Depomed chairman steps down; new chairman, president and CEO announced

MENLO PARK, Calif. Depomed announced the retirement of John Fara, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. He will continue to serve Depomed as a director and a consultant.

Carl Pelzel has been appointed president and chief executive officer and to the company’s board of directors. Pelzel has been Depomed’s executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2005. Craig Smith has been appointed chairman of the company’s board of directors. Smith has been a member of the board since 2004.

Depomed is a specialty pharmaceutical company that markets proprietary AcuFormTM. The drug delivery technology is proven to improve existing oral medications, allowing for extended, controlled release of medications to the upper gastrointestinal tract. Benefits of AcuForm-enhanced pharmaceuticals include the convenience of once-daily administration, improved treatment tolerability and enhanced compliance and efficacy, the company reported.

"On behalf of the board," Smith noted, "I thank John for his long and devoted service to Depomed. While we will miss his operational expertise, we look forward to his continued sage counsel as a member of the board and valued consultant. I join John and the rest of the board in welcoming Carl to the board, and to his new position as president and chief executive officer. Carl’s considerable talents are well suited to the company’s future challenges and opportunities."

The company currently has two products on the market: Glumetzatm (metformin hydrochloride extended release tablets), approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes; and ProQuin XR (ciprofloxacin hydrochloride), approved in the United States for the once-daily treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

"I am excited to be leading Depomed during this pivotal time. Thanks to John and his long service to the company, we are well positioned to meet the opportunities and challenges that face us," said Pelzel. "I thank John for his mentorship during my time here at Depomed, and I very much look forward to continuing to work with him and the rest of the board to implement the strategy that we have developed together."

"I am proud of the progress Depomed has made during my tenure as chairman, president and chief executive officer," Fara commented. "After nearly eleven years at the helm and with my 65th birthday approaching, I have been considering this for some months. Over the past eleven years, the Company completed its IPO, developed and commercialized Glumetza and Proquin XR, moved Gabapentin GR into Phase III clinical trials and established our drug delivery technology as a standard in the industry. I have worked with Carl for the past two years and believe his experience and energy will accelerate Depomed’s transition to a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company."

Product candidate Gabapentin GRTM is currently in clinical development for the treatment of two pain indications. A Phase 2 clinical trial of Gabapentin GR in menopausal hot flashes is also underway.

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