Ardelyx Strengthens Management Team with Appointment of Susan Rodriguez as Chief Commercial Officer

FREMONT, Calif., May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ardelyx, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARDX), a specialized biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative first-in-class medicines to improve treatment for people with kidney and cardiovascular diseases, today announced the appointment of Susan Rodriguez, an industry veteran with over 25 years of global pharmaceutical experience, as the company's first chief commercial officer. Ms. Rodriguez will be responsible for leading the commercial organization, including launch planning and strategy, as well as alliance management and business development.  

Ardelyx logo (PRNewsFoto/Ardelyx)

"We are very fortunate to have someone of Susan's caliber and successful track record join our management team," said Mike Raab, president and chief executive officer of Ardelyx. "Susan has a remarkable history of global marketing and sales leadership and has built commercial teams responsible for multi-billion-dollar drugs and portfolios. During her tenure at Abbott, she led the establishment of its U.S. renal commercial organization and oversaw numerous successful product launches. The implementation of her strategies resulted in favorable reimbursement and market access for patients. The breadth and depth of her relevant experience will serve us extremely well as we approach the potential approval of tenapanor in mid-2021. Ultimately, Susan's energy and strategic orientation, and her expertise and leadership will be instrumental to help advance us towards our goal of making tenapanor available to the many chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis whose serum phosphorus levels are uncontrolled."

Susan Rodriguez added, "I am thrilled to join Ardelyx at this exciting juncture as we approach the potential launch of tenapanor, the first non-binder treatment option for dialysis patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. The company is in a unique position with compelling clinical data for a drug candidate that is wholly-owned in major markets such as the U.S. and Europe. My passion is launching, establishing and building global brands and I look forward to leveraging the solid foundation the Ardelyx team has already built to position tenapanor for commercial success."

Ms. Rodriguez is a seasoned healthcare executive with extensive leadership experience across pharmaceutical, biopharma, hospital products, and nutrition segments in U.S. and international markets. Previously, Ms. Rodriguez served as the founding chief executive officer of Tolmar Pharmaceuticals, a U.S. commercial entity of marketed products, that was later merged with sister companies where she served as president of the branded division. Prior to Tolmar, Ms. Rodriguez held various positions at Abbott Laboratories, most recently divisional vice president of global marketing, establishing a global marketing function for a $3.8 billion international portfolio of nutrition brands. As divisional vice president, she directed strategic brand planning and commercial go-to-market strategies and programs for 11 global product launches. Earlier in her career, Ms. Rodriguez held several sales, marketing and commercial positions including, director, managed care at TAP Pharmaceuticals, professional sales representative at Merck Human Health Division and client manager at ARBOR, a pharmaceutical market research firm. Ms. Rodriguez holds a Master's and Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

About Ardelyx, Inc.
Ardelyx is focused on enhancing the way people with kidney and cardiovascular diseases are treated by developing innovative first-in-class medicines. Ardelyx's pipeline includes tenapanor for the control of serum phosphorus in adult patients with CKD on dialysis, for which the Company is preparing for NDA filing mid-year, and RDX013, a potassium secretagogue program for the potential treatment of high potassium, or hyperkalemia, a problem among certain patients with kidney and/or heart disease. In addition, Ardelyx received FDA approval of IBSRELA® (tenapanor) on September 12, 2019. Ardelyx has established agreements with Kyowa Kirin Corporation in Japan, Fosun Pharma in China and Knight Therapeutics in Canada for the development and commercialization of tenapanor in the respective territories.

Forward Looking Statements
To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Ardelyx, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor of the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995, including the potential for tenapanor to be approved for marketing by the FDA for the control of serum phosphorus in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis, and the potential for tenapanor to be successfully commercialized for such indication. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause the development of Ardelyx's product candidates or Ardelyx's future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties associated with the regulatory approval process, and uncertainties in the drug commercialization process. Ardelyx undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Ardelyx's business in general, please refer to Ardelyx's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 7, 2020, and its future current and periodic reports to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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