MORRISVILLE – The chief commercial officer of Novan Inc., a pharmaceutical development company, abruptly resigned last week, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


The filing states the company came to an agreement with Brian Johnson, now former chief commercial officer, on Jan. 24, two days following his departure.

Johnson served as chief commercial officer since 2015. Prior to Novan, he was the vice president of prescription marketing and the chief digital officer of Galderma Laboratories from 2003 to 2014.

The Morrisville-based company saw a widespread executive shakeup last year after its lead drug candidate, an acne treatment called SB204 that uses nitric oxide, failed to earn approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Nate Stasko, former chief executive officer, was replaced by interim CEO Kelly Martin, who had been a non-executive director of Novan.

Stasko now acts the company’s president and chief scientific officer, focusing on helping the company explore more possibilities of nitric oxide.

Additionally, Bob Ingram, former chairman of the board, now serves as the non-employee executive chairman. Kent Greer, in addition to his role as chairman of the audit committee, now also serves as lead independent director of the company.

Novan has had cash flow problems as it tries to move its acne drugs through the approval process and get them on the market.

The company laid off 20 percent of its workforce in June – about a dozen of its employees.

Novan’s stock sits at $3.52, falling 1.6 percent in Friday trading.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism