Sprout Pharmaceuticals CEO Cindy Whitehead, the woman behind the approval of “female Viagra” in August, is leaving the company four months after it was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
The Sprout team only had 34 members at the time, and in an interview with Business Insider at the time, Whitehead said that Valeant was the clear choice to join because she could stay on.
“It became clear for us I think very quickly that Valeant was the right partner because our entire team stays, and we will run this, and we will continue to do this in a way that we see is right for women,” she said.
That tune has changed quickly.
“I feel like I’ve seen it through to what I wanted to accomplish,” Whitehead told Bizwomen.com. “It really was to prove the science, get the approval so that women could have this choice for themselves and then really to build the team to have it really come to the realisation of the bigger mission, which is the opportunity for this to go global and to be made widely available to women in an affordable way.”
Addyi officially went on market in October, and in its first month only saw 227 prescriptions get filled for its drug, which is designed to spark sexual desire in women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), where they have a chronically low desire to have sex.
“Thanks to the efforts of Cindy and her team, Valeant has the opportunity to make Addyi broadly available to patients in need of this important medical treatment,” Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little said in an emailed statement. “Having built a team to take Addyi to market, we mutually agreed that it was the right time to transition to new leadership for the next phase of global commercialization.”
Little added that Whitehead will stay on as a consultant to Sprout.