Dr. David Drutz, an MD., is now the executive chairman of the board, and Christopher Clement takes over as chief executive officer in a shuffle of the top leadership at DARA BioSciences.

The changers were announced Tuesday and took effect “immediately.”

DARA trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DARA.”

Drutz does retain his role as chief medical officer.

Clement had been chief operating officer.

Drutz will remain “fully involved” with the company, Clement said in a statement.

DARA focuses on oncology support and therapy. 

“In these roles, Dr. Drutz will provide ongoing leadership to DARA’s strategic planning, business development and educational product support activities relative to our customers and sales organization,” DARA said in a statement.

Drutz said recent turnaround efforts had positioned DARA for further growth.

“With our commercial strategy now implemented and generating an increasing amount of confidence in our business moving forward, we believe the timing is right to transition the chief executive responsibilities,” Drutz said. “Chris is a strong and experienced leader and has an outstanding business mind with strategic vision and excellent execution skills. This move will allow him to focus on the commercialization of our business, and I have every confidence that, under his leadership, DARA will continue to build a strong portfolio of oncology supportive medicines.”

Clement joined the company in 2012 when DARA acquired Oncogeneriz where he worked. He previous was CEO of Savient Pharmaceuticals. 

“We believe DARA is poised for significant growth and are truly excited for what lies ahead,” Clement said.