Irvine-based Evolus Inc. (Nasdaq: EOLS), a medical aesthetics company that went public this year, continues to build out its management team under the direction of new Chief Executive David Moatazedi.
“Ramping up an organization from no commercial infrastructure all the way through to a place where [it’s the] premier aesthetic company is a process,” Moatazedi said last month after the company’s latest earnings results.
In the latest change to the executive team, it announced a new role for Chief Medical Officer Rui Avelar last month.
In addition to the CMO role, he will serve as head of research and development. The firm is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for its first product—DWP-450, an injectable neurotoxin that targets moderate to severe frown lines.
The drug is designed to produce a similar cosmetic effect to Botox’s.
“We are committed to building out a world-class aesthetic portfolio,” Moatazedi said. “We believe DWP-450 is the anchor brand that [we] can build around.”
Evolus plans a spring launch of DWP-450, and is doing plenty of prep work on the operational side of its business to get ready for the kickoff, Moatazedi said on the company’s earnings call.
“We remain focused on building out our disruptive commercial plan and expanding our sales and marketing management team through the remainder of 2018,” he said.
The aesthetics medicine company announced last week that FDA accepted the resubmission of its drug candidate and has assigned a Feb. 2, 2019 action date.
Evolus said in May that it received a complete response letter regarding its neurotoxin. The deficiencies cited by FDA “were isolated to items related to chemistry, manufacturing and controls processes” and not related to “clinical, non-clinical or safety matters,” according to company press releases.
That’s good news for local employees at Allergan PLC, whose Irvine campus has had several rounds of job cuts since it was acquired in 2015 by New Jersey-based Actavis.
Evolus has grabbed a number of former executives from the local campus of Allergan—the maker of Botox—as it’s built its team.
Hires from Allergan include Moatazedi, who joined the company about three months ago. He was previously Allergan’s senior vice president of medical aesthetics and Actavis’ top local executive at the time of his departure.
In July, Evolus hired Michael Jafar as chief marketing officer. He also came from Allergan, last serving as vice president of medical aesthetics, and overseeing Juvederm Voluma’s launch.
Avelar was previously chief medical officer of Alphaeon Corp. and before that, Allergan.
Avelar took over leadership of the company’s research and development team from Evolus founder Christopher Marmo, who was acting as chief operating officer. Marmo ended the role last month.
Marmo also traces his lineage to Allergan, where he was senior vice president of R&D, and Irvine-based Alphaeon, where he served as beauty division president.
He was Evolus chief executive when Alphaeon bought the Santa Barbara-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company in 2013.
Evolus was a portfolio company of Alphaeon, but is now considered a separate entity, according to Alphaeon officials.
The company raised about $60 million in its initial public offering in February and now has a market value of about $530 million.
• Planet DDS in Costa Mesa partnered with Annapolis, Md.-based Spa Creek Dental to deploy its dental practice management software in support of mobile treatment operations at more than 250 senior living facilities in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“The ability to view key patient information remotely online is essential to giving updates to responsible parties who aren’t always on site with the patient,” said Spa Creek Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Zeitvogel. The mobile dental clinics operator offers services to senior-care facilities.
Planet DDS’ cloud-based platform also includes features such as real-time reporting, analytics and patient communication. The company was founded in 2003.
• Orange-based Western Dental, the largest dental services provider in California, recently launched pediatric dentistry brand Western Dental Kids. Its first location is in Modesto in the Central Valley.
The newly designed office turned an existing Western Dental office into a colorful, kid-friendly space that will serve as a prototype for future pediatric clinics.
The dental practice said it recently acquired 22 pediatric offices that will assume the Western Dental Kids name and open this year.
Allergan has exercised its option to develop and commercialize EDIT-101 from Cambridge, Mass.-based genome editing company Editas Medicine Inc. (Nasdaq: EDIT). The drug candidate is designed to treat Leber congenital amaurosis, a group of inherited retinal degenerative disorders caused by mutations in at least 18 genes.
The pair entered into the research and development agreement March last year. Editas received $15 million and is eligible to get an additional $25 million milestone payment.
Allergan’s U.S. headquarters is in Parsippany, N.J.; its eye and aesthetics operations are based in Irvine.