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Arcutis Hires Chief Medical Officer

Arcutis Biotherapeutics on Monday announced the appointment of Dr. Patrick Burnett as its chief medical officer effective Aug. 1. Burnett replaces Dr. Howard Welgus, who is retiring from Arcutis but will continue as a strategic advisor for the Westlake Village biopharmaceutical company. Welgus, who was with Pfizer Inc. for 10 years prior to joining the startup, will serve also as a member of the company’s board. “We are deeply indebted to Howard, a luminary in the field of dermatology for four decades, for his immense contributions to the formation of Arcutis and the development of our pipeline,” Frank Watanabe, chief executive of Arcutis, said in a statement. “Howard was the second employee at Arcutis and we consider him a core part of our DNA.” Prior to joining Arcutis, Burnett was chief medical officer at Verrica Pharmaceuticals in West Chester, Penn.; Verrica and Arcutis both focus on drug discovery for skin diseases. Burnett also held executive positions at Indian company Sun Pharmaceuticals and Swiss biopharma giant Novartis. Dan Estes, Arcutis founder and general partner at Frazier Life Sciences, will step down from the board of directors, the company added. “As we grow and evolve as a company, it’s natural that the composition of our board of directors evolves as well,” said Watanabe. “As an Arcutis founder, Dan’s extensive knowledge, strategic insights and wise counsel have been invaluable to our success to date.” Shares of Arcutis (ARQT) closed Monday up 69 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $27.97 on the Nasdaq. Arcutis announced its IPO at the beginning of this year, priced at $17 per share.

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