OPKO Health Inc. has named Akhtar Ashfaq, MD, FACP, FASN senior vice president, clinical research and development of the renal division.

In this role, Ashfaq will support the ongoing adoption of Rayaldee (calcifediol) extended-release capsules by health care professionals who care for patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease.

He will lead the further development of Rayaldee to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in adults on hemodialysis with vitamin D insufficiency.  He also will lead the development of Alpharen (fermagate) tablets for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in adults with stage 5 CKD.

Ashfaq was previously with AstraZeneca, where he served as executive director and head of the CKD Program within Global Medical Affairs.  Prior to Astra Zeneca, Ashfaq was with Amgen where he served as Medical Director and North American Medical Lead for Epogen and Aranesp.  He is an academic nephrologist by training and has more than 15 years of clinical experience.