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Novan appoints president, to focus on treating gastrointestinal diseases

Novan Inc. promoted Paula Stafford as president and to a newly created role of COO to focus on a portfolio of drug candidates targeting gastrointestinal diseases.

Stafford, who remains a director, joined Novan as chief development officer in 2017 and prior to it was president of the Quintiles Global Clinical Development organization.

Novan's Co-founder, President and Director Nathan Stasko stepped down following an amendment to his employment agreement after the appointment of Kelly Martin as CEO.

The Morrisville, N.C.-based biotechnology company promoted its Senior Vice President Elizabeth Messersmith to chief development officer with oversight of the clinical, medical, statistical and regulatory activities. Messersmith previously served as head of clinical operations.

Carri Geer was promoted to senior vice president and chief technology officer.

In addition, Novan said it will focus on developing medicines for children with gastrointestinal diseases using its nitric oxide technology. The company said expanding into the gastrointestinal diseases portfolio will require minimal investment as it will use its current technology and assets.

Novan added that it will explore business development opportunities around its dermatology assets and expand its nitric oxide technology platform beyond dermatology to increase strategic and financial options for the company. Earlier in December, the company's phase 2 trial of a topical anti-viral gel had shown effectiveness in clearing all lesions in children with a type of skin disease called molluscum contagiosum.

In October 2018, Novan entered a strategic agreement with Finland-based Orion Oyj for technology transfer and manufacturing of clinical trial materials for future trials of Novan's product candidates.