Relypsa, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company advancing lead product candidate, patiromer (RLY5016) for the treatment of hyperkalemia, in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical study, announced today the appointment of John Orwin as Chief Executive Officer of Relypsa. Mr. Orwin brings over 20 years of diverse experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, having held senior positions at leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Affymax, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Genentech. Previously, Relypsa has been headed by President and Founder Gerrit Klaerner, Ph.D., who will remain on as a consultant. Mr. Orwin’s appointment will be effective no later than June 17th.
“John’s background as a senior leader in the life sciences industry will be invaluable as Relypsa approaches completion of the Company’s patiromer clinical program, being conducted under an agreed-upon SPA with the FDA,” said Scott M. Rocklage, Ph.D., Relypsa’s Chairman. “The Company currently is preparing to commercialize patiromer in the U.S., with an expected NDA submission in 1Q 2014, and I anticipate John’s background in marketing, sales and general management will prove critical to the success of the potential launch of patiromer.” Dr. Rocklage continued, “We are grateful for Gerrit’s stewardship of the Company and his enduring commitment to Relypsa’s success. No doubt his insights will continue to have a profound impact on the advancement of patiromer.”
Mr. Orwin stated, “I am excited to join the Relypsa team, which is advancing a breakthrough product for areas of immense patient need – chronic kidney disease and heart failure. The team’s accomplishments at Relypsa are extensive – innovative product design, creation of a strong, protective patent estate, proof-of-concept validation with positive Phase 2 data, and rapid execution of the Phase 3 program, among others. All of these were compelling reasons for me to join the team at Relypsa, and I look forward to continued progress of the clinical program and submission for commercial entry in the U.S. market.”