BioStratum Inc., a drug development company using basal lamina research, has made a number of strategic management changes and appointments that the company said are designed to streamline the its development and business operations.

All of the changes were made internally, and were not the result of anyone joining BioStratum from another company or leaving BioStratum, according Aaron Herman, director of treasury operations, financial planning and analysis for the company.

Under the restructuring, Claus Kuhl becomes vice chairman of BioStratum’s Board of Directors, while also remaining the chief executive officer. Robert J. Schotzinger, previously chief medical officer, takes on the role of president and chief operating officer, and Gary M. Gordon, previously vice president of business development, is now vice president of finance and business development and chief financial officer.

Schotzinger previously served with Abbott Laboratories as VP of pharmaceutical and clinical development. He earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. in pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Gordon, prior to joining BioStratum, served as director of finance, administration and business development and CFO of of Sentinel Biosciences. He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and an M.D. from Cornell University, both in New York State.

“At this stage in BioStratum’s development, more and more of Claus’ time is required away from the office, meeting with potential investors and business partners,” BioStratum Chairman William Freytag said in a statement. “However, it is also a period of heavy activity within the company, requiring extensive hands-on management and coordination.”

BioStratum, based in RTP, has uncovered the basal lamina’s central role in disease processes associated with diabetes, cancer and other diseases. The basal lamina is a specialized form of the extracellular matrix that consists of a thin, membranous structure present in virtually all tissues of the body. In mature organisms, the basal lamina plays a central role in maintaining normal cell and tissue function as well as mediating cell and tissue response in the setting of disease or injury.

The lead drug candidate for BioStratum is Pyridorin, which is currently advancing through Phase II clinical trials for diabetic kidney disease and recently was granted Fast Track status by the FDA. An IND for Angiocol, its proprietary anti-angiogenesis drug candidate that inhibits the growth of tumors in animal models of cancer, was accepted by the FDA earlier this year. Therapeutics are also being developed for cancer and tissue regeneration, the company says.

BioStratum Inc.: www.biostratum.com