Plano’s Reata Pharmaceuticals Appoints EVP/Chief R&D Officer

In a pivotal year, which saw Reata Pharmaceuticals halt research for a kidney disease treatment and receive FDA approval for its first-to-market degenerative disease treatment, the company welcomes Dr. Rajiv Patni as Chief R&D Officer. Patni marks this as an "inflection point to become a global, commercial-stage company with an expanding pipeline in both rare and common serious diseases."

Plano-based global pharmaceutical company Reata Pharmaceuticals has appointed Rajiv Patni, M.D., as executive vice president, and chief research & development officer.

Rajiv Patni, M.D.

Reata, which focuses on developing and commercializing novel therapies for patients with severe diseases, said that Dr. Patni, who will report to CEO Warren Huff, will be responsible for overseeing company research and development.

“The team and I are excited to welcome Rajiv to Reata. His previous experience and his proven track record will help position the company for future growth,” Huff said in a statement. “His leadership will allow us to continue with the development of omaveloxolone and accelerate the development of our Nrf2 activators in serious neurological and other diseases.”

Patni brings more than 23 years of global product development experience to Reata, including 18 clinical programs in the cardiology, diabetology, hepatology, neurology, and benign hematology therapeutic areas.

Before joining Reata, Patni was chief medical officer at Global Blood Therapeutics from 2020 to 2023. Before that, he was CMO at Portola Pharmaceuticals and Adamas Pharmaceuticals.

Early in his career, Patni worked at Pfizer, Roche, and Actelion, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. According to Reata, he fostered successful team efforts at these different companies, contributing to the approval of 10 medicines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency, and other regulatory agencies.

“I’m excited to join Reata as it enters an inflection point to become a global, commercial-stage company with an expanding pipeline in both rare and common serious diseases,” Patni said in a statement. “I am duly impressed by the resilience and expertise of the Reata team, who have spent up to two decades expanding the knowledge of its foundational Nrf2 activator biology.”

Patni received his MD degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, as part of an accelerated BS/MD program. He completed an internal medicine residency and adult cardiology fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, also in New York City, where he continued as an attending physician before joining industry.

It’s been a pivotal year so far at Reata.

D Magazine reported that when the company stopped years of research to develop a treatment for chronic kidney disease early in the year, Huff said it was a devastating moment for his company. D Magazine said the setback made Reata’s development of a first-to-market treatment for an inherited degenerative disease even sweeter.

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