Press Release

Scilex Holding Company Strengthens Board of Directors with Appointment of Two Highly Accomplished Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Executives, Scott Whitcup, M.D. and Elizabeth Czerepak

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Scilex Holding Company (Scilex) today announced that it appointed Scott M. Whitcup, M.D. as lead independent director to its Board of Directors in May of this year. Dr. Whitcup is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akrivista, LLC and Whitecap Biosciences, LLC, two companies focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies in ophthalmology and dermatology.  Previously, Dr. Whitcup held various research and development roles from 2000 to 2015 at Allergan, Inc., including serving as Executive Vice President, Research and Development from 2004 to 2015 and Chief Scientific Officer from 2008 to 2015, where he was responsible for managing global research and development, including discovery, clinical development, portfolio planning, medical affairs and technology assessment for in-licensing and participated in many commercial launches in ophthalmology, CNS, urology, dermatology, and anti-infective products.  Before Allergan, Dr. Whitcup was the Clinical Director at the National Eye Institute at the NIH, and Chaired the NIH Medical Executive Committee.  Dr. Whitcup holds a B.A. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College.  Dr. Whitcup currently serves on the board of Menlo Therapeutics Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, and Anivive Lifesciences, Inc., a private veterinary health company.  Dr. Whitcup previously served on the board of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from November 2005 to January 2014 and Nightstar Therapeutics plc from May 2017 to June 2019.

“I’m excited to join Scilex’s Board and collaborate with other Board members and Scilex’s executive leadership team to contribute to the company’s mission of developing and delivering innovative medicines for patients living with chronic pain,” said Dr. Whitcup.  “During my twenty-five-plus year career in biopharma as both an executive and an independent director, I’ve had multiple opportunities to help companies grow strategically.  I look forward to bringing my expertise and experience to Scilex as an independent Board member.”

Elizabeth Czerepak has also joined the Board of Directors of Scilex, as chair of the audit committee.  Ms. Czerepak brings more than 35 years of experience across pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and venture capital. Ms. Czerepak currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Genevant Sciences, Inc., a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, MA. From April 2015 to May 2018, Ms. Czerepak served as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Altimmune, Inc. a publicly-traded immunotherapeutics biotechnology company. From April 2014 to April 2015, she was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Isarna Therapeutics Inc., a therapeutics company that developed selective transforming growth factor beta inhibitors to fight cancer and to treat ophthalmic and fibrotic diseases. From January 2011 to March 2014, she served as the Chief Financial Officer, Secretary, Principal Accounting Officer and Head of Human Resources of Cancer Genetics, Inc., a company that develops, commercializes and provides molecular and biomarker-based tests. Prior to that, she served as a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bear Stearns & Co., and as a General Partner at Bear Stearns Health Innoventures L.P., a venture capital fund. Ms. Czerepak currently serves on the board of directors of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. She received her B.A. from Marshall University in Spanish and Mathematics Education and her MBA from Rutgers University.

“I look forward to serving on Scilex’s Board with enthusiasm and great commitment.  I am excited about Scilex’s bright future in the field of chronic pain,” said Elizabeth Czerepak.

“We are pleased to welcome Scott and Elizabeth, two seasoned and highly-regarded leaders in our industry as new independent directors to the Scilex Board,” said Jaisim Shah, President and CEO of Scilex. “They are joining Scilex at an exciting time as we continue to fulfill our vision to be the leading pain management company delivering novel non-opioid and non­addictive treatments for safe and durable relief of multiple chronic pain conditions. The addition of these directors complements our Board of Directors’ skills and experiences, and we are confident they will provide valuable perspectives as we enhance value to our stockholders. We look forward to their contributions and are excited they chose Scilex.”

About Scilex Holding Company

Scilex Holding Company, a majority-owned subsidiary of Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE), Inc., is a commercial-stage, non-opioid pain management company focused on the development and commercialization of topical and injectable therapies.  Scilex targets indications with high unmet needs and large market opportunities with non-opioid therapies for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe chronic pain.  Scilex launched its first commercial product in October 2018 and is developing its late-stage pipeline, which includes a pivotal Phase 3 candidate and a Phase 2 candidate.  Its commercial product, ZTlido® (lidocaine topical system) 1.8%, or ZTlido, is a prescription lidocaine topical product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the relief of pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia, which is a form of post-shingles nerve pain.  Scilex’s two product candidates are SP-102 (10 mg, dexamethasone sodium phosphate viscous gel), or SEMDEXA™, a Phase 3, novel, viscous gel formulation of a widely used corticosteroid for epidural injections to treat lumbosacral radicular pain, or sciatica, and SP-103 (lidocaine topical system) 5.4%, or SP-103, a Phase 2, next-generation, triple-strength formulation of ZTlido, for the treatment of chronic low back pain.

Media and Investor Relations

Michael Faerm, Chief Business Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer, Scilex Holding Company

Telephone: 650-516-4310


ZTlido® is a trademark owned by Scilex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

SEMDEXA™ (SP-102) is a trademark owned by Semnur Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  A proprietary name review by the FDA is planned.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This press release is being made pursuant to, and in accordance with, Rule 135 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act.