MORRISVILLE –  Novan Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, continues to change its leadership as the company shifts its strategic focus, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday.

The company announced the departure of Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Jeff Hunter.

Hunter has spent the last 35 years as a co-founder and former CEO of a small-cap public company in addition to building Novan’s manufacturing and corporate infrastructure.

Hunter’s departure comes shortly after the resignation of Nathan Stasko, who was the company’s president and sat on the board of directors.

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Stasko, co-founder and former CEO of the company, took this position following the board’s appointment of Kelly Martin as CEO in 2018 as part of a corporate shakeup in which the company laid off 20 percent of its staff.

In early 2017, the company saw the failure of a topical gel developed to treat acne, SB204, which sparked the corporate shakeup in 2018. The Morrisville-based company focuses on using nitric oxide’s antiviral and immunomodulatory mechanisms of action to treat dermatological and oncovirus-mediated diseases.

Last week the company announced shakeups in its leadership involving the appointment of three new executives.

Paula Stafford, the company’s former chief development officer, was promoted to president and the newly created role of chief operating officer while remaining a member of the board of directors.

Other changes include the promotion of Carri Geer to senior vice president and chief technology officer, as well as, Elizabeth Messersmith who was promoted to chief development officer.

“These leadership adjustments provide Novan with a truly exceptional and experienced team,” Martin said in a release announcing the changes. “The combination of Paula, Carri and Liz in their new roles adds depth and real-world experience in several critical areas.”

The company also announced it will add gastroenterology as a field of focus for its business and science. The company believes this will require minimal investment due to its ability to leverage current technology experience and assets.

Novan’s stock price is up 0.88 percent to $1.71 Friday morning.

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

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