ELITE Entrepreneur Frank Segrave of Silvergate Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Frank Segrave

President and CEO

Silvergate Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

 

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Revolutionizing Pediatric Care

Frank Segrave has always been a visionary. At an early age he saw what he wanted to do with his life—he wanted to be a pharmacist. Inspired by his uncle’s work as a pharmacist, he recognized the unique opportunity to help people in a very personal way. And Frank accomplished his goal, working as a pharmacist first at Eckerd Drug and then at Walmart. But the thing about visionaries is that they tend to see the world differently—often recognizing not what the world has, but what it needs.

Frank quickly rose through the ranks at Walmart and during his 19 years at the company, he led the way as Walmart became one of the most successful pharmacy chains in the country. But in 2005 he switched gears from retail to distribution and moved to Cardinal Health—and it was here that Frank’s vision expanded. He became aware of an unmet need in the healthcare industry: High-quality FDA-approved medications for pediatric patients. Frequently, pharmacists would just compound drugs formulated for adults into dosages for children.

In 2010, Frank decided to put up his own money to found Silvergate Pharmaceuticals and develop pediatric versions of pre-established products. The only question: What product to start with?

A pediatric version of the hypertension drug enalapril, Frank decided, should be first. With seed money from Frazier Healthcare, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm, Frank and his team of 31 employees were able to push their first product, Epaned, through development and clinical trials all the way to FDA approval in just 28 months—an extraordinary achievement that even the largest pharmaceutical companies would envy.

The next challenge was making pharmacists, physicians and managed care organizations aware that an FDA-approved pediatric formulation of the drug was now available. Once again, Frank and his team went to work and thanks to their effort, more than 12,000 individual patients have been prescribed Epaned since it was launched just one year ago.

With that vision manifested, Frank, is really just getting started. Silvergate will submit two additional drugs to the FDA in 2015—and they have another four to six compounds in development across multiple therapeutic areas.

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