November 29, 2016 – Life science and healthcare executive search firm Strawn Arnold & Associates has tapped R. Alberto Avendano, M.D., to serve as chief medical officer (CMO) of Osiris Therapeutics, Inc.
Dr. Avendano brings to Osiris expertise in medical education and communication, academic and industry clinical research, pharmacovigilance and regulatory affairs. In his role as CMO, Dr. Avendano will manage and oversee the continued growth of the company’s medical affairs and clinical operations, act as the company’s medical spokesperson, and participate in development of clinical programs for the company’s products and technologies.
Since 2013, Dr. Avendano served as the medical director for Indivior Inc. (previously Reckitt Benckisser Pharmaceuticals). Prior to joining Indivior, he served in a variety of medical director and research positions, most recently as associate medical director at EMD Serono, Inc.
According to recruiters, the role of the chief medical officer has evolved in recent years, and organizations, as in this case, are looking for leaders with broader skill sets.
“Alberto brings a wealth of managerial and life sciences expertise to Osiris during an important time in our company’s growth,” said David A. Dresner, interim chief executive officer of Osiris. “Alberto will bridge our research and development team to our marketing team, furthering our commitment to help patients both today and into the future, as we continue to launch innovative therapies into the regenerative medicine space.”
Osiris Therapeutics, based in Columbia, MD, is a leader in researching, developing and marketing regenerative medicine products that improve health and lives of patients and lower overall healthcare costs. Having developed the world’s first approved stem cell drug, the company continues to advance its research and development in biotechnology by focusing on innovation in regenerative medicine – including bioengineering, stem cell research and viable tissue based products.
Founded in 1974, Strawn Arnold is a boutique search firm focused on the life sciences, medical devices, diagnostics, healthcare IT and the payer/provider sectors. All of the firm’s partners have held significant executive and line management positions with major healthcare companies in North America, Europe and Asia. The firm has placed chief medical officers at Lumos Pharma, Infacare, and CymaBay Therapeutics.
CMO is the title used by many organizations for the senior government official designated head of medical services, sometimes at the national level. The post is held by a physician who serves to advise and lead a team of medical experts on matters of public health importance.
“Today’s CMO needs to have professional experience gathered from different players in the drug development industry, since he or she needs to understand the objectives of the key players in the field,” said Marc Salzberg, CEO of Airway Therapeutics. “That is, academia/clinical practice, the pharma industry, regulatory authorities and third-party vendors such as contract research organizations in order to successfully cooperate with those partners.”
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media