Management addition comes as FSD accelerates specialty cannabinoid pharmaceutical global expansion strategy
CANADA: FSD Pharma announced today the appointment of Rupert Haynes as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Haynes is a highly accomplished healthcare executive with nearly three decades of global pharmaceutical experience having most recently held the position of Head of Global Marketing at GW Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom. In his new role with FSD Pharma, Mr. Haynes will continue to work out of the United Kingdom, which will support FSD Pharma’s strategy of expanding its global footprint. Interim CEO and Co-chairman of the board, Dr. Raza Bokhari will remain in place as CEO until Mr. Haynes officially assumes the role.
“Mr. Haynes has an impressive track record in pipeline and product development which is directly relevant to FSD’s vision of becoming a global cannabinoid based pharmaceutical leader,” said Dr. Raza Bokhari, Co-chairman of the Board. “He blends world class specialty pharmaceutical experience with a fast-paced biotech mindset that will help accelerate FSD’s growth and global expansion strategy by assembling a top tier management team and pursuing targeted mergers & acquisitions. On behalf of the Board, I welcome him to the company.”
As head of Global Marketing at GW Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Haynes oversaw the strategic development of the firm’s cannabinoid portfolio including numerous cannabinoid pipeline products across dozens of therapeutic areas, but primarily neurological, neurodegenerative and neuropsychological conditions. Mr. Haynes was also involved in the strategic planning & development of Epidiolex®, an FDA-approved cannabidiol, for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Before GW, Mr. Haynes held numerous commercial roles, including senior leadership positions, at both large pharma and bespoke biotech firms which include Sobi, UCB Pharma, Bristol-Myers Squibb Ltd, UK, and Pharmacia & Upjohn Ltd, UK.
“This is an exciting time to be joining FSD,” said Mr. Rupert Haynes, CEO of FSD Pharma. “The company is advancing at a rapid pace having recently announced a pilot study for SCN-001 in irritable bowel syndrome through its collaboration with SciCann and intention to acquire Therapix Biosciences where there are active clinical trials evaluating cannabinoid combination therapies. I look forward to continuing this fast-paced pharmaceutical development which could lead to multiple significant new development programs in a very short timeframe.”
In October 2018, FSD announced its intention to acquire Therapix Biosciences to develop novel cannabinoid combination therapies in pain, migraine, and other CNS disorders. Therapix is currently evaluating THX-110, a proprietary combination drug based on dronabinol and PEA, in two ongoing Phase 2 studies in Tourette syndrome (Yale U. Medical Center) and obstructive sleep apnea (Assuta Medical Center) with a planned Phase 2 initiation in chronic back pain.
FSD partner SciCann Therapeutics, a company developing novel cannabinoid products for a range of diseases, recently announced initiation of a pilot study evaluating SciCann’s proprietary “Steady Stomach” cannabidiol combination product for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome patients.
“We look forward to having Mr. Haynes at the helm of FSD as the company expands into the pharmaceutical industry,” said Anthony Durkacz, Co-chairman of the Board and Founder. “The Board believes that Mr. Haynes’ track record of product and pipeline development leadership on both a regional and international level, will support the transition of FSD into a global leader in the cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical space.”
“Mr. Haynes’ appointment as Chief Executive Officer builds on the incredible momentum at FSD Pharma this past year,” said Zeeshan Saeed, President and Founder. “We believe Mr. Haynes brings the vision and know-how to create long-term value for investors and new, effective treatments for conditions where there remains a need for therapeutic alternatives.”