healthcare industry.

During his many years with BCBS, Serota held a number of other positions, including two years as Chief Operating Officer. He also served as Executive Vice President for system development, responsible for new business, strategy and the BCBS Technology Evaluation Center, the nation’s leading source for evaluating the safety and efficacy of emerging medical treatments.

Earlier in his career, Serota was President and Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based Rush Prudential Health Plans and also created and led Physicians Preferred Health Inc., a Missouri-based physician-hospital organization. He is a founding member of the National Business Group on Health's Institute on Healthcare Costs and Solutions, was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Policy Committee of the White House Conference on Aging and served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Health.

Desiree Lyon Howe

Desiree Lyon Howe is the co-founder of the American Porphyria Foundation (APF) and has served as its Executive Director for 25 years. Lyon Howe is an author and a rare disease advocate who earned the 2016 National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Rare Impact award for her leadership in the fight for additional research for porphyria and other rare diseases.

As Executive Director of the APF, Lyon Howe has helped to build the base of scientific knowledge for porphyria and worked to educate physicians, policymakers and the public about this condition. The organization has successfully organized clinical trials, funded research and established a member network of more than 8,000 individuals, a quarter of whom are doctors. APF is also a founding member of NORD and was a critical voice in the passing of the Orphan Drug Act in 1983. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) presented Lyon Howe with the FDA Hero Award for her leadership in the passage of the Orphan Drug Act.

Lyon Howe also serves on the board at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Texas Medical Branch Development Board, and is a member of the National Institutes of Health Porphyria Research Consortium.

Jacopo Leonardi

Jacopo Leonardi is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ActivCore, a leading provider of physical rehabilitation services and corrective exercises, and the former Executive Vice President and President of Immunology at Baxalta, a biopharmaceutical company. He has held several leadership roles at Baxter, including Region Head of its North America Hematology Division and General Manager for U.S. Hemophilia, as well as senior sales and marketing positions for the company’s hemophilia and biotherapeutics businesses.

Prior to Baxter, Leonardi held various marketing, sales, development and leadership roles at Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson.

“We are privileged to have Scott, Desiree and Jacopo join Marathon’s Advisory Board,” said Aronin. "We look forward to working with them and tapping their expertise during this important time for the company.”

Serota, Lyon Howe and Leonardi join the existing members of the Marathon Advisory Board, which includes:

  • Sander Flaum, Principal of Flaum Navigators
  • Wilbur Gantz, President and CEO of PathoCapital
  • Jeffrey Kindler, Former CEO of Pfizer and Director at Starboard Capital Partners
  • Robert Pelzer, Former CEO of Novartis
  • Phillip Satow, Former CEO of Noven Therapeutics LLC and Chairman of Nutrition 21 LLC
  • Shlomo Yanai, Former President and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

About Marathon Pharmaceuticals

Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC is a biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments for rare diseases, with a focus on patients who currently have no treatment options. The company’s pipeline of new medicines includes treatments for rare neurological and movement disorders. Marathon is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, with offices in Chicago, Cambridge, MA, New Jersey and Washington D.C. For more information, visit


Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC
Wanda Moebius, 847-715-0661

Release Summary

Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC announced the appointment of three new members to its Advisory Board.


Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC
Wanda Moebius, 847-715-0661