UPDATE: From Galderma spokeswoman Virginie Naigeon:
Francois Fournier has decided to leave his position as president of Fort Worth-based Galderma Laboratories, L.P. The company most recently announced the FDA approval of Mirvaso for the topical treatment of the facial erythema (redness) of rosacea. “I am proud to have completed the successful launch of Mirvaso, a game-changer in the treatment of patients suffering from rosacea. However, after an amazing 13 years with Galderma, I have decided it is time to pursue other professional opportunities and move on to the next phase of my career. This is not a decision that I have taken lightly and with the launch of Mirvaso and many interesting and exciting products to come, I am as confident as ever in the future of Galderma.”
François Fournier is no longer the president of Fort Worth-based pharmaceutical company Galderma U.S.A., just weeks after the company’s new rosacea drug Mirvaso hit the streets.
The move was announced via internal announcement Monday, Galderma spokeswoman Virginie Naigeon confirmed. She added that the company’s doctors had not yet been told, but would be later this week. A replacement has not yet been announced.
Mirvaso was touted by Fournier as a kind of wonder drug, temporarily removing the redness associated with rosacea.
“I think it’s important for me to reinforce that 16 million people have rosacea in the U.S.” he told D Healthcare Daily earlier this month. “It’s an inflammatory and vascular disease. It’s a chronic disease. And most of them have erythema and this product will bring a solution. There is a big market, they have a lot of patients suffering. Before this product, there was no product working.”
But since the product’s release, results have been mixed. Online rosacea message boards have roundly attacked the product, saying that the rebound flushing caused by the drug was worse than the initial redness itself.
“I’m nine days since my last Mirvosa application, and I am still feeling the bad effects from use,” wrote one user. “I used a very small amount for three days, on my nose mostly, spreading it out to my cheeks, but the rebound is affecting my whole face, including my chin, which never flushes. I’m starting to believe that the rebound is over, and that this is going to be a permanent deterioration of my condition due to the inflammation I experienced after I stopped use.”
Francois said he expected to roll out Misvaso internationally in the coming months. It is unclear whether the ouster had anything to do with Mirvaso’s side effects.
The 46-year-old French citizen has helmed the North American region of the Swiss pharma company since June 2009. Galderma focuses exclusively on dermatological products, including the successful Cetaphil line of over-the-counter lotions and skin-care products.
More information, including the company’s next president, will be announced later this week, Naigeon said.