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Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

Former Kythera CEO Joins Board of Arcutis Biotherapeutics

Keith Leonard Jr., the former chief executive of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, has joined the board of Arcutis Biotherapeutics in Westlake Village.Leonard is currently chairman at biotech startup Unity Biotechnology, where he served as its chief executive from 2016 to 2020. He was the founder and chief executive of Kythera, a Westlake Village company that was acquired by Allergan in 2015 for $2.1 billion. Previously, Leonard held multiple executive positions with Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks.At Arcutis, Leonard will replace Dr. Ricky Sun, who cited personal reasons for his departure from the board.“As a sitting chair of a publicly listed biotechnology company, a former CEO of two public biotech companies and someone who has launched products at both large and emerging biopharmaceutical companies, Keith’s insights will be instrumental as we prepare for our first potential commercial launch of topical roflumilast,” Frank Watanabe, Arcutis’ chief executive, said in a statement.Arcutis is aiming to file an FDA submission for Topical Roflumilast Cream later this year. The cream was created for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and will be the company’s first product if everything goes according to plan.“I am impressed with Arcutis’ product candidates and the team’s dedication to providing important and effective solutions for dermatology patients that do not require a tradeoff between safety, efficacy and tolerability,” said Leonard in a statement.Shares of Arcutis (ARQT) closed down $1.05, or 4.85 percent, to $20.60 on the Nasdaq Tuesday, a day when the market closed up a fraction of a percent.

Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio “Tony” Pequeño IV is a reporter covering health care, finance and law for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. He specializes in reporting on some of the biggest names in the Valley’s biotechnology sector. In addition to his work with the Business Journal, Tony has reported with BuzzFeed News on the unsupervised use of Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition technology. Tony, who also conducts freelance reporting, graduated from the USC’s Master of Science in Journalism program in 2021. He is in his fifth year as a journalist as of 2021.

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