Urovant Sciences Appoints Walt Johnston as Senior Vice President of Commercial, Kenton Stewart as Senior Vice President of Market Access

  • Walt Johnston is a proven senior pharmaceutical executive with nearly 30 years’ experience specializing in global strategy. He has extensive P&L experience in delivering significant revenue growth
  • Mr. Johnston spent the last 12 years with Astellas Pharma, most recently as Senior Vice President, Urology and Hospital Business Unit. Prior to Astellas Pharma, he spent 18 years with Pfizer
  • Kenton Stewart, a 30-year industry veteran, brings vast experience in building commercial capabilities and leading successful product launches across multiple therapeutic areas
  • Most recently, Mr. Stewart led the launch of the Health Systems Business Unit function at Alkermes. He also held senior positions at Astellas Pharma, TAP Pharmaceutical Products, and Abbott Laboratories

IRVINE, Calif. & BASEL, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 2, 2020-- Urovant Sciences (Nasdaq: UROV) today announced the appointment of Walt Johnston as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Kenton Stewart as Senior Vice President of Market Access, both reporting to Urovant CEO James Robinson.

“I am delighted that Walt Johnston is bringing his leadership skills and proven ability to grow multi-billion dollar portfolios in the urology space – and specifically in overactive bladder – to help drive the potential of vibegron and Urovant’s entire pipeline,” said Mr. Robinson. “It is also a pleasure to welcome Kenton Stewart, with expertise in building, deploying and leading organizations from the earliest stages of development through to successful product launches. I’d like to welcome Walt and Kenton to the Urovant Executive Leadership Team.”

As SVP of Commercial, Mr. Johnston will be responsible for marketing, sales and commercial operations. Prior to Urovant, he spent 12 years at Astellas Pharma, most recently as Senior Vice President, Urology and Hospital Business Unit. He led marketing and sales in areas including urology, infectious diseases, and pharmacologic stress agents, and consistently drove double-digit growth in net sales and operating income. Prior to that role, Mr. Johnston was VP of Marketing and New Product Planning. Before Astellas, he spent over 18 years at Pfizer in various roles, including leading the cardiovascular marketing portfolio and as National Sales Director, Vista Rx team. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lafayette College and an MBA from Boston College Carroll School of Management.

As SVP of Market Access, Mr. Stewart will be responsible for all aspects of market access, including account management, market access marketing and reimbursement strategy, contracts and pricing, and market access alliance management. Mr. Stewart brings a significant track record of success in market access, leading the development and launch of the Health Systems Business Unit function at Alkermes. Prior to that, he was SVP of Health Systems at Astellas Pharma, and held senior positions at TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. and Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Stewart has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing, from Wichita State University, and an MBA from Bellevue University.

“I look forward to joining the talented team at Urovant as the company prepares for the potential commercialization of vibegron for overactive bladder, a life-altering condition with severe medical implications,” said Mr. Johnston. “With the vibegron NDA accepted by the Food and Drug Administration, now is the time to prepare to deliver success for patients and investors alike.”

“This is an exciting time to be joining Urovant as the company moves towards launch readiness,” said Mr. Stewart. “The coming months will be critical as we prepare to deliver on the promise of vibegron and other Urovant pipeline products for the patients who need them.”

About Urovant Sciences

Urovant Sciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for urologic conditions. The Company’s lead product candidate, vibegron, is an oral, once-daily small molecule beta-3 agonist that is being evaluated for overactive bladder (OAB). Urovant Sciences reported positive data from the vibegron 12-week, Phase 3 pivotal EMPOWUR study and demonstrated favorable longer-term efficacy, safety, and tolerability in a 40-week extension study. The Company submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA seeking approval of vibegron for the treatment of patients with OAB in December 2019. Vibegron is also being evaluated for treatment of OAB in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (OAB+BPH) and for abdominal pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Urovant’s second product candidate, URO-902, is a novel gene therapy being developed for patients with OAB who have failed oral pharmacologic therapy. Urovant Sciences, a subsidiary of Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd., intends to develop novel treatments for additional urologic diseases. Learn more about us at www.urovant.com.

About Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd.

Sumitovant is a global biopharmaceutical company with offices in New York City and London. Sumitovant is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. Sumitovant is the majority shareholder of Urovant and Myovant, and wholly owns Enzyvant, Spirovant, and Altavant. Sumitovant's promising pipeline is comprised of early-through late-stage investigational medicines across a range of disease areas targeting high unmet need. For further information about Sumitovant, please visit https://www.sumitovant.com.

About Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is among the top-ten listed pharmaceutical companies in Japan, operating globally in major pharmaceutical markets, including Japan, the U.S., China, and the European Union. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is based on the 2005 merger between Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Today, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has more than 6,000 employees worldwide. Additional information about Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is available through its corporate website at https://www.ds-pharma.com. 

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical statements of fact and statements regarding the Company’s intent, belief or expectations and can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “might,” “objective,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “strive,” “to be,” “will,” “would,” or the negative or plural of these words or other similar expressions or variations, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. In this press release, forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Urovant’s plans to advance the clinical development of vibegron in patients with OAB. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: the success, cost, and timing of Urovant’s development activities, including the timing of the initiation and completion of clinical trials and the timing of expected regulatory filings; the clinical utility and potential attributes and benefits of vibegron, including reliance on collaboration partners and the ability to procure additional sources of financing; our intellectual property position, including the ability to identify and in-license or acquire third-party patents and licenses, and associated costs; and other risks and uncertainties listed in the Company’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC, as such risk factors may be amended, supplemented or superseded from time to time by other filings with the SEC. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to Urovant as of the date of this press release and speak only as of the date of this release. Urovant disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

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Source: Urovant Sciences