) announced that its long-time chief executive officer (CEO),
Christopher Starr, will retire at year end. Starr, one of the
founders of Raptor Pharma, served the biopharmaceutical company for
Raptor Pharma also has a succession plan in place, It stated that
Julie Anne Smith, currently the company's Executive Vice President,
Strategy and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Starr at the
helm immediately after the latter's retirement. Smith, who has also
been appointed as president, will join the board of directors at
Raptor Pharma from the beginning of 2015. Starr and Smith will work
closely through Dec 31, 2014 to facilitate a smooth transition.
Smith will also remain on the company's board until the end of the
The highlight of Starr's tenure was the approval of PROCYSBI for
the nephropathic cystinosis indication. The drug was launched in
the U.S. in Jul 2013 and in Germany in Apr 2014. Raptor Pharma is
also working on developing its pipeline. RP103 is the most
interesting pipeline candidate. The candidate is undergoing a phase
IIb study, which is evaluating its safety and efficacy for the
treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in children. The
company expects results from the study in the first half of 2015.
RP103 is also being evaluated in other indications such as
We believe that Smith, with her vast experience in the biotech
field, is a good choice as a successor to Starr. Previously she had
served companies like Enobia Pharma, now a wholly owned subsidiary
). We expect Smith to effectively meet the challenges confronting
Raptor Pharma, and increase PROCYSBI's sales potential and
successfully develop the company's pipeline.
Raptor Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked
healthcare stock is
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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