Discovery Laboratories, a specialty biotechnology company dedicated to advancing a new standard in respiratory critical care, has strengthened its scientific leadership. Effective immediately, Steve Simonson, M.D., M.H.S., has joined the company as vice president, Clinical Development, and Lawrence Weinstein has joined as vice president, Medical Device Development.
Simonson will oversee all aspects of clinical research, with responsibility for design and execution of clinical trials, and Weinstein will oversee all aspects of medical device research, design and development. Their initial focus will be on the development of AEROSURF, Discovery Labs' combination drug/device product, which currently is in phase II development to provide KL4 surfactant therapy through nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants. Both Simonson and Weinstein will report to Dr. Russell Clayton, Discovery Labs' senior vice president, R&D.
"Though the initial focus of both Steve and Larry will be on AEROSURF and premature infants born at risk for respiratory distress syndrome, our KL4 surfactant and drug delivery technology has the potential to address a significant number of additional diseases where surfactant deficiency is a problem," said Clayton.
Simonson spent 15 years at AstraZeneca in medical and clinical leadership roles, primarily in the pulmonary and infection therapeutic areas. He has been involved in or led several successful IND and NDA filings including the Pulmicort Turbuhaler M3 NDA, which was approved for treatment of asthma. He spent two years as vice president of Clinical Development at Agennix. Most recently, Simonson was an executive director in the Molecule Development Group at Covance, a biopharmaceutical development services company, where he applied his experience to developing clinical programs for small and mid-size biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Simonson completed training in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
Weinstein spent nine years with PARI Respiratory Equipment. He was with PARI Innovative Manufacturers, leading manufacturing, quality, regulatory and engineering for North American operations including the successful launch of several respiratory products, culminating in his tenure as vice president and director of Product Technology. Weinstein also was both president of Hydrate, where he worked in capillary-based vaporization and led all aspects of development, manufacturing, marketing and sales, and senior vice president of Operations for PRE Holding. Previously, he was director of Technology for DHD Healthcare, and worked in several roles of increasing responsibility within Cordis. Most recently, he was president and chief operating officer for ALR Technologies.