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KemPharm, Inc. Appoints Gordon K. "Rusty" Johnson as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- KemPharm, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new, safer therapies to treat pain, announced today the appointment of Gordon K. "Rusty" Johnson as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). 

As COO and CFO of KemPharm, Mr. Johnson will join KemPharm's executive management team and will be responsible for enhancing the company's financial and operational initiatives and the ongoing development of KP201.  KP201 is KemPharm's lead clinical candidate in development for the treatment of acute moderate to moderately severe pain. KemPharm anticipates submitting a new drug application (NDA) for KP201 to the FDA in the second quarter of 2014.

Travis C. Mickle, Ph.D., president and CEO of KemPharm, commented, "Adding an executive with Rusty's industry knowledge and transactional expertise is a tremendous achievement for KemPharm as we continue to advance the clinical and regulatory development of KP201 and our entire pipeline.  In particular, Rusty's diverse investment banking background is exactly what KemPharm needs to propel our strategy forward as we seek to bring a new class of prescription opioid to the market; one that simultaneously deters abuse and reduces opioid-induced constipation."

Mr. Johnson's career is highlighted by over 30 years of investment banking experience including strategic financial advisory, corporate finance and sales & trading responsibilities at firms that include Piper Jaffray & Co.; WR Hambrecht + Co; Deutsche Bank; Kidder, Peabody & Co. and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Mr. Johnson has led a wide variety of public offerings, private financings and advisory assignments across multiple industries as well as 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 (Vyvanse®), with Shire PLC in a $500 million transaction that ultimately led to the sale of New River to 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.

Rusty Johnson commented, "KP201, KemPharm's novel pain drug candidate, has the potential to truly redefine the pain therapeutic and prescription opioid market given its ability to both deter abuse and reduce OIC.  I'm honored to join KemPharm's executive team and I welcome the opportunity to leverage my experience to enable the company to capitalize on what I believe to be an industry-changing therapeutic and technology platform."

Mr. Johnson received his B.A. in Biology from the University of Missouri and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

About KemPharm
KemPharm is abiopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new chemical entities (NCEs) to treat serious medical conditions through its proprietary and broadly applicable Ligand Activated Therapy (LAT) approach.  The company utilizes its LAT technology to generate improved prodrug versions of FDA approved drugs in the high needs areas of pain, ADHD and other CNS diseases.  KemPharm's lead clinical candidate, KP201, is in development for the treatment of acute moderate to moderately severe pain with a new drug application (NDA) expected to be filed in the second quarter of 2014. Composed of hydrocodone chemically bound to a ligand, KP201 offers unique physicochemical and pharmacological attributes that may deliver additional patient benefits, including reduced potential for abuse and reduction or elimination of opioid-induced constipation (OIC). KemPharm's pipeline is also highlighted by KP511, its hydromorphone prodrug for pain, and KP415, a prodrug of methylphenidate for the treatment of ADHD.  For more information on KemPharm, please visit the company's website at

 For KemPharm, Inc:Media / Investor Contacts:Christal Mickle

Jason Rando / Claire Sojda319-665-2575

Tiberend Strategic Advisors, 

SOURCE KemPharm, Inc.
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