PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UroGen Pharma Ltd. (Nasdaq: URGN), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to building and commercializing novel solutions that treat specialty cancers and urologic diseases, today announced the appointment of three new executives to the Company's Executive Leadership Team (ELT). These new hires, all of whom will report to Liz Barrett, President and Chief Executive Officer of UroGen, bring a breadth of experience to help execute the Company's business objectives in the near-term and its growth strategies for the long-term in support of pipeline development, RTGel™ platform expansion, access to external innovation and financial performance.
“I am excited to welcome these highly-skilled executives, two of whom I've worked with in the past, and am confident that they will bring tremendous energy, diversity and experience to UroGen as we develop transformative medicines for patients,” said Ms. Barrett. “The refashioning of the ELT, a process that began when I first joined the company, is now complete and I am pleased to have the partnership of a strong leadership team to support an advanced commercial structure and drive pipeline innovation as we seize the opportunity to fundamentally change the way urologic cancers are treated.”
Molly Henderson has been named Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Henderson will join UroGen on October 1, 2020, from Advaxis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of immunotherapy products where she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Henderson is also on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Calliditas. Prior to these roles, she was Chief Financial Officer at Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (formerly Lion Biotechnologies, Inc.), an immuno-oncology company where she was responsible for all financial, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, legal, governance, human resources and IT-related functions, including raising $100 million in equity capital. Earlier in her career Ms. Henderson was Corporate Controller at Ultralife Corporation and has been an expert advisor to entrepreneurs in Switzerland. She began her career as an audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers and holds a Master of Business Administration and bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University at Buffalo. In her two decades of financial experience, Ms. Henderson has demonstrated exceptional leadership and the ability to work across functions to achieve operational efficiency, enhance investor relations, expand M&A capabilities and bring best practices to accounting and financial controls. Ms. Henderson will assume the role of CFO from Peter Pfreundschuh, who is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Pfreundschuh will remain with the Company for a period of time to support the transition. Sara Blum Sherman, who joins UroGen from DBV Technologies, has also been appointed as Senior Director of Investor Relations to lead investor and financial communications activities and will report to Ms. Henderson.
“We thank Peter for the work he has done over the last two years during UroGen’s transition from a development stage entity into a commercial stage company,” continued Ms. Barrett. “We wish him the best as he pursues new opportunities.”
Jason Smith has been named General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Smith comes to UroGen from Pfizer where he spent the last 11 years. Jason joined Pfizer as Chief Counsel, Vaccines, and was subsequently named legal lead for the North American Region of Pfizer Essential Health. Mr. Smith most recently served as Chief Counsel, Oncology, beginning in 2016. Mr. Smith worked at Wyeth, LLC from December 2001 until Pfizer’s acquisition of the company in October 2009. He started at Wyeth as antitrust counsel and moved into a Global Product Counsel position in 2005, supporting various brands in the primary care portfolio. In 2008, Mr. Smith was appointed Chief Counsel, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, leading a team of lawyers supporting the prescription pharmaceuticals businesses. Before joining Wyeth, Mr. Smith was an associate at Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White in Washington, DC, in the antitrust and commercial litigation groups. Prior to Howrey, Mr. Smith was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Payne of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics, cum laude, from Binghamton University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, with high honors, from George Washington University.
Polly A. Murphy, DVM, Ph.D., has been named Chief Business Officer. Dr. Murphy also joins UroGen from Pfizer where she has spent the last 12 years, most recently as the Vice President for Early Commercial Development in the Oncology Business Unit where she led the team responsible for the commercial perspective of the early oncology portfolio. Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Murphy worked at The Scripps Research Institute as the Senior Vice President, Business and Scientific Services, where she oversaw licensing and scientific operations. Dr. Murphy has 28 years of biopharmaceutical experience spanning business development, commercial, strategy, operations, and R&D. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology from Iowa State University as well as a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
In addition to these new members, the ELT includes Mark P. Schoenberg, M.D. (Chief Medical Officer), Jeff Bova (Chief Commercial Officer), Marina Konorty, Ph.D. (EVP, Research & Development and Technical Operations), Jim Ottinger, R.Ph. (EVP, Regulatory Affairs and Quality) and Elyse Seltzer, M.D., (Chief Development Officer). This team structure provides diverse insight to the ELT while balancing continuity in key positions.
About UroGen Pharma Ltd.
UroGen is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to building novel solutions that treat specialty cancers and urologic diseases because patients deserve better options. UroGen has developed RTGel™ reverse-thermal hydrogel, a proprietary sustained release, hydrogel-based platform technology that has the potential to improve therapeutic profiles of existing drugs. UroGen’s sustained release technology is designed to enable longer exposure of the urinary tract tissue to medications, making local therapy a potentially more effective treatment option. UroGen’s approved product, Jelmyto® (mitomycin) for pyelocalyceal solution, and investigational treatment UGN-102 (mitomycin) for intravesical solution, are designed to ablate tumors by non-surgical means and to treat several forms of non-muscle invasive urothelial cancer, including low-grade upper tract urothelial cancer and low-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, respectively. UroGen is headquartered in Princeton, N.J., with operations in Israel. Visit www.urogen.com to learn more or follow us on Twitter, @UroGenPharma.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation: the ability of the new hires on the ELT to accelerate platform innovation and drive commercial growth; the ability of UroGen to change the way urologic cancers are treated; and the potential of UroGen’s proprietary RTGel™ technology platform to improve therapeutic profiles of existing drugs. These statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, but not limited to: the timing and success of clinical trials and potential safety and other complications thereof; the ability to obtain regulatory approval within the time frame expected, or at all; the ability to maintain regulatory approval; complications associated with commercialization activities, including complications resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; the labeling for any approved product; the scope, progress and expansion of developing and commercializing UroGen’s product candidates; the size and growth of the market(s) therefor and the rate and degree of market acceptance thereof vis-à-vis alternative therapies; UroGen’s ability to attract or retain key management, members of the board of directors and personnel; and any negative effects on UroGen’s business, commercialization and product development plans caused by or associated with COVID-19. In light of these risks and uncertainties, and other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of UroGen’s Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 10, 2020, and other filings that UroGen makes with the SEC from time to time (which are available at http://www.sec.gov), the events and circumstances discussed in such forward-looking statements may not occur, and UroGen’s actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied thereby. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on information available to UroGen as of the date of this release.
RTGel™ is a trademark of UroGen Pharma Ltd.