Doug Drysdale and Dr. Shaheen Lakhan Join SpineThera Board

PLYMOUTH, Minn.–()–SpineThera, Inc., a privately held, clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of SX600 (a novel formulation of sustained-release dexamethasone for treatment of sciatica) announced today that biopharma executive Doug Drysdale and physician-scientist Dr. Shaheen Lakhan have joined SpineThera’s board of directors to support the further clinical development of SX600 and expansion of SpineThera’s product development pipeline.

“As SpineThera nears completion of the SALIENT clinical trial, we are honored to have Doug and Shaheen join our board to help guide the company through the planned next steps of growth,” said Jeff Missling, CEO and Chairman. “Doug brings amazing experience in executive management, fundraising, and deal-making to our board. Likewise, Shaheen’s medical expertise in pain and neurology, and his executive leadership capabilities in clinical development bring a medical-scientific perspective to the board. I am delighted to have them as part of the team as we move SX600 through clinical development for sciatica and as we begin to leverage our micro-suspension platform technology to build a pipeline.”

Doug Drysdale is the CEO at Cybin, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on progressing psychedelics to therapeutics by engineering proprietary drug discovery platforms, innovative drug delivery systems, novel formulation approaches and treatment regimens for mental health disorders. As an experienced Corporate Director and CEO, Doug has chaired the board of directors of a NASDAQ-listed company and as a CEO for the past 14 years has built and turned-around four pharmaceutical companies.

During Doug’s 30 years of experience in the healthcare sector he has completed 16 corporate acquisitions across three continents and has raised $4 billion of both public and private capital. During his 5.5 year tenure as CEO at Alvogen, the company grew from inception to $450 million in revenues across 35 countries. In early 2014 Doug led the recapitalization of NASDAQ-listed Pernix Therapeutics, raising $65 million. Within the first year of taking the helm as Chairman and CEO, Doug grew the company’s enterprise value from $80 million to around $800 million. Under Doug’s leadership, Pernix raised $465 million of capital. From November 2017 to July 2020, Doug was a Director and CEO of Tedor Pharma, a family-owned contract manufacturing business. Doug’s efforts to turn around the business resulted in 60% revenue growth in 2019. As former Head of M&A at Actavis Group, Doug led 15 corporate acquisitions and raised approximately $3 billion of capital. Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Microbial and Molecular Biology from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. and was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2012.

Drysdale stated, “There is a tremendous market opportunity in sciatica, with 10,000,000 epidural steroid injections (ESIs) performed annually and no FDA approved drugs available. SX600 has the potential to greatly reduce the need for repeat ESIs in the first few months of treatment and to provide sustained pain relief for patients. SpineThera’s platform delivery technology has the ability to provide sustained release of active agents for 90 days from a highly concentrated single injection via small needles or catheters, opening up numerous commercial opportunities in addition to sciatica.”

Dr. Shaheen Lakhan is a physician-scientist and clinical development specialist with over 15 years of diverse experience in clinical practice, academia, and industry. He is board-certified in both neurology and pain medicine with clinical training from Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital. He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer at Click Therapeutics where he is transforming medicine and democratizing health care through digital therapeutics. He also continues to serve patients as a practicing neurologist and pain specialist at Cambridge Health Alliance. Previously, Dr. Lakhan served as faculty of leading institutions (Harvard Medical School, Case Western Reserve University), founding department chair and curricular dean (California University of Science and Medicine), institutional review board chair (Arrowhead Regional Medical Center), chief of pain management (Virginia Tech – Carilion Clinic), and executive/leadership roles in both biopharma (Zogenix, Sage Therapeutics) and biotech (Fern Health, The Learning Corp). He was conferred the President’s Call to Service Award for Lifetime Achievement by George W. Bush. Recognized by his peers, he was inducted as Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the Academy’s highest designation.

“For the patient, SX600 has the potential as best-in-class therapy to alleviate tremendous suffering and functional disability for patients with radicular pain. For the provider, in a field of medicine generally lacking evidence-based and FDA-approved therapies, my fellow pain physicians would herald SX600 into their armamentarium against pain,” said Dr. Lakhan. “The facts are startling: more patients than not have trouble taking their medications as prescribed, let alone a third of all scripts are simply never filled. First validated in the SX600 program, SpineThera’s proprietary drug delivery platform can counter these daunting statistics with reach well beyond spine applications and pain indications.”

About SpineThera

SpineThera is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company working to improve the lives of patients by creating injectable drugs utilizing its micro-suspension platform technology. SpineThera’s micro-suspension provides months long sustained-release of the active pharmaceutical ingredient with superior injectability at ultra-high concentrations. Our goal is to develop proprietary drugs that offer patients and physicians new treatment options that reduce risk, improve outcomes, and manage overall treatment costs in markets with few or no approved drugs. The company’s lead investigational drug product, SX600, is a novel formulation of dexamethasone being developed for sciatica. SX600 is currently being investigated in a Phase 2 proof of concept clinical trial. SpineThera, Inc., is based in Medical Alley, Minnesota, the global epicenter of health innovation and care.

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