President, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board; Co-Founder
Dr. Mickle co-founded KemPharm Inc. in 2006 with the invention of the company’s LAT (Ligand Activated Therapy) prodrug platform. As President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board he oversees KemPharm’s business and scientific strategy and is instrumental in the ongoing development of the company’s pipeline of proprietary prodrugs.
Prior to founding KemPharm, Dr. Mickle served as Director of Drug Discovery and CMC at New River Pharmaceuticals where he was the principal inventor of Vyvanse®, a prodrug of amphetamine for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Today, Vyvanse is the branded market share leader in the estimated $15 billion plus ADHD market. The success of Vyvanse along with a robust pipeline of prodrugs targeting ADHD, pain and thyroid dysfunctions, which Dr. Mickle was responsible for creating, led to New River Pharmaceuticals being acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals, PLC for $2.6 billion.
During his career, Dr. Mickle has been granted 44 US patents, 21 EP (Europe) patents and has authored more than 100 patent applications US and worldwide, primarily focused on abuse-deterrent prodrugs in pain management and mental health, including multiple patents for prodrugs of hydrocodone and methyphendiate. He is also the principal or secondary investigator on several published abstracts and publications.
Dr. Mickle received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa and his B.A. degree from Simpson College.
Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer
As Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. Clifton is responsible for the company's financial, operating and compliance activities. Mr. Clifton brings to KemPharm significant public company experience, along with expertise in managed care contracting and strategic leadership covering operations, compliance, investor relations and business development.
Prior to joining KemPharm, Mr. Clifton served as the Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of The LGL Group, Inc., a publicly-held global producer of highly-engineered electronic components and services. Mr. Clifton also previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of a21, Inc., a publicly-held holding company with businesses in stock photography and the online retail and manufacture of framed art, as well as a variety of finance, medical cost analysis, and managed care provider contracting roles with Aetna, Inc.
Mr. Clifton was an auditor with KPMG, LLP, and received his B.B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of North Florida. Mr. Clifton is a certified public accountant licensed in the state of Florida.
Chief Business Officer
As Chief Business Officer, Mr. Johnson leverages his more than 30 years of life sciences investment banking experience at firms that include Rodman & Renshaw; Piper Jaffray & Co.; WR Hambrecht + Co; Deutsche Bank; Kidder, Peabody & Co. and Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior to becoming Chief Business Officer, Mr. Johnson served as KemPharm’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer where he was instrumental in leading the company’s IPO and, prior to that, its first institutional private financing.
Immediately prior to joining KemPharm, Mr. Johnson was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Citius Pharmaceuticals, and before that he was Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Direct Markets, Inc.
Mr. Johnson has led a wide variety of public offerings, private financings and strategic advisory assignments for life sciences companies including, most recently, ADMA Biologics, Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Avalon Pharmaceuticals, and Clinical Data. For New River Pharmaceuticals he led both the company’s IPO and its global strategic partnering process which resulted in the partnering of New River’s lead compound, NRP-104 (later Vyvanse®), with Shire PLC in a $500 million transaction that ultimately led to New River being acquired by Shire for $2.6 billion. Mr. Johnson’s direct healthcare industry experience includes both pharmaceutical marketing for The Upjohn Company as well as consulting to several life sciences companies.
Mr. Johnson received his B.A. degree in Biology from the University of Missouri and his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.
Executive Vice President of Research & Development
As Executive Vice President of Research & Development, Dr. Guenther leads KemPharm’s research team and plays a central role in the advancement of the company’s pipeline of NME prodrugs and the development of new products that utilize KemPharm’s proprietary LAT discovery platform to improve one or more of the attributes of approved drugs.
Prior to joining KemPharm, Dr. Guenther served as a research scientist for New River Pharmaceuticals, where he was part of the development team for Vyvanse®. He is inventor on a number of patents and patent applications and author of several research papers.
Dr. Guenther received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa.
Executive Vice President, Government and Public Relations
As Executive Vice President, Government and Public Relations, Mr. Cohen is responsible for leading KemPharm’s public policy and public communications strategies. With nearly 40 years’ experience, Mr. Cohen is widely regarded as an influential thought leader in the abuse deterrent formulation (ADF) industry, currently serving as the Forum Chair of the Abuse Deterrent Coalition, representing nearly 30 ADF manufacturers, patient advocates and related organizations seeking to expand access to ADF technologies. In addition, he is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital Network, a 129 bed, $105m annual revenue specialty hospital.
Prior to joining KemPharm, Mr. Cohen was the consulting Head of North American Government Relations for Grünenthal USA, a biopharmaceutical company that is developing abuse deterrent formulations for opioid analgesics, and was Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Health Policy with the obesity medical device manufacturer, EnteroMedics, Inc. During his tenure at EnteroMedics, Mr. Cohen was part of the senior management team that led the successful 2015 FDA approval of the first new obesity medical device for consumer health since 2001.
Mr. Cohen has worked in Washington, D.C. since 1979 and has led legislative policy and governmental regulatory relations programs for multiple companies and organizations, managing public policy, investor relations, and political functions at the state, national and global levels. Career highlights include serving as Managing Director, Global Government Relations for The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, as the senior legislative liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an Alternate Delegate of the United States to the United Nations, and earlier served as Legislative Director for two Congressmen on Capitol Hill and in various campaign positions at the Presidential, Congressional, State and local levels. He has held senior executive positions with several medical device and healthcare corporations, including US Oncology, Allergan Corporation, and Inamed Corp (acquired by Allergan in 2006).
Mr. Cohen earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Willamette University and received a master’s degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University.
Vice President of Operations and Product Development; Co-Founder
Ms. Mickle co-founded KemPharm Inc. in 2006 and has held a variety of positions at the company including Vice President and Group Leader, Secretary, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and her current position as Vice President Operations and Product Development. Since its inception, Ms. Mickle has played an integral part in the start-up and ongoing growth and operations of KemPharm.
Prior to founding KemPharm, she served as a Research Associate for New River Pharmaceuticals preparing compounds in the areas of ADHD, pain, and thyroid dysfunctions for further study.
Ms. Mickle received her M.A. degree from the University of Virginia and her B.A. and B.S. degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Vice President, Manufacturing
Dr. Lauderback has served as KemPharm’s Vice President, Manufacturing since March 2016, having previously held the position of Vice President, Clinical Operations since September 2012. Prior to joining KemPharm, Dr. Lauderback was the Senior Manager of CMC Scientific Affairs at Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, from June 2009 to September 2012. From 2008 to 2009, Dr. Lauderback worked as the Associate Director, CMC Development at AirBase Therapeutics, LLC. Dr. Lauderback started his career at New River Pharmaceuticals, where he served as a Senior Scientist from 2001 to 2006 and as the Associate Director, CMC Development from 2006 to 2007. Dr. Lauderback received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Kentucky and his B.S. degree from Emory and Henry College.
Vice President, Clinical Development