Former Merck clinical research VP Arthur Santora joins Entera Bio as CMO

Entera is developing an oral form of parathyroid hormone as an easier-to-take treatment for osteoporosis and hypoparathyroidism. (Pixabay)

Former Merck clinical research leader Arthur Santora, M.D., Ph.D., is coming out of retirement to serve as the new chief medical officer of Entera Bio, to help the company develop its oral hormone-based treatments for osteoporosis and hypoparathyroidism.

Santora helped develop Merck’s Fosamax, one of the world's most prescribed osteoporosis treatments, and its Fosamax Plus D drug-vitamin combination tablet, before retiring in 2017 as scientific associate VP of clinical research following 28 years with the company. He also contributed to the development of Merck’s other osteoporosis and endocrine drugs.

Entera was launched as a joint venture between Oramed Pharmaceuticals and Laser Detect Systems in 2010, with Oramed out-licensing its oral drug delivery technology to Entera for a new formulation of parathyroid hormone for osteoporosis.

Currently Entera’s PTH formulation is described as in phase 1 studies for osteoporosis, and in phase 2 for hypoparathyroidism. It is also being studied in the supplementing of bone healing and non-union fractures.

“An oral form of PTH for these indications would allow patients to better comply with their treatment simplifying their daily lives, and hopefully increasing the number of patients willing to take these important medications,” Santora said in a statement.

Santora takes over for Eric Lang, who held the CMO position since January.