Retrophin rebrands, shakes 'Pharma Bro' origins

Nov. 16, 2020

Retrophin, a biopharma company founded by now-convicted drug executive Martin Shkreli, is rebranding itself as Travere Therapeutics.

Company officials say the new name is a nod to the Latin roots for truth and path, replacing the outdated Retrophin name. Shkreli had previously said the name Retrophin stood for “Re(place) (dys)trophin.” The dystrophin protein is needed for muscles to function properly, and is missing or found in very small amounts in people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. But the company, which moved to San Diego from New York years ago, is no longer working on a treatment for DMD.

Shkreli was ousted from Retrophin in late 2014 after raising the price of tiopronin, an old drug used to treat conditions related to kidney stones, from $1.50 to $30 per tablet.

"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli, enemy number one in the battle over inflated prescription drug prices,  is currently serving a 7-year sentence for securities fraud. Shkreli became pharma’s most-loathed CEO in 2015 after Turing raised the price of Daraprim, which is used to prevent infections in HIV or transplant patients and treat toxoplasmosis, by 5,000 percent overnight. In the midst of the backlash, Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to prison near Philadelphia.

Retrophin is working to bring its drug candidate sparsentan to market in 2022, which is under review to treat rare kidney diseases that disproportionately affect Black, Latino and Asian patients. Last month, the drugmaker bought Orphan Technologies for $517 Million to gain its lead enzyme replacement therapy. 

Read the rebranding press release