Dr. Mark Sirgo is stepping down as president anc CEO of Raleigh-based BioDelivery Sciences International. He’s held the job since 2005.

The publicly held company announced Sirgo’s decision early Wednesday.

BDSI is focused pain management and addiction medicine, employing proprietary BioErodible MucoAdhesive (BEMA) technology and other drug delivery technologies to develop and commercialize.

Primary targets are treatment for serious and debilitating conditions, including breakthrough cancer pain, chronic pain and opioid dependence.

Sirgo helped found Arius Pharmaceuticals which merged with BDSI in 2004, bringing BEMA technology to the combined company. 

“Mark’s accomplishments during his tenure reflect his commitment to hard work, a continual focus on building a quality pharmaceutical company and unwavering dedication to creating shareholder value,” said Frank O’Donnell, Chairman of BDSI’s Board.

“Mark’s leadership and vision for drug development, much of which has been built from the BEMA platform that was acquired when Mark joined BDSI, have been instrumental to BDSI’s growth, including three successful drug approvals and the launch of a full commercial organization.  We thank Mark for his innumerable contributions to BDSI and look forward to Mark’s continued leadership through this transition and his continued guidance as Vice Chairman.”

Transition of power

Sirgo plans to step down at the end of 2017 but will remain involved with the company as vice chairman of the board.

The company is beginning a search for a successor.

“After thirteen years of leading BDSI from a start-up through three drug approvals and the creation of a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company, highlighted by the recent reacquisition and early commercial success of BELBUCA, the business is very well positioned for long-term growth,” Sirgo said in the announcement.

“With the outstanding team we have built and the overall strength of the business, year-end felt like the appropriate time for me to retire from my day-to-day role.

“Announcing my plans now allows for the timely selection and onboarding of my replacement, a proven leader with significant commercial experience, before year-end. In my ongoing role as Vice Chairman, I will continue to offer my guidance to insure a smooth and thoughtful management transition while also providing strategic insight for the growth of BDSI, as we continue to focus and execute on our commercial strategy. In addition, during the next several months, I will be working with our experienced management team to achieve the goals I publicly outlined earlier this year, the most important of which are hitting our revenue target and continuing to evaluate strategic opportunities to enhance shareholder value.”