RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprout Pharmaceuticals today announced that Cindy Whitehead has been named CEO, effective immediately. Cindy co-founded Sprout Pharmaceuticals and previously served as president and chief operating officer. Former CEO Bob Whitehead will become vice chairman of the board of directors and executive director.
"Cindy has been integral in making 2014 a positive year for the company, and I'm confident that under her leadership, 2015 will mark a historic and transformational year for both women's sexual health and Sprout," said Anthony Wild, chairman of the board of directors, Sprout Pharmaceuticals. "Her passion and commitment to address this longstanding unmet medical need is unmatched as witnessed by the emerging dialogue that respects the scientific evidence and the experiences of women living with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Cindy is the ideal person to take Sprout into its next phase with the potential approval and launch of flibanserin."
Prior to co-founding Sprout Pharmaceuticals, Cindy led operational functions at Slate Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused in male sexual health. There she commercialized the first FDA-approved long-acting testosterone preparation, Testopel. Slate was sold to GTCR/Actient Pharmaceuticals in December 2011 when Sprout acquired the global rights to flibanserin.
Cindy has more than 20 years of experience building brands and companies, managing high performing sales organizations and leading marketing and corporate communications functions. She previously held various roles with Merck Pharmaceuticals, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Elan Pharmaceuticals.
"I am honored to be named CEO and to be surrounded by an outstanding team deeply committed to a breakthrough for women's sexual health," said Cindy Whitehead, CEO, Sprout Pharmaceuticals. "I'm optimistic that this year will bring the first FDA approved treatment for women's most common sexual dysfunction, opening the door to follow on research and innovation that women's healthcare so richly deserves."
Sprout plans to resubmit the flibanserin New Drug Application in the first quarter of this year.
Flibanserin is a novel, non-hormonal drug that has been studied in more than 11,000 women in clinical trials for the treatment of HSDD in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Flibanserin is believed to work on key neurotransmitters, or chemicals, in the brain that affect sexual desire. More specifically, it is thought that flibanserin corrects an imbalance of levels of these neurotransmitters by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine (both responsible for sexual excitement) and decreasing serotonin (responsible for sexual inhibition). In clinical studies, flibanserin was evaluated for its ability to increase the frequency of satisfying sexual events, increase the intensity of sexual desire and decrease the associated distress women feel from its loss.
About Sprout Pharmaceuticals
Sprout Pharmaceuticals is passionate about women's sexual health. With a breakthrough concept for women, the company "sprouted" out of Slate Pharmaceuticals in 2011. Based in Raleigh, NC, the company is focused solely on the delivery of a treatment option for the unmet need of women with HSDD. Sprout is pursuing the FDA approval of flibanserin to treat HSDD in premenopausal women, for which there is currently no FDA-approved treatment.
For more information or the latest news about Sprout Pharmaceuticals, visit www.sproutpharma.com.
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SOURCE Sprout Pharmaceuticals