OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE: OPK) today announced the hiring of key executives for its Renal Division. Scott Toner will join as Vice President, US Marketing and Sales and Dr. Steve Strugnell will join as Senior Director, Scientific Affairs.
Mr. Toner has over 30 years of pharmaceutical experience with a history of developing effective marketing strategies for new drugs to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD). Mr. Toner was previously Senior Director of Global Marketing at Reata Pharmaceuticals with responsibility for the marketing strategy supporting a new innovative therapy for CKD in type 2 diabetes patients; Executive Director of Marketing at AMAG Pharmaceuticals where he led the launch of Feraheme ®, an iron replacement product for dialysis patients; and Director of Renal Commercial Development at Abbott Laboratories with responsibility for Zemplar ®. Zemplar became the most successful vitamin D therapy for secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in the US. Mr. Toner also serves as a member of the Board of the American Association of Kidney Disease Patients (AAKP).
Dr. Strugnell has extensive experience in the research and development of new vitamin D drugs for CKD patients with vitamin D insufficiency. Prior to OPKO, he was Associate Scientific Director at Genzyme Renal and Associate Director of Preclinical Research at Bone Care International where he managed research supporting Hectorol ®, the first modern vitamin D product approved in the US for SHPT in pre-dialysis patients. Dr. Strugnell received his PhD degree from Queens University under the direction of Dr. Glenville Jones, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of Dr. Hector DeLuca. Drs. Jones and DeLuca are internationally regarded experts on vitamin D metabolism.
"Scott and Steve are powerful additions to our management team," said Dr. Charles W. Bishop, CEO of OPKO Renal. "These two individuals have a remarkable understanding of the renal market and provide unparalleled experience in developing and launching proprietary renal disease products."