People in the News | Marketing new skin care to ease cancer side effects

Jonathan Cutler is a new executive at Lindi Skin. Cancer treatments can cause irritated skin in patients. The product "gets them back to a normal life, emotionally and physically," he says.

Jonathan Cutler has spent most of his career in the pharmaceutical industry, primarily in marketing products with big names: Tylenol, Motrin, Pepcid, Remicade.

"It was an honor and a great experience to be with those big-name products," Cutler said. "But when the opportunity came to work with a small brand early in its life cycle, it was too good to turn down."

Earlier this summer, Cutler, 36, who goes by his nickname, J.J., took over as president and chief operating officer of Lindi Skin Inc., a five-year-old Ardmore company that specializes in skin-care products for people with cancer, mostly those suffering from irritations caused by chemotherapy and other treatments.

"The pharmaceutical business can be specialized, so I wanted to be associated with products that solve an unmet need," he said. "This was a huge segment of people who have a special need that isn't otherwise in the marketplace. I think we can really grow this brand and then branch out into other similar products."

Lindi Skin was founded by Lindy Snider, 47, the daughter of Flyers and 76ers chairman Ed Snider, who is also an investor in the company. She had discovered that some of her friends battling cancer had developed severely irritated skin as a result of treatments they were taking to cure the cancer. While they were surviving the worst part of the disease, they were terribly discomforted with those side effects.

She got together an advisory board of oncologists, cancer sufferers, and other interested parties, and developed 14 botanically based products - creams, body washes, sunscreens. and the like - that soothe severely irritated skin. The products are sold in some pharmacies, but are mainly used in cancer centers and hospitals.

It will be Cutler's mission to get Lindi Skin more well-known in the general community. That is not an easy task when the product exists mainly to palliate the side effects of an almost unmentionable disease.

"I think you focus on the end benefit of what the product can provide," Cutler said. "It is certainly a negative if someone has a skin side effect from a cancer treatment, but if you can provide them something that gets them back to a normal life, emotionally and physically, that is all a positive. That is what we emphasize."

Cutler said he is "100 percent local," having grown up in Broomall, Delaware County, and received a bachelor's degree and M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. His wife, Beth, grew up in Bucks County, and now they live in Elkins Park, with their son, Paxson, 8, and daughter, Isabel, 6. Before coming to Lindi Skin, he worked for two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries - McNeil Consumer Health Care and Centocor - and, most recently, was senior vice president of marketing at Aramark Corp.'s health-care division.

"We have great core products now, but as in any business, the value is to see what kinds of new products and new markets you can go after," Cutler said. "The good thing is that cancer survivors are living longer and want as normal a life as possible. That is what we feel we can provide them." - Robert Strauss

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