Who We Are

Forging new paths with a shared vision

The core of VYNE Therapeutics® is a hand-picked team of pharmaceutical industry professionals from all over the world who have come together to push past the conventional thinking they encountered in more traditional corporate structures. Our team has long-standing research and development experience, paired with strong commercial experience. We have a combination of diverse perspectives and industry experience necessary to recognize where conventional approaches fall short, and we are passionate about developing new and unexpected solutions to improving patient care.

From its foundation as a technically focused company solving intractable challenges in topical formulation, VYNE Therapeutics is emerging as an entrepreneurial and technology-savvy company of independent thinkers who are dedicated to bringing previously unavailable products to doctors and patients in need of innovation.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Sharon Barbari

Ms. Barbari has served on our board of directors since March 2020, and previously served as a director of Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. beginning in January 2019. Ms. Barbari previously served as Chief Financial Officer at Cytokinetics from 2004 to 2017 and as CFO at Gilead Sciences, where she served in senior financial roles from 1998 to 2002. Ms. Barbari also served as CFO and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration at InterMune, and Vice President of Strategic Planning at Foote, Cone & Belding Healthcare. From 1972 to 1990, Ms. Barbari served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Syntex Corporation/Roche Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Barbari currently serves on the board of directors of Agile Therapeutics and the Association of Bioscience Finance Officers. She previously served on the board of directors of Sonoma Pharmaceuticals and Phytogen Life Sciences. In 2017, Ms. Barbari was a recipient of the YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Awards. She received her BS in accounting from San Jose State University.

Steve Basta

Mr. Basta served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Menlo Therapeutics (our predecessor) from September 2015 until March 2020 and has served on our board of directors since September 2015. Mr. Basta has served as the Chief Executive Officer of SaNOtize Research and Development Corp. since September 2023. From December 2020 until October 2022, Mr. Basta served as the Chief Executive Officer of Mahana Therapeutics, a privately-held digital therapeutics company. From October 2011 until August 2015, Mr. Basta served as Chief Executive Officer of AlterG, a privately held medical device company. From November 2002 to February 2010, Mr. Basta served as Chief Executive Officer of BioForm Medical, a publicly listed medical aesthetics company acquired by Merz, and from February 2010 to September 2011 served as Chief Executive Officer of Merz Aesthetics, the successor to BioForm Medical. He has served on the board of DermBiont, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company, since March 2020. Mr. Basta previously served as a board member of Viveve Medical from September 2018 until March 2023, including as Chairman of the Board from January 2019 until March 2023. Mr. Basta also previously served on the board of Carbylan Therapeutics from September 2009 to November 2016 when it was acquired by KalVista Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Basta served on the board of RF Surgical (acquired by Medtronic) from December 2013 to August 2015. Mr. Basta received a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Christine Borowski

Dr. Borowski joined our board of directors in January 2024. Dr. Borowski has served as Vice President at Access Biotechnology, a leading healthcare investor, since January 2022, and previously served as Senior Associate beginning in July 2019. Prior to that, Dr. Borowski worked on therapeutics company creation at Apple Tree Partners. Before joining Apple Tree Partners, Dr. Borowski worked as an editor at several high-impact scientific journals, most recently as Chief Editor of Nature Medicine. She earned a B.S. in Biology at the University of Kentucky, a Ph.D. in Immunology at Harvard University, and completed her postdoctoral work on natural killer T cell development at the University of Chicago.

Anthony Bruno

Tony Bruno has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2020. Mr. Bruno served in executive roles at Warner Chilcott from 2000 to 2011, most recently as Executive Vice President for business development and as General Counsel. From 1984 to 2000, Mr. Bruno held several positions of increasing responsibility within Warner Lambert’s legal division, culminating as General Counsel to the company’s pharmaceutical business. Mr. Bruno began his legal career at Shearman & Sterling in 1981. Mr. Bruno previously served on the board of Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. from November 2018 until its combination with Menlo Therapeutics Inc. (renamed VYNE Therapeutics Inc.). He received a JD from George Washington Law School, and a BA in political science from Syracuse University.

David Domzalski

David Domzalski has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and member of our board since March 2020. Previously, since July 2017, Mr. Domzalski was Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Mr. Domzalski was with Foamix since April 2014, and previously served as President.  He has 25 years of industry experience, previously holding positions as Vice President, Sales and Marketing, at LEO Pharma Inc. from 2009 to 2013, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Azur Pharma from 2008 to 2009, and Vice President, Sales and Marketing, at Warner Chilcott from 2003 to 2008. Mr. Domzalski holds a BA in economics and political science from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Patrick G. LePore

Mr. LePore has served on our board of directors since September 2020 and was appointed as the lead independent director in February 2021. Mr. LePore previously served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. from September 2006 until its sale to affiliates of TPG Capital in 2012. He remained as chairman of Par Pharmaceutical through its sale to Endo International in 2015. Mr. LePore began his career with Hoffmann-LaRoche. He later founded Boron, LePore & Associates, a medical communications company, which he took public in 1997 and was eventually sold to Cardinal Health in 2002. Mr. LePore previously served as Chairman of the Board of Lannett Co. Inc and as a director of Matinas BioPharma, PharMerica and Innoviva, and previously served as a trustee of Villanova University. Mr. LePore earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and a Master of Business Administration from Farleigh Dickinson University.

Elisabeth Sandoval

Ms. Sandoval has served on our board of directors since March 2019. Ms. Sandoval currently serves as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Previously, from 2016 to 2019, she served as the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Alder Biopharmaceuticals, a clinical stage company focused on developing novel therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of migraine. Prior to this, Ms. Sandoval was Chief Commercial Officer for KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals until KYTHERA’s acquisition by Allergan. Before KYTHERA, Ms. Sandoval served as Vice President of Marketing for Bausch and Lomb Surgical and Vice President of Global Marketing at Allergan with responsibility for the Medical Aesthetics division. She spent 23 years at Allergan in sales and marketing leadership roles in the specialties of dermatology, neurology, and aesthetics. Ms. Sandoval began her career in research and development at Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division. Ms. Sandoval served on the board of directors for Satsuma Pharmaceuticals and serves on the board of directors of Procept BioRobotics. She holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a B.S. in biology from the University of California, Irvine.

Scientific Advisory Board

Roy M. Fleischmann, M.D.

Dr. Fleischmann is Clinical Professor of Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, Co-Medical Director of the Metroplex Clinical Research Center in Dallas, and Co-Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Presbyterian Medical Center in Dallas. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and is a Master of the American College of Rheumatology. He has been involved in the development of virtually all medications approved for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and osteoarthritis in the United States. In addition, Dr. Fleischmann has published approximately 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has presented approximately 500 abstracts on these topics at major rheumatology meetings. He graduated from Columbia College in New York City and received training in Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.

Martin M. Okun, M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Okun’s post-training career commenced at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he was a medical reviewer and later a dermatology team leader in the Division of Dermatologic and Dental Products. Dr. Okun then joined a multidisciplinary practice as a general dermatologist in Madison, Wisconsin, where he practiced for 5 years. He then joined Abbott (now AbbVie) and worked on multiple dermatologic and rheumatologic development programs, culminating in the approval for adalimumab for adult psoriasis, pediatric psoriasis (ex-U.S.), and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), the latter of which is the only FDA-approved therapy for HS.  In 2015, he resumed dermatology practice in southeastern Wisconsin.

Dr. Okun graduated from the M.D./Ph.D. program at Yeshiva University/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in 1990, with a Ph.D. in molecular biology. He subsequently completed an internship in internal medicine at UCLA Medical Center in California, a residency in dermatology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and a 4-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, researching the fine structure of the papilloma virus.

David B. Sachar, M.D.

Dr. Sachar was the first Dr. Burrill B. Crohn Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City in the 1990s. He is now Director Emeritus of the Gastroenterology Division. In 2005, he was granted a 3-year Arnold P. Gold Foundation Professorship. In 2010, he was named a Master Educator in the Institute for Medical Education (IME). In addition, in 2020, he received the IME’s Master Clinician Award. As a research associate with the U.S. Public Health Service in Bangladesh, he contributed to the development of oral rehydration therapy for cholera and other diarrheal diseases, an advance credited with saving millions of lives, for which he received a Congressional award.

Dr. Sachar was an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. After completing his medical residency at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital and his GI fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital, he became a specialist in inflammatory bowel disease, publishing approximately 260 articles on the topic. He chaired the Research Development Committee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), served on the Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee, and was the recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. A founding director of the Burrill B. Crohn Research Foundation, he is the first American elected Chairman of the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Olaf Stuve, M.D., Ph.D.

Along with serving as a Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Stuve is Chief of Neurology at the VA North Texas Health Care System/Dallas VA Medical Center. He has served as Principal Investigator for numerous clinical trials in the field of CNS research and runs a research laboratory at UT Southwestern. He is a fellow of the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology, and the European Academy of Neurology and has been a member of National Institutes of Health and National Multiple Sclerosis Society study sections. His laboratory studies immune tolerance and the role of bone marrow derived myeloid cells in the progression of CNS autoimmunity.

Dr. Stuve received his medical degree from the Free University of Berlin in Germany, completed a medical doctoral thesis in physiology at the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, magna cum laude, and earned a Ph.D. in immunology at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. He completed a transitional internship at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and a preliminary internship and neurology residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Stuve also received postdoctoral fellowship training in neuroimmunology at McGill University in Montreal, and the University of California, San Francisco.

Johnathan R. Whetstine, Ph.D.

Dr. Whetstine is Professor, Co-Leader of the Cancer Signaling and Epigenetics Program, and Director of the Cancer Epigenetics Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was part of the team that discovered the first histone lysine demethylase and he directly contributed to the identification and characterization of the remaining lysine demethylases. Subsequently, his laboratory made seminal findings about how epigenetic mechanisms control extrachromosomal DNA amplification, which aides in the understanding of tumor heterogeneity and drug response. His achievements have earned him the Scholar Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Innovator Award from The Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation, along with funding from the National Institutes of Health amongst others. A 3-time recipient of the American Lung Association Lung Cancer Discovery Award, Dr. Whetstine has also been honored as one of “the 100” individuals and organizations leading the fight against cancer by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is the recipient of several awards including the Tepper Family MGH Research Scholar award, the Basic Research Award from the American Cancer Society and the Howard M. Goodman Prize from MGH. Most recently, he was awarded the Jack Schultz Basic Science Endowed chair at Fox Chase Cancer Center. He is often an invited speaker to national and international conferences. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and serves on editorial boards and as a reviewer for several high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Whetstine earned two B.S. degrees, in chemistry and in recombinant genetics, and received a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in epigenetics/pathology (chromatin biology) at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts before joining Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a faculty.