MannKind Corp.’s board of directors appointed Michael Castagna as chief executive office and to the board, the company said Monday. The changes took effect May 25.
The Valencia-based biomedical company markets Afrezza, an inhalable form of insulin.
Castagna replaces Matthew Pfeffer, who served as CEO and chief financial officer since January 2016 and as CFO from 2008 to 2016. Pfeffer will continue with the company in an advisory capacity until the end of July 2017.
“The Board is extremely grateful to Matt for his committed service to the company over the past nine years,” board chair Kent Kresa said in a statement. He added that Pfeffer “successfully set the foundation for the company during its transition into a commercial entity and effectively prepared Michael to be his successor.”
As chief commercial officer, Castagna “built the capabilities from the bottom up necessary to position Afrezza and the company for future growth,” Kresa said. New prescriptions of Afrezza have shown a steady increase since the MannKind launch and future prospects for this innovative product are strong, Kresa said.
Prior to joining MannKind, Castagna spent three years with Amgen Inc., as vice president, global commercial lead for a portfolio of nine biosimilar drugs, and vice president, global lifecycle management.
Prior to Amgen, Castagna was executive director of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s immunology franchise. He also has worked at Sandoz (Novartis), EMD (Merck), Serono, Pharmasset and DuPont Pharmaceuticals.
He received his bachelors of pharmacy degree from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, his doctor of pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Our inhaled insulin, Afrezza, is a truly differentiated brand that will help millions of people suffering from diabetes, said Castagna in the company’s statement. “Our relentless focus on empowering people to conquer the daily struggle of managing their diabetes will set MannKind apart.”
Rose Alinaya, the company’s senior vice president and principal accounting officer, will serve as acting chief financial officer until a permanent CFO is named.
MannKind’s stock rose 12 percent to $1.70 as of 1 p.m. Pacific Time May 30 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.