MORRISVILLE – Paula Brown Stafford, a former top executive at Quintiles, will take over as CEO of drug company Novan in February.

Stafford, who now servres as president and chief operating officer, is being promoted to replace G. Kelly Martin as of Feb. 2. She also will remain on the company’s board, Novan announced Wednesday.

Starting at Novan in March 2017 as chief development officer, she was named to her current role in January of this year.

“I am honored and excited to lead Novan into our next chapter. We have the team in place to continue building on the great progress we’ve made to date,” Stafford said. “I look forward to continuing to collaborate with employees, investors, partners and patients as we take next steps together.”

Stafford was president of clinical development at Quintiles (now IQVIA) before joining Novan.

Martin will leave the company and the board when his contract expires, Novan said.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are extremely pleased to have Ms. Stafford assume the role of CEO and lead Novan into its next phase of business progress. Her extensive leadership and career experience are well suited for our CEO role,” said Robert Ingram, Executive Chairman of Novan’s Board of Directors, in a statement.

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