Kaléo launches government biz unit

Richmond pharma company also hires chief commercial officer.


Richmond-based Kaléo on Thursday announced the formation of a new government business unit to focus on domestic and international procurement of the company’s system to reverse the effect of weaponized opioids as well as to provide access to it for military and civilian stockpiles.

Kaléo’s Rapid Opioid Countermeasure System (ROCS) is a 10 mg Naloxone auto-injector that’s used to protect civilians, military and first responders. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in March for emergency treatment of people ages 12 and older when high-potency opioid exposure is suspected. The injector can be used through clothing, including personal protective equipment, according to the product website.

The Army tested the system last year.

The new business unit will be based in Richmond. It will be led by Mark A. Herzog, who will have the role of vice president for global corporate affairs, defense and homeland security. Herzog joined the company in 2014 and previously served as vice president of corporate affairs, according to his LinkedIn account.

“The government sector is a new market vertical which diversifies our business and expands our commitment to address the unmet needs of patient populations throughout the world with our proven innovative drug delivery platform,” Kaléo President and CEO Ronald Gunn said in a statement.

In addition, on Thursday, the company announced it had appointed Alfred Tenuto as its new chief commercial officer. Tenuto will be responsible for growing Kaléo’s business by optimizing its current products, including its AUVI-Q epinephrine  auto-injector, as well as integrating new products for commercial growth. Tenuto joined Kaléo from Covis Pharma, where he was president of the company and served as executive vice president of U.S. commercial consecutively. He also held leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Co. and VIVUS LLC.

Twin brothers Dr. Eric Edwards and Evan Edwards founded Kaléo in 2005 and left in 2019. Dr. Eric Edwards co-founded Phlow Corp., another Richmond-based company developing new ways to manufacture essential medicines. New York-based Marathon Asset Management LP announced last year that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kaléo for about $310 million in cash.

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