Keith A. Katkin joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in July of 2005 as senior vice president of sales and marketing and has served as a member of Avanir's executive management team. In March of 2007 Mr. Katkin was appointed president and CEO and elected as a member of the board of directors.
Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. Katkin served as the vice president, commercial development for Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, playing a key role in the management of the company. Additionally, Mr. Katkin's employment experience includes leadership roles at InterMune, Amgen and Abbott Laboratories.
Mr. Katkin received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Accounting from Indiana University and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, graduating with honors. Mr. Katkin became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in 1995.
Mr. Palekar joined Avanir in 2012, as senior vice president and cheif commercial officer and successfully led the sales and marketing organization through dramatic growth and change. In his role as EVP & chief operating officer, Mr. Palekar leads the sales & marketing organization and has responsibility for finance, legal affairs, human resources, business development, corporate communications, and IT/IS and facilities.
Mr. Palekar has over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has worked on significant brands including Remicade® as well as the investigational therapy MDV3100. Mr. Palekar's most recent commercial leadership role was as chief commercial officer for Medivation, where he was responsible for all commercial activities, medical affairs and & manufacturing. Prior to Medivation, Mr. Palekar spent 16+ years at Johnson & Johnson in various senior commercial and strategic management roles, most recently as a vice president of sales & marketing at Centocor, where he successfully launched two new indications for Remicade. Prior to that, Mr. Palekar was the worldwide vice president of immunology and held marketing leadership roles at McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Palekar earned his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration Dartmouth College and his BA/BS in Law and Accounting from the University of Bombay.
Dr. Siffert serves as our executive vice president research & development and chief medical officer. Dr. Siffert joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in August 2011 as senior vice president research and development. Dr. Siffert previously served as vice president and chief medical officer at Ceregene, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of neurotrophic gene therapies for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Prior to this position he served as the chief medical officer at Avera Pharmaceuticals, a CNS specialty pharma company. Prior to joining Avera, Dr. Siffert held positions with Pfizer as the worldwide medical team leader of Lyrica and Neurontin focusing in areas of pain and epilepsy and as medical director for Relpax. He was instrumental in the Phase 3b/4 program development and global launch of Lyrica. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Siffert held academic positions at Beth Israel Medical Center, where he served as director of the Adult Neuro-Oncology program, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was assistant professor of neurology. During his tenure at Beth Israel, Dr. Siffert was actively involved in clinical research of novel therapies for patients with brain and spinal cord tumors. He completed residencies in pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine and in neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Siffert was certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in 1996. He holds an M.D. degree from the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine as well as an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University Business School.
Gregory J. Flesher joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in June 2006 as senior director of commercial strategy and in August 2007 was promoted to vice president of business development. In February of 2011, he was promoted to senior vice president corporate development, chief business officer. In this role, Mr. Flesher had responsibility for leading Avanir’s corporate strategy, business development, program management, and business operations.In March 2015, Mr. Flesher took on the role of chief strategy officer working closely with the broader Otsuka organization.
Prior to joining Avanir, he held positions as director of sales - hepatology and director of marketing - pulmonary at InterMune, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Prior to his tenure at InterMune, Mr. Flesher held both oncology and nephrology marketing positions with Amgen Inc., a global biotechnology company. Mr. Flesher also has global marketing and clinical development experience from Eli Lilly and Company.
Mr. Flesher graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Biology and has completed his doctorate coursework in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Mr. Benevich was appointed Vice President of Marketing in August 2007 and previously served as Avanir’s Senior Director of Marketing since July 2005. Mr. Benevich is responsible for all aspects of marketing NUEDEXTA® in outpatient and institutional healthcare settings to key stakeholders including healthcare providers, patients and payers. In addition, Mr. Benevich leads portfolio planning for Avanir’s product candidates AVP-923 and AVP-786.
Mr. Benevich has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. Benevich previously served in marketing leadership roles at Peninsula Pharmaceuticals and Amgen Inc., where he worked on the blockbuster brands Epogen® and Enbrel®. In addition, Mr. Benevich held several commercial roles at AstraZeneca working primarily on the Prilosec® brand.
Mr. Benevich graduated from Washington State University with a degree in International Business.
Elona Kogan, Esq. joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals as vice president legal affairs in May 2011. Ms. Kogan has over 17 years of experience covering areas of commercial and regulatory compliance, patient assistance programs, privacy issues, contracting, litigation and corporate governance.
Most recently Ms. Kogan was associate general counsel and privacy officer at King Pharmaceuticals, where she was the primary legal liaison for corporate strategic and tactical commercial initiatives. Previously, Ms. Kogan was counsel for U.S. Medicines at Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Prior roles included positions at Bergen Brunswig Corporation and Epstein, Becker & Green.
Ms. Kogan earned her J.D. degree from Southwestern University and her B.A. degree in Economics from Columbia University.
Mr. Maei was appointed Vice President of Business Planning & Alliance Management in March 2015. Mr. Maei is responsible for all aspects of the Otsuka/Avanir alliance and is additionally responsible for planning international aspects of the business.
Mr. Maei has 17 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. Maei held the role of senior director of business planning and execution for Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Europe. He previously served in marketing leadership roles at Otsuka, Japan and Otsuka America. Mr. Haei started his career as a medical representative for Otsuka in Tokyo.
Mr. Maei graduated from St. Paul University, Tokyo with a degree in Life Science.
Michael E. McFadden joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in May 2010 as vice president of U.S. sales and managed markets. In this role, Mr. McFadden is responsible for staffing, training and leading the planned NUEDEXTA® specialty sales force as well as leading the development of all strategies and activities related to managed markets; including national health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, state Medicaid, trade relations, long term care, government affairs, and contract administration.
Mr. McFadden’s 20 years of pharmaceutical commercial experience includes the selling and marketing of several successful blockbuster prescription products. Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. McFadden served in various leadership roles in sales and managed care at Amylin Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for building and leading sales and managed markets teams and launching two first-in-class diabetes products. Prior to his tenure at Amylin, Mr. McFadden held commercial roles at Pharmacia and Eli Lilly and Company.
Mr. McFadden graduated from University of Louisiana at Monroe with a degree in Business Administration.
Joanna L. Moore joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in August 2012 as vice president & chief compliance officer. In this role, Ms. Moore is responsible for leading the company’s ethics and compliance program. Ms. Moore has over 20 years of experience covering areas of compliance, U.S. and international transactions, licensing and risk management.
Most recently, she served as assistant general counsel and senior director compliance at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior roles include positions at Mallinckrodt, Inc. and Arnstein & Lehr.
Ms. Moore earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois.
Christine G. Ocampo joined Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in March of 2007 as the corporate controller and was promoted to vice president, finance in February 2008. As vice president of finance, Ms. Ocampo is responsible for all accounting operations, budgeting, cash management, SEC reporting, and corporate compliance. During her tenure at Avanir Ms. Ocampo was an integral part of the successful divestiture of FazaClo® as well as leading the strategic consolidation of the corporate finance function.
Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Ocampo served as senior vice president, chief financial officer, chief accounting officer, treasurer and secretary of Cardiogenesis Corporation from November 2003 until April 2006. From 2001 to November 2003, Ms. Ocampo served in the role of vice president and corporate controller at Cardiogenesis. Prior to first joining Cardiogenesis in April 1997, Ms. Ocampo held a management position in finance at Mills-Peninsula Health Systems in Burlingame, CA, and spent three years as an auditor for Ernst & Young LLP.
Ms. Ocampo graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Seattle University and became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in 1996.