Neura Therapeutik's leadership team's individual and collective experience in development, commercial planning, marketing, and sales-related activities have spanned over 12 unique brands and chemical entities in the NSAID, COX-2, adjuvant therapy, and opioid analgesic classes of the market. Notable was the directing of 6 major pain product launches including Duragesic® and Vicodin®. Duragesic® eventually surpassed $1.5 billion in annual sales with 6 brands achieving market leader status within 2 years post launch.

John LaLota, CEO

Mr. La Lota has over 25 years of management experience in the analgesic marketplace.  Having directed 6 major launch campaigns in the analgesic area, John is recognized as one of the foremost experts in the commercialization of analgesics.  The major brands under John’s direction and leadership during his tenure at Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth, and Knoll included Duragesic®, Orudis®, and Vicodin® ES.  All became market leaders 2 years post launch, with Duragesic achieving sales of $1.5 billion.  John also served as a pioneer in the pain market commissioning the first opioid studies in chronic non-cancer pain in the United States.

Following 10 years of entrepreneurship as CEO and owner of the Pain Management Group, a full-service medical communications company, and strategic partner with Pain Insights, a strategic planning, consulting, and primary market research organization, John assumed a senior leadership role at King Pharmaceuticals.

John’s responsibilities at King during a 4-year period centered on leading their strategic reorganization and focus on commercialization efforts in the analgesic market.  As senior VP of marketing and new product development, John was directly responsible for developing and executing King’s strategic vision to become a pain specialty company.  He established and led the Therapeutic Area Strategic Team (TAST), which was comprised of 40 individuals spanning all functional departments within King’s organization and responsible for King’s entry into and ongoing efforts in the pain market.  With a P&L responsibility in excess of $500 million, John’s first major commercial move at King was the acquisition of Avinza® from Ligand, which strategically created the opportunity for King to initiate the roll-out of a pain specialty field force.  As a $150 million brand, Avinza® was a successful acquisition for King, enabling the company to establish a footprint in the opioid market while it was working to commercialize its abuse-deterrent product portfolio.

John led business development efforts where he was responsible for the analysis and commercial lead on the deal decision committee ultimately leading to the acquisition of multiple products in development.  Acquisitions included Acurox®, the first approved abuse deterrent immediate release opioid formulation.  In the long-acting opioid area, John’s work led to the acquisition of the abuse deterrent formulation of oxycodone, Remoxy™.  These acquisitions, along with 3 additional follow-on development products, established King’s pain foundation, significantly enhancing its market value, which was ultimately acquired by Pfizer.

Brian Dittrich, CFO

Mr. Dittrich has 30 years of financial management experience.  Prior to Neura, he held leadership roles at Arthur Anderson & Co., Smith Barney, and Coopers & Lybrand. In 1990, Brian began his own firm specializing in tax, accounting, financial planning and merger analysis.  As a consultant, Brian has performed forensic reviews and financial analyses for companies in various industries.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and has co-authored the book, Interest Rate Futures—The Corporate Decision, providing an early tool for corporate treasurers to hedge their interest rate exposure in the financial markets.  He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs® and of several industry task forces.

Michael O'Cone, VP Business Operations

Mr. O’Cone has over 30 years of experience in the areas of in alliance, project, relationship, technology, and business management.  Mr. O’Cone was instrumental to several acquisitions and divestitures of companies and products in the analgesic market, including the acquisition of Alpharma by King Pharmaceuticals and the divestiture of Kadian® to Actavis.  He was also responsible for ongoing alliance management with Pain Therapeutics related to the analgesic development portfolio including Remoxy™, and other non-disclosed development candidates in the abuse deterrent market.  Mr. O’Cone was also responsible for managing tactical teams throughout the enterprise including R&D, regulatory, manufacturing, commercial and corporate functions.

Prior to King Pharmaceuticals, Mr. O’Cone was at Publicis Selling Solutions, a contract sales organization.  There he established several cross-functional teams responsible for incentive compensation, customer relationship management/sales force automation, sales reporting, and management Information systems in support of the field sales forces of several major pharmaceutical clients.

Mr. O’Cone leveraged his understanding of business analysis, development, systems integrations, and business alignment to start his own consulting company, contributing in various capacities on projects ranging from the technical implementation to the business process redesign.

Jeffrey Gudin, MD, Scientific Advisor

Dr.  Gudin serves as Neura’s lead scientific advisor.  Dr. Gudin completed his residency in anesthesiology at the Yale University School of Medicine and his fellowship at the Yale Center for Pain Management.  While in New Haven, Dr.  Gudin also trained in addiction medicine and directed a substance abuse treatment center.  For the last 11 years, Dr.  Gudin has been the director of Pain Management and Palliative Care at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, a Mt.  Sinai University School of Medicine teaching affiliate in New Jersey.  He remains active in teaching and research and has lectured internationally on a variety of topics in pain and addiction medicine.

Dr. Gudin is recognized nationally as a leader in pain management and is an experienced researcher and consultant to industry on novel analgesic products and risk management associated with opioids.  Dr. Gudin has served as Principal Investigator studying pregabalin, fentanyl, hydromorphone, and hydrocodone/ acetaminophen in combination with naltrexone; he has also participated in multiple other studies including analgesics and medical devices focused on alleviating pain.

Dr. Gudin has dedicated his career to promoting education in pain management and is a recognized thought leader in pain management.  He regularly presents at the American Pain Society, American Academy of Pain Management, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and PAINWeek national conferences, as well as many other pertinent national venues.  He has presented at national advisory panels and has acted as expert witness on a variety of pain management cases, including patent disputes.

John Lalota

Brian Dittrich

Michael O'Cone
VP Business Operations

Jeffrey Gudin, MD
Scientific Advisor