SHELTON, Conn., Dec. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CARA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus by selectively targeting kappa opioid receptors, today announced the appointment of Joseph Stauffer, D.O., as Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Stauffer will oversee the clinical development of Cara's lead compound, CR845, as well as its pipeline of other novel pain therapies.
"We are pleased to have Joe join the Cara development team," said Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cara Therapeutics. "His successful track record in advancing novel therapeutics through clinical development, regulatory approval and commercial launch will benefit Cara well as we advance I.V. CR845 into Phase 3 registration trials for acute pain and continue development of an oral tablet formulation of CR845 for both acute and chronic pain indications."
Dr. Stauffer brings to Cara more than 15 years of pain development and regulatory experience having served as Chief Medical Officer at numerous specialty pharmaceutical companies including Ikaria, Inc. and Alpharma. While at Alpharma, prior to the company's acquisition by King Pharmaceuticals, he led the clinical development program for EMBEDA, the first abuse-deterrent long-acting opioid analgesic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to getting his industry start as the Global Medical Director for Pain Therapeutics at Abbott Laboratories, Dr. Stauffer served as a Medical Review Officer in the FDA's Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Division of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, where he reviewed regulatory filings for a variety of pain and anti-inflammatory compounds. Dr. Stauffer has also been a founding member of several FDA, industry and academic working groups including the Analgesic Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities and Networks (ACTTION) and the Initiative on Methods, Measurement and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT).
"I am pleased to be joining Cara at this exciting time in the development of CR845," said Dr. Stauffer. "There is a tremendous unmet need for new approaches to treating pain, without the common opioid side effects and, more importantly, the potential for abuse. It's clear from the clinical data generated to date, including the recently reported human abuse liability results, that CR845 possesses significant potential to change our approach to managing pain, and reduce the need for traditional opioids and the risks they present."
Dr. Stauffer graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. He maintains an appointment as part-time Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Stauffer is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Commander after serving eight years as a Naval Medical Officer. In addition, he holds an M.B.A. as a joint degree (TRIUM) granted by New York University's Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science and HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales) School of Management in Paris.
About Cara Therapeutics
Cara Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus by selectively targeting kappa opioid receptors. Cara is developing a novel and proprietary class of product candidates that target the body's peripheral nervous system and have demonstrated efficacy in patients with moderate-to-severe pain without inducing many of the undesirable side effects typically associated with currently available pain therapeutics.