RARE Daily

KemPharm Appoints New Leadership

January 9, 2023

Rare disease drug developer KemPharm announced a spate of leadership changes including a new CEO and a new chairman.

The company said Richard Pascoe, who has been serving as executive chairman, will transition into the role of CEO and remain a member of the board. Matthew Plooster, who has been serving as an independent member of the board, will now serve as chairman. Travis Mickle, a co-founder who has  been serving as president and CEO, will transition to the role of president and will also remain a member of the board until the company’s 2023 annual meeting. Additionally, Joshua Schafer has been appointed to the newly created role of chief commercial officer and executive vice president of business development.

Kempharm called the leadership changes “an important component of our strategic transformation into a leading rare disease company” as the company seeks to secure regulatory approval for its pipeline assets, build commercial capabilities, and enhance its development pipeline through business development transactions.

“With these changes, we are continuing to execute the strategic plan embarked upon two years ago to become a commercially-focused rare disease company with multiple value-creating programs,” said Plooster, chairman of KemPharm’s board. “With this announcement of our senior leadership transition plan, we are excited to enter the next chapter of our corporate evolution.”

Schafer brings to KemPharm over 25 years of pharmaceutical commercial, new product development and merger and acquisition experience. Schafer previously served as general manager of the Autoimmune and Rare Disease business at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and prior to that, he served as chief strategy and business officer. During his professional career, he has successfully led over $16 billion in aggregate M&A transactions. Prior to Mallinckrodt, Schafer served as vice president and oncology therapeutic area head for global marketing and strategy at Astellas Pharmaceuticals. He also held senior roles at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Accenture, G. D. Searle, and Cognia Corporation.

He currently serves as a board member of Pharnext SA and Shuttle Pharmaceuticals. He received his B.A. in Biology and German at the University of Notre Dame, and both an M.S. in Biotechnology and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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