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FSD Pharma bolsters management team with three key hires

Donal Carroll is the CFO, Dr Sandra Lottes head of clinical research of the BioSciences division, and Shahzad Shah COO

FSD Pharma - FSD Pharma bolsters management team
FSD Pharma recently scored a major milestone by receiving approval to uplist to the tech-laden Nasdaq

FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCMKTS:FSDDF), a specialty pharmaceutical research company focused on cannabinoids, said Thursday that it has strengthened its management team by appointing three key executives.

In a statement, the company said it tapped Donal Carroll, as chief financial officer and Dr Sandra Lottes, as vice president and head of clinical research of the BioSciences division, at FSD Pharma. It also appointed Shahzad Shah as the company’s chief operating officer.  

Carroll is not new to the role as he has been the company’s interim CFO since July 2018.

READ: FSD Pharma gets nod to uplist on Nasdaq

"We are very excited to have Donal Carroll transition into a permanent leadership role and are thrilled to welcome Dr Sandra Lottes and Shahzad Shah to the FSD Pharma executive team, as we begin to write the next chapter of FSD Pharma in the new year," said CEO Raza Bokhari.

"Carroll has a deep understanding of our core business and strategic outlook to transform FSD Pharma into a specialty pharmaceutical R&D company. We are fortunate to have Donal accept the role of full-time CFO, as we prepare to begin trading on the Nasdaq,” he added.

Carroll earlier worked with Danaher Corporation and US-headquartered Alberto Culver, which was acquired by Unilever. He was involved with major restructuring and M&A activities, and the implementation of new internal controls and ERP systems. He has been a director at Bird River Resources since September 2017, and also serves on the board of World-Class Extractions (CSE:PUMP), where he is the chairman of the audit committee.

He has CPA-CMA credentials, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University College Dublin, in Ireland.

Gearing up for Phase 1 safety trials

Meanwhile, Bokhari said new hire Dr Lottes brings almost “three decades” of pharmaceutical and healthcare industry experience to the company.

“Her expertise spans the drug development, commercialization and product lifecycle continuum that makes her an important and timely addition to the FSD Pharma Biosciences team as we prepare to launch Phase 1 human safety trials for our lead candidate, PP 101 micro-PEA,” said Bokhari.

This is the firm's pre-clinical drug candidate for the treatment of symptoms related to fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.

Lottes was the vice president of global clinical development and operations at United Biosource, a subsidiary of Express Scripts Inc. She also served as a key member of ESI Pharma Services leadership team responsible for the largest business unit across multiple global offices.

Dr Lottes earned an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Delaware and a doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science. She completed her post-doctorate fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacology at Hahnemann University Medical College. Dr Lottes has authored many articles and served on advisory boards in cardiology, gastroenterology, nephrology and biosimilars.

Boosting operational efficiency

The FSD Pharma boss also noted that the company’s third hire, Shah has “a proven track record” of bringing “operational efficiency” to organizations.

“I have worked with Shahzad in the past and I expect his experience to strike the right balance between market realities and investor expectations from FV Pharma,” said Bokhari.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary FV Pharma Inc, the group is a licensed producer under Canada's Cannabis Act, having received its cultivation license in October 2017 and its sale for medical purposes license in April 2019. 

In his last role, Shah was responsible for overseeing continuous improvement initiatives and managed a P&L of $500 million in revenue.

He holds an MBA from Queen's University, Kingston Ontario, engineering and human resources diplomas from Humber College, Toronto.

FSD Pharma is focused on the research and development of cannabinoid-based treatments for several central nervous system disorders including fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Headquartered at the former Kraft plant in Cobourg, Ontario, with large expansion potential, FSD also grows medical-grade cannabis at its 25,000 square foot facility in Ontario.

Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Quick facts: FSD Pharma

Price: 2.15 CAD

Market: CSE
Market Cap: $66.58 m

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