Drug delivery expert helps Taris through bladder disease trials

Taris Biomedical has tapped a drug-delivery expert to help take over the helm of the Lexington, MA, based specialty pharmaceutical company. Sarma Duddu, formerly a VP for drug delivery technologies at Cima Labs, a subsidiary of drugmaker Cephalon, has been named president and CEO of Taris.

Taris calls itself a pioneer in "drug-device convergence," and its focus is on local, sustained delivery of drugs to treat bladder diseases. The company's main product is its lidocaine-releasing intravesical system (LiRIS), which is inserted into the bladder and, over a period of weeks, releases pain-killing lidocaine. The technology was developed by MIT, supported by the Deshpande Center. Duddu's credentials in drug delivery technology run deep. Before Cephalon, he served as VP of pharmaceutical development at Nektar Therapeutics (formerly Inhale Therapeutic Systems), a drug delivery company based in San Carlos, CA.

As Xconomy's Luke Timmerman reported back in December, Taris passed its first clinical trial for interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome. Timmerman reports that Taris has been able to move through the clinical trials stages fairly quickly because, according to company cofounder Christine Bunt, the FDA and NIH recognize that there are few options out there now for those who suffer from interstitial cystitis.

"Taris has truly novel drug-device convergence product candidates in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical need, and I am excited to accept this opportunity to take TARIS to the next stage of its development," Duddu said in a statement.

- read the Taris release
- and here's an Xconomy article on Taris