People in brief | June Raine, Nature’s Sunshine, Aytu

People in brief | June Raine, Nature’s Sunshine, Aytu
June Raine has been recognised in the New Year Honours List for 2022

5 January 2022 - Deborah Wilkes

June Raine – chief executive of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – is now a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE); Nature’s Sunshine Products has appointed two people to its Board of Directors; and Aytu BioPharma has recruited a new chief financial officer.

June Raine made a Dame

June Raine – chief executive of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – has been recognised in the New Year Honours List for 2022.

She is now a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

Raine was promoted to interim chief executive of the MHRA on 20 September 2019 (click here to read the News story).

She had previously been director of the MHRA's Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines (VRMM) division since 2016, and chaired the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from 2012-2018.

The New Year Honours List pointed out that the MHRA had “acted flexibly and at speed whilst continuing to meet the highest standards of safety and efficacy in its regulatory decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Decisions taken by Raine ensured that the MHRA’s laboratories operated through the pandemic carrying out vital work on the COVID-19 virus,” added the list. “Her direction ensured access to medicines and medical devices for patients suffering from COVID-19.”

The list also highlighted Raine’s international regulatory work.

Commenting on the honour, Raine said: “I am enormously honoured by this recognition of the substantial contribution which the MHRA has made to the nation’s response to COVID-19 over the past two years.”

“This is thanks to the dedication and commitment of all our talented staff, who work so tirelessly to make sure vaccines, therapeutics and medical devices are safe and effective for people across the UK,” Raine added.

Nature’s Sunshine adds two to Board

Nature’s Sunshine Products has appointed Curtis Kopf and Tess Roering to its Board of Directors.

The US-based vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) specialist said the board now consisted of 10 directors with nine serving as independent directors.

Terrence Moorehead, president and chief executive officer of Nature’s Sunshine, said Kopf had “extensive experience in creating digital customer experiences for global brands”.

Kopf is chief experience officer at Recreational Equipment, leading a team of more than 1,000 to deliver personalised experiences for 20 million members of the sports equipment company. He has also worked for Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Microsoft and Premera Blue Cross.

Commenting on the appointment of Roering, Moorehead said she had “extensive experience in creating omnichannel business strategies for global brands”.

Roering is a former chief commercial officer of yoga chain CorePower Yoga and head of marketing for Athleta, a division of clothing company Gap.

Aytu recruits new finance chief

Aytu BioPharma has recruited Mark Oki as chief financial officer with effect from 17 January 2022.

Oki joins Aytu from the US pharmaceutical company Vivus where he has been chief financial officer since 2015. Prior to joining Vivus, he worked for Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Incyte Genomics and Pharmacyclics.

He will be a member of Aytu’s Executive Committee and will report to chief executive officer Josh Disbrow.

Aytu focuses on commercialising novel therapeutics and consumer healthcare products.

The company reported sales of USD21.9 million in the three months ended 30 September 2021, representing a rise of 62% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Sales by the Consumer Health business increased by 3% to USD8.0 million.

Aytu entered the consumer healthcare market in 2019 by acquiring fellow US company Innovus Pharmaceuticals in a cash and shares deal worth up to USD24 million (click here to read the News story).

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