NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ventrus Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:VTUS), a pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing gastrointestinal products, today announced that it has appointed JP Benya Vice President, Commercial Operations and Business Development, effective September 24, 2012. With over twenty years of marketing and operational experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Benya has developed and implemented strategies and tactical programs for both primary care and specialty products in the U.S. and globally. He joins Ventrus from pharmaMARK, a boutique healthcare consulting company with clients including Amgen, Lilly, Pfizer and Merck, where he was a Principal since 2008. From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Benya was Vice President, Marketing, for Transcept Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Transcept, he held various positions at Sanofi-Synthelabo from 1999 to 2005, where he developed commercial, marketing and reimbursement strategies for various primary care and specialty products. While at Sanofi, he led, among other accomplishments, a doubling of sales, to $1.5Bn, for the insomnia medication Ambien® (zolpidem). Prior to Sanofi, he was at Schering-Plough from 1991 to 1999, where he spearheaded the successful sales growth of Intron® A and Rebetron™, among other specialty pharmaceutical products. Mr. Benya is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Columbia Business School, serves as a Guest Lecturer at New York University Stern School of Business and Montclair State University School of Business, and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing. Mr. Benya graduated from Brown University, and earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University. "JP's expertise is ideally suited to our commercial goals, including our reimbursement strategy and focused launch strategy for VEN 307, as we complete its development and move forward toward commercialization," said Russell H. Ellison, M.D., M.Sc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ventrus Biosciences, Inc. "His record of success with both specialty and primary care products also gives us great confidence that our strategies will allow us to realize the full potential for VEN 307 to replace compounded diltiazem and become a treatment of choice for anal fissures."