Menlo Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of serlopitant.

Proof of concept for the oral NK-1 receptor antagonist serlopitant in chronic pruritus was established in a 257-subject trial for the treatment of patients with severe, chronic pruritus who were unresponsive or inadequately responsive to the current therapies. Serlopitant is an investigational drug not approved for use in any indication. The efficacy and safety of serlopitant have not yet been demonstrated. 

Completed Pruritus Trials 

Prurigo NodularisThe phase 2 trial, TCP-102, evaluated serlopitant for the treatment of pruritus associated with prurigo nodularis (NCT02196324).  The 127-subject, multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled, trial compared once-daily, orally administered 5 mg tablets of serlopitant vs. placebo for 8 weeks.  This study was conducted at 15 clinical sites in Germany.  TCP-102 met its primary efficacy endpoint and key secondary endpoints, demonstrating a statistically significant reduction in pruritus (p<0.001 for the primary efficacy analysis at week 8) in subjects treated with serlopitant compared with placebo.  Statistically significant reduction in pruritus was seen for the treatment group vs. placebo group at all measurement time points (2, 4 and 8 weeks).  Treatment with serlopitant was well tolerated in the study. Results of this study were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Meeting in March 2017.  

Chronic Pruritus: In the first completed phase 2 pruritus study, TCP-101, 257 subjects with chronic pruritus were enrolled in a multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (NCT01951274conducted at 25 sites in the United States.  The primary endpoint and multiple secondary endpoints showed statistically significant reductions in pruritus in the 1mg and 5mg serlopitant dose groups administered orally, once-daily. Serlopitant was well tolerated at all dose levels tested. 

Exclusively licensed Serlopitant from Merck and redirected the development programto the treatment of pruritus.

Our Team


Steve Basta

Chief Executive Officer of Menlo Therapeutics Inc.

Prior to joining Menlo Therapeutics Inc., Mr. Basta served from 2011 to 2015 as CEO of AlterG, Inc. a privately held rehabilitation company which commercializes the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

From 2002 through 2011, Mr. Basta served as CEO of BioForm Medical, Inc. and its successor, Merz Aesthetics, Inc. Mr. Basta led BioForm’s growth from initial product launch to $80 million in annual revenues at the time of it’s acquisition by Merz, and subsequently led Merz Aesthetics through multiple product launches managing a global business unit which was the #3 worldwide injectable aesthetics business.

Prior to Bioform Medical, Mr. Basta served as President and CEO of Gliatech, Inc., a medical device company, VP Business Development and Chief Financial Officer of Creative BioMolecules, Inc., a protein therapy and drug device combination products company, and Executive Director of Product Development for The Immune Response Corporation, a biotechnology company.

Mr. Basta also served for two years as an associate with the investment banking firm, Dillon, Read & Co. Inc.  Mr. Basta received his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University, and his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.


Emmanuelle Bellemin, MBA, RAC

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Mrs. Bellemin brings to Menlo Therapeutics more than 15 years of significant international experience from prior regulatory leadership roles at FibroGen, Gilead Sciences, Actelion Pharmaceuticals US and Pierre Fabre Medicament.

She earned a Masters in Regulatory Affairs from Universite Paris Sud, an MBA from Golden Gate University and additional training from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Mark Joing

Vice President of Clinical Operations

Mr. Joing brings 20+ years of drug development experience at large and small pharmaceutical companies to Menlo.  For five years prior to joining Menlo, Mr. Joing was VP of Clinical Operations and Project Management at Nora Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics to address significant unmet needs in reproductive medicine.  As part of the senior management team at Nora, he led multiple Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies in the US and Europe.  Prior to Nora, Mr. Joing headed Clinical Operations and Project Management at Nuvelo, a late-stage drug development company.  He was the recipient of Nuvelo’s inaugural George Rathmann Award to recognize his significant contribution to Nuvelo’s mission of improving the lives of patients through the discovery, development and commercialization of novel acute cardiovascular and cancer therapies.  Earlier in his career, Mr Joing held roles in Supply Chain and Production Management at 3M Pharmaceuticals and Abbott Laboratories.

Mr. Joing holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and M.B.A. from Stanford University.


Paul Kwon, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Kwon was Chief Medical Officer at Nora Therapeutics from, a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics to address significant unmet needs in reproductive medicine.

At Nora, he led development of a clinical-stage molecule for the treatment of repeated implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage.

From 2003 to 2009, Dr. Kwon held numerous positions at Genentech, where he was most recently head of the nononcology early clinical development group and oversaw clinical development of molecules from pre-IND through phase 2 in multiple therapeutic areas, including rheumatology, neurology, cardiovascular disease and ophthalmology.

In addition, he managed the medical groups for two post-marketed franchises in cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Dr. Kwon was in clinical practice as a dermatologist from 2001 to 2003 and 2009 to 2010 with the Permanente Medical Group in Northern California, where he also served as a consultant for the Permanente Technology Group.

Prior to this position, he was product manager and later director of business development for iMedica Corp, a healthcare IT firm in Mountain View, CA.

From 2004 to 2014, Dr. Kwon served on the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology.

Dr. Kwon received his B.A. in human biology from Stanford University, and his M.D. from the University of California at San Francisco. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.


Anie Roche, J.D., Ph.D.

Legal Counsel

Anie is a Life Sciences attorney with significant experience in providing legal support for the development and commercialization of therapeutic programs. She has developed and implemented patent strategies for a wide variety of companies in areas such as protein chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacology, neuroscience, bioinformatics, and molecular biology.

She also is an Adjunct Professor at USF Law School where she teaches patent prosecution. She has held Vice President roles at Elixir Medical and Adamas Pharmaceuticals. Previously she was a Partner in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s intellectual property and patent practice as well as an Associate in the law firm of Cooley Godward LLP. She has conducted research in the fields of pharmacology, neuroscience, anatomy, electrophysiology, and biochemistry. For her graduate degree, she researched neurochemical modifications in the central nervous system during inflammation. Anie also has studied the interactions between opioid receptors and pain-transmitting neurons. She has authored several scientific publications and has presented her research at national and international meetings.

Anie received her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Mumbai, her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the fields of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.


Sunny Ryan


Ms. Ryan has 20+ years of finance and accounting experience, in public accounting and life sciences industry.

Prior to joining Menlo Therapeutics, Ms. Ryan was a controller at Velocity Pharmaceutical Development where she was overseeing the finance operations for several project focused companies including Menlo Therapeutics.  In 2013 and 2014, she was an interim controller at Avalanche Biotechnologies where she worked on their initial public offering.

She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she spent over 8 years in audit advisory, tax and transaction services.  Since then, Ms. Ryan held Controller and Senior Director of Finance positions at various life sciences companies including Genelabs Technologies, Rinat Neuroscience, CoMentis, Achaogen and Alios BioPharma where she was responsible for SEC filings, SOX implementation, M&A transactions and IPO readiness.

Ms. Ryan holds a B.S. in Accounting from Pepperdine University and is a Certified Public Accountant in California.


Danine Summers

Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs

Danine has 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, the last 20 years in dermatology specifically.  She started her career in field sales with Merck Sharp & Dohme and then moved on to American Scientific Products and Roche Labs. While at Roche Danine completed her MBA and transitioned from sales to marketing. She has 18 years of experience in various areas of Marketing with FCB Healthcare (clients included Syntex, Gilead, Allergan and Neutrogena) and Connetics Pharmaceuticals where she built the marketing department and launched Luxiq, the first product launch for the company.  Danine has spent the past 10 years in Medical Affairs and Professional Relations where she has successfully built and managed two Medical Affairs Departments. Further, she has led and/or participated in over 10 product launches.

Danine loves animals and has 5 dogs and 6 horses on which she competes in jumping events.  She is married to Gregg and they have one son, Sean.


Xiaoming Zhang, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Non-Clinical and CMC

Xiaoming Zhang, Ph.D. has more than 20 years of experience in discovery and development of new molecular entities across multiple therapeutic areas.

Prior to joining Menlo Therapeutics Inc., he was a venture partner at Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, where he played an integral role in the launching and building of several project focused companies, including Menlo Therapeutics Inc., Corsair and Spitfire.

In 2010, he cofounded Theron Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage company developing a best-in-class bronchodilator for the treatment of COPD and uncontrolled asthma. He was previously the Senior Director of Chemistry at CoMentis Inc.

In this capacity, he spearheaded cognition research effort targeting Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive deficit associated with schizophrenia.

Previously, Dr. Zhang served as Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Portola and ARYx, where he successfully led the discovery and development of a number of new molecular entities, notably elinogrel and tecarfarin. Earlier in his career, Dr. Zhang was a research scientist and program leader at Roche.

Dr. Zhang received a PhD from University of Maryland, College Park, in the field of synthetic organic chemistry and pursued postdoctoral research at University of California, Berkeley.

He is an inventor on 25 US patents.

Board of Directors