Follica Adds Two Leaders in Aesthetic Medicine and Dermatology to Its Board of Directors
Bringing a depth of expertise in product registration, commercial & business development
Tom Wiggans, former CEO of Dermira, joins as Executive Chairman
Michael Davin, former CEO of Cynosure, joins Board of Directors
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Follica Inc. (“Follica”), a biotechnology company developing a regenerative platform designed to treat androgenetic alopecia, epithelial aging and other related conditions, today announced the appointment of two veteran biotech executives to its Board of Directors.
Tom Wiggans joins as Executive Chairman with over 30 years of experience leading biopharmaceutical companies from the start-up stage to global commercialization. Mr. Wiggans most recently co-founded and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dermira, a company developing new therapies for chronic skin conditions. He led the company through two Phase 3 trials that resulted in U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of its lead therapy, Qbrexza® (glycopyrronium), and the advancement into Phase 3 of its novel monoclonal antibody for atopic dermatitis. Mr. Wiggans guided Dermira through Eli Lilly’s acquisition of the company for approximately $1.1 billion in January of 2020.
Michael Davin joins as an independent member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Davin brings to Follica over 30 years of experience in the medical device industry, including 14 years as Chief Executive Officer at Cynosure, which develops and manufactures medical and aesthetic treatments for skin revitalization, scar reduction, hair removal and more. He led the company through an IPO, international expansion and its acquisition by Hologic, Inc. for $1.65 billion in 2017.
“We are very pleased to welcome Tom and Michael to the Follica board,” said Jason Bhardwaj, Chief Executive Officer of Follica. “They bring valuable insights in both product and business development, with particular expertise in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. This is an exciting time of growth for Follica, as we prepare to launch a Phase 3 study in male androgenetic alopecia this year. We look forward to working closely with Tom and Michael to drive our strategy through this pivotal trial.”
Prior to founding Dermira, Mr. Wiggans served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Peplin, Inc. until Peplin’s acquisition by LEO Pharma A/S. He has served on the boards of multiple companies, including Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its acquisition by Amgen. In addition, Mr. Wiggans was instrumental in the formation of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and served on its Board of Directors for many years. He is currently on the Board of Directors at Annexon Biosciences and Forma Therapeutics. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Kansas Endowment Association. He holds a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
“Follica’s platform has strong potential across several important indications, including the lead indication androgenetic alopecia, a condition with tremendous unsatisfied need with approximately 90 million men and women affected in the United States alone,” said Mr. Wiggans. “I’m pleased to join the team to help guide clinical and business strategy through its continued development of a potential treatment for this condition, which could have a significant impact for the broad range of individuals who have long been seeking a more effective approach to growing new hair.”
Before joining Cynosure, Mr. Davin served as a Co-Founder and Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Strategic Development of Cutera, Inc., a provider of laser and other light-based aesthetic treatment systems. Mr. Davin holds Board of Director positions at Allurion Technologies, Inkbit Technologies, 15-40 Connection and OpenTable. He holds a B.S. and B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University.
“Follica has made excellent progress in advancing a novel treatment for hair loss, a condition that has serious implications for both men and women,” said Mr. Davin. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow board members and the management team as we advance the program for our first indication and explore the scientific potential in related conditions.”
Follica is a biotechnology company developing a regenerative platform designed to treat androgenetic alopecia, epithelial aging and other related conditions. Founded by PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC, Nasdaq: PRTC), a co-inventor of the current platform, and a group of world-renowned experts in hair follicle biology and regenerative medicine, Follica’s experimental treatment platform is designed to induce an embryonic window via a device with optimized parameters to initiate hair follicle neogenesis, the formation of new hair follicles from epithelial (skin) stem cells. This process is enhanced through the application of a topical compound. Follica completed a safety and efficacy optimization study in 2019, and its Phase 3 registration program in male androgenetic alopecia is expected to begin in 2021. Follica’s technology is based on work originating from the University of Pennsylvania that has been further developed by Follica’s internal program. Follica’s extensive IP portfolio includes IP exclusively licensed from the University of Pennsylvania as well as Follica-owned IP.