In the race to build a credible brand in the medical marijuana space, Vancouver-based Aurora Cannabis (TSXV:ACB) took a step forward Wednesday with the appointment of Merus Labs CEO Barry Fishman to its board as an independent director. Fishman brings more than general knowledge of the space, having already served on the boards of Canadian cannabis pubcos Canopy Growth Corp. and Bedrocan Cannabis Corp.
“Barry is an outstanding addition to the Board, bringing extensive marketing, finance and capital markets experience, and further enhancing our corporate governance,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth of the appointment. “His network and reputation, along with his wise judgment, will serve the Company and our shareholders well as we continue on our rapid growth trajectory, which includes expanding our production capacity, transitioning to profitable operations, and further establishing our leadership position in the Canadian cannabis industry.”
Fishman, an industry veteran previously with Teva Canada and Eli Lilly, assumed the role of CEO at Merus after the sudden resignation of Elie Farah two years ago. He says Aurora has already distinguished itself from the 35-deep crowd of Canadian licensed medical marijuana producers in Canada.
“I am delighted to join Aurora, and to become part of this dynamic team that will continue to provide leadership and drive innovation in the cannabis sector,” he said. “This Company has been a standout in terms of its rapid growth, management and Board strength, disciplined execution of its strategic plan, and vision for the future of the industry. I look forward to playing a key role in Aurora’s governance and strategic decision-making.”
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Fishman will be compensated with an options package that give him the right to acquire 350,000 common shares of Aurora at $2.38 per share.
Vancouver-based Merus Labs, which was founded in 2011, is a specialty pharma hopeful focused on commercializing mature assets in niche medical markets. The company’s lead product, marketed under the names Enablex and Emselex, is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat symptoms of overactive bladder. The product works by blocking the nerve signals that cause the bladder to involuntarily contract. Merus acquired the marketing rights to the product from from Novartis in July of last year. The company has two other products; Vancocin, a C.difficile treatment, and Factive, which treats chronic bronchitis and pneumonia.
Today’s announcement continues an already active month for Auroroa. On October 5, the company closed its first day on the TSX Venture Exchange with a 14.8 per cent gain, adding on the to solid triple-digit gains the company has already posted in 2016. The company’s stock, which began the year at $0.60 today closed down 8.4 per cent to $2.18.