Skip to Content

We are a focused organization with the expertise and insights to advance innovative new therapies.

With demonstrated clinical development and commercialization expertise, VIVUS is dedicated to addressing the therapeutic needs of patients with serious medical conditions and life-limiting diseases.

We develop high-potential molecules that have compelling safety and efficacy potential, and transform them into proprietary products that enable significant advances in patient care and outcomes.

We strive to meet our goals of improving patient quality of life, giving healthcare providers new treatment options, providing a collaborative environment for our employees and creating value for our shareholders.

Corporate Executive Team


Board of Directors

Seth H. Z. Fischer

Seth H. Z. Fischer has served as the Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company since September 3, 2013. Mr. Fischer served in positions of increasing responsibility with Johnson & Johnson, a public healthcare company, from 1983 until his retirement in 2012. Most recently, Mr. Fischer served as Company Group Chairman, Johnson & Johnson, and Worldwide Franchise Chairman, Cordis Corporation, from 2008 to 2012, which included responsibility for Cordis and Biosense Webster, and as Company Group Chairman, North America Pharmaceuticals from 2004 to 2007, which included responsibility for Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Scios, Inc. Prior to this position, Mr. Fischer served as President of Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals from 2000 to 2004, with his operating responsibilities encompassing the commercialization of products in multiple therapeutic categories including Topamax® for epilepsy and migraine and products in the analgesic, anti-infective, cardiovascular, neurologic, psychiatric and women’s health areas.

Mr. Fischer has served on the board of BioSig Technologies, Inc., a public medical device company, since 2013. He has also served on the board of Agile Therapeutics, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, since July 2016, and on the board of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, since September 2016. From April 2013 to September 2013, Mr. Fischer served on the board of Trius Therapeutics, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, until it was acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Fischer holds a Bachelor of General Studies from Ohio University and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

 

John L. Slebir, Esq

John L. Slebir, Esq. joined VIVUS in September 2009. Since January 2014, Mr. Slebir has served as our Senior Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel, and, since June 2012, he also has served as our Secretary. From June 2011 until January 2014, Mr. Slebir served as our Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel, from January 2011 until June 2011, he served as our Vice President, General Counsel, and, from September 2009 until January 2011, he served as our General Counsel on a part-time basis. From March 1999 to January 2011, Mr. Slebir served as an attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., specializing in corporate securities and corporate governance. Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., Mr. Slebir was an attorney at two prominent Bay Area law firms specialized in insurance defense litigation. Mr. Slebir holds a B.A. in Communications from San Diego State University and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

 

Mark K. Oki

Mr. Oki has been Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer since October 2015. Prior to joining VIVUS, Mr. Oki served as Chief Financial Officer of Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company, from July 2012 to October 2015, as Principal Accounting Officer from May 2010 to October 2015, as Principal Financial Officer and Secretary from December 2011 to October 2015, as Vice President, Finance and Controller from February 2010 to July 2012, and as Controller from April 2006 to February 2010. From June 2001 to April 2006, Mr. Oki served as the Controller of Pharmacyclics, Inc., a publicly traded development stage pharmaceutical company. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Oki held several positions at Incyte Genomics, Inc., now Incyte Corporation, a publicly traded company, including most recently as Assistant Controller. From 1992 to 1997, he held several positions at Deloitte & Touche LLP, a public accounting firm. Mr. Oki received a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from San Jose State University.

 

Santosh T. Varghese

Dr. Varghese has been the company’s Vice President, Chief Medical Officer since January 2016. From October 2013 to December 2015, Dr. Varghese served as the company’s Vice President, Medical & Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilance, and QA. He joined the company in March 2012 as Vice President, Head of Medical Affairs. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Varghese was Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs at Élan Pharmaceuticals where he lead Medical Affairs teams responsible for the BioNeurology portfolio. He held the position of Vice President Primary Care & Cardiovascular in Global Medical Affairs at Schering-Plough/Merck, and also held senior roles at Aventis/Sanofi-Aventis where he contributed to both US and global brand strategy and tactics. Dr. Varghese has served on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association - New York, and was on faculty at Touro University College of Medicine. Dr. Varghese earned his M.D. from St. George's University School of Medicine, and B.S. in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. He completed his medical training in the Caribbean, United States, and United Kingdom.

 

Deborah Larsen

Ms. Larsen has been Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer since December 2017. Prior to that, starting in January 2016, she was Vice President, Marketing overseeing Consumer and Professional Communications, Market Access and Business Analytics. She joined VIVUS in February 2015 as Director of Marketing. Prior to joining VIVUS, Ms. Larsen held Global Marketing roles with GSK Consumer Healthcare from 2007 to 2014, with a leadership role in the obesity business since 2010. From 1996 to 2007, Ms. Larsen held the position of Sr. V.P., Management Supervisor at ICC, a Healthcare Communications Agency based in New Jersey. From 1987 to 1996, Ms. Larsen served in several Marketing and Brand Management positions at Novartis. From 2013 to 2014, Ms. Larsen also served on the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Metro Chapter. Ms. Larsen has a B.S. in Biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 

Ted Broman

Mr. Broman has been Vice President, Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control since February 2009. Mr. Broman joined VIVUS in January 2006 as Senior Director, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control. Prior to joining VIVUS, Mr. Broman was Executive Director, Project Management at Durect, Inc. from 2001 to 2005. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Broman held Senior Management positions in Operation and Project Management at Matrix Pharmaceutical, Inc. From 1988 to 1994 he was Director, Analytical Services at Cygnus, Inc. and from 1976 to 1988, Mr. Broman served in several positions in Syntex Laboratories, Syntex Chemicals Group, Corporate Quality Assurance, and Corporate Technical Services. Mr. Broman has a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

Sandra E. Wells

Dr. Wells has been Vice President, Patents and Assistant General Counsel since January 2014. From June 2012 to December 2013, Dr. Wells served as the Senior Director of Legal Affairs. Prior to joining VIVUS, Dr. Wells was in-house counsel at Affymetrix, Inc. from 2002 to 2012, serving as Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel from 2008 to 2012. In this role she was responsible for overseeing the company’s patent and trademark portfolios and managing patent litigation. Dr. Wells received her B.A. in biology from Whitman College, her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from U.C. Santa Cruz and completed postdoctoral studies in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at U.C. Berkeley where she was a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow. She received her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and has been admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

 

David York Norton

David York Norton has served as a Director of the Company since July 2013. Mr. Norton was Company Group Chairman, Global Pharmaceuticals for Johnson & Johnson, until his retirement in September 2011. Mr. Norton began his Johnson & Johnson career in 1979, and held a number of positions at the company, including Company Group Chairman, Worldwide Commercial and Operations for the CNS, Internal Medicine franchise, Company Group Chairman for the pharmaceutical businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Company Group Chairman for the pharmaceutical businesses in North America. Mr. Norton currently serves as a Director of INC Research Inc., where he has been a member of the Board since January 2015, a Director of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development since December 2012 and a member and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Mr. Norton previously served as a Director of Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc., ( 2011 -2013) and as Senior Advisor to Tapestry Networks. Mr. Norton is a graduate of Control Data Institute, Australia and the College of Distributive Trades, London UK.

 

Thomas B. King

Thomas B. King has served as a director of the Company since May 24, 2017. Mr. King has been an independent biotechnology consultant since August 2016. From June 2003 to August 2016, Mr. King served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company. Prior to that, from September 2002 to April 2003, Mr. King served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Cognetix, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical development-stage company. From January 1994 to February 2001, Mr. King held various senior executive positions at Anesta Corporation, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, including President and Chief Executive Officer from January 1997 to October 2000, and was a member of the board of directors until it was acquired by Cephalon, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. King currently serves on the board of directors of Faraday Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Satsuma Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Concentric Analgesics, Inc., all privately-held biotechnology companies. Mr. King also serves as a Venture Advisor at SPIRE Bioventures, a multi-disciplinary consortium aiding biotechnology entrepreneurs, and as an Advisory Board Member of the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute. Mr. King received a B.A. in chemistry from McPherson College and an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas Graduate School of Business.

 

Jorge Plutzky

Jorge Plutzky, M.D. has served as a director of the Company since May 2013. Since 1996, he has served as the Director of The Vascular Disease Prevention Program, which includes the Lipid/Prevention Clinic, in the Cardiovascular Medicine Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he is also Co-Director of Preventive Cardiology. Since 1995, he has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Plutzky has been a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation since 2009 and Ember Therapeutics since 2012. Dr. Plutzky has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Plutzky has been recognized with the Eugene Braunwald Teaching Award, the University of Cologne’s Klenk Lecture, Vanderbilt University’s Rabin Lecture, Northwestern University’s DeStevens Lecture, and Harvard Medical School’s Tucker Collins Lecture. Dr. Plutzky holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He completed research fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Eric W. Roberts

Eric W. Roberts has served as a director of the Company since September 15, 2015. Since January 2012, Mr. Roberts has been a founding Managing Director of Valence Life Sciences, LLC, a life sciences venture capital firm. From 2004 to 2012, Mr. Roberts was a founding Managing Director of Caxton Advantage Venture Partners, an investment firm. From 1986 to 2004, Mr. Roberts served in a variety of roles as an investment banker, including as Managing Director, Partner and Founder of the Life Sciences Department at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., an investment bank which merged to become UBS AG, and Managing Director and Co-Head of the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Lehman Brothers, a former global services financial firm. Mr. Roberts currently serves on the board of directors of Invuity, Inc., a publicly traded medical technology company, and Chinook Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company. He also served on the board of directors of Gemin X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company, from 2007 through its sale to Cephalon, Inc. (now Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.) in 2011. Mr. Roberts holds a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Herman Rosenman

Herman Rosenman has served as a Director of the Company since July 2013. Mr. Rosenman was Chief Financial Officer at Natera Inc., a leading innovator in prenatal genetic testing, from January 2014 to January 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Rosenman served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Gen-Probe, Inc. (currently, Hologic, Inc.), a molecular diagnostic company, from June 2001 to October 2012. Prior to joining Gen-Probe, Mr. Rosenman was President and Chief Executive Officer of Ultra Acquisition Corp., a retail chain and consumer products manufacturer, and prior to that he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of RadNet Management, Inc., and as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Rexene Corp., a Fortune 1000 company in the petrochemicals industry. Mr. Rosenman was previously a partner at Coopers & Lybrand (currently, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), where he served numerous Fortune 1,000 clients, principally in the pharmaceuticals and telecommunications industries. Mr. Rosenman currently serves on the Board of Directors of BioFire Diagnostics, Inc., a private company. Mr. Rosenman received a B.B.A. in finance and accounting from Pace University and an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Allan L. Shaw

Allan L. Shaw has served as a director of the Company since September 15, 2015. From January 2016 to February 2017, Mr. Shaw was the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly listed clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Shaw was Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal LLC, a global professional services firm, and led their biopharmaceutical consulting practice, from December 2011 to March 2015, and supported the firm on an ad hoc basis from March 2015 to October 2015. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of NewLead Holdings LTD., a publicly traded global shipping company. From 2005 to 2009, he was the founder and Senior Managing Director of Shaw Strategic Capital LLC, an international financial advisory firm, focused on providing strategic financial counsel on a wide variety of issues such as general corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, capital structuring, licensing and capital markets. From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Shaw was the Chief Financial Officer of Serono S.A., a publicly traded global biotechnology company, and from 1994 to 2001, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Viatel, Inc., a publicly traded international communications company. Mr. Shaw serves on the board of directors of Edith & Carl Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, a nonprofit organization. He also served on the board of directors of Akari Therapeutics, Plc. from 2013 to 2016, the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (formerly Central New York—Biotech Research Center) from 2009 to 2013, NewLead Holdings LTD. from 2009 to 2011, Navios Maritime Holdings, Inc. from 2005 to 2010, Serono S.A. as an Executive Management Board Member from 2002 to 2004 and Viatel Inc. from 1996 to 2002. He has contributed to several corporate governance books and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York Society of Certified Public Accountants and Corporate Directors Group. Mr. Shaw received a B.S. from the State University of New York (Oswego College) and is a certified public accountant in the State of New York. Mr. Shaw’s qualifications as a director include his extensive leadership experience as a Chief Financial Officer, his diverse industry background in companies of ranging sizes, and his broad base of expertise with capital markets and operational expertise with a view toward corporate governance, risk management and leadership.

 

Other Links & Resources

You are about to leave the VIVUS Inc. website

Links to third-party websites on VIVUS.com are provided solely for your convenience.

VIVUS Inc. does not control the content contained on any third-party website linked from this website. Activities on third-party websites will be governed by the policies and terms of use of those third parties.