Healthcare Industry News: Savient Pharmaceuticals
News Release - February 1, 2012
Dendreon Announces CEO and Chairman Succession PlanJohn H. Johnson Elected President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman-Elect, Dr. Mitchell H. Gold Elected Executive Chairman
Company to Hold Conference Call Today at 9:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT
SEATTLE--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- February 1, 2012 – Dendreon Corporation (Nasdaq: DNDN ) today announced that its Board of Directors has elected John H. Johnson to the position of president and chief executive officer (CEO), to succeed Mitchell H. Gold, MD, who has served as president and CEO for nearly a decade. Dr. Gold has been elected executive chairman and will serve in that role until June 30, 2012, at which point he will continue to serve as a director and Mr. Johnson will become chairman.
Mr. Johnson has been a member of Dendreon’s Board of Directors since August 2011 and brings to Dendreon nearly 30 years of experience in the life sciences industry, including serving as president, CEO, and director at Savient Pharmaceuticals, president of Eli Lilly’s Oncology Business Unit, CEO of ImClone System, and company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s Worldwide Biopharmaceuticals.
“As Dendreon continues its evolution into a global oncology company, I am pleased to hand over the reins to John, whose drive and significant global oncology expertise will advance our continued growth as a leading biotechnology company, benefiting our customers, our employees, our shareholders and, most importantly, patients with advanced prostate cancer,” said Mitchell H. Gold, MD, executive chairman of Dendreon. “I am proud that our employees at Dendreon have made an indelible mark in cancer care with the discovery, development, and approval of PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T), the world’s first cancer immunotherapy. Our commitment to changing the way that cancer is treated has never been stronger, and I look forward to working with John to accelerate our efforts.”
“I am honored to take on this important role to help lead Dendreon into the next chapter of growth, and I have great respect for all that Mitch has accomplished over the past decade in ushering in a new era in medicine for patients with cancer,” said John H. Johnson, president and CEO of Dendreon. “With the important progress that has been made with the commercial launch of PROVENGE, I am invigorated by the challenge of taking Dendreon to the next level. I look forward to working with Dendreon’s executive team and the Board as we look to build a global, fully integrated oncology business.”
After more than 15 years of research and development, Dendreon introduced a new era in cancer treatment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of PROVENGE, the world’s first autologous cellular immunotherapy. The Cleveland Clinic recognized PROVENGE as one of the top 10 medical innovations of 2010.
“John has spent most of the last decade successfully building oncology companies, and we believe his substantial oncology and global commercial, research and development experience makes him the ideal candidate to succeed Mitch. During his tenure as a director, he has proven to be a meaningful contributor as Dendreon further evolves as a global commercial enterprise, and we welcome John to his new role,” said Richard B. Brewer, director and former chairman of the Board. “On behalf of Dendreon’s Board of Directors, we thank Mitch for his exceptional leadership over the past decade and his unwavering commitment to patients with cancer. We believe that Mitch’s role as executive chairman will ensure a stable and strong transition takes place as he hands over the reins to John.”
After 8 years of service as chairman, Mr. Brewer will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors.
“I am grateful to Dick for his meaningful contributions and dedication as chairman of the board over the years, and respect his passion and commitment to bring PROVENGE to patients with cancer,” said Dr. Gold.
“I have appreciated working with Dick as I joined Dendreon’s Board, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build a fully-integrated global oncology company,” said Mr. Johnson.
The Board also elected Douglas G. Watson as its lead independent director. Mr. Watson has served on the Board for 12 years.
About John H. Johnson
John H. Johnson was appointed chief executive officer of Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in January 2011. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Johnson served as a senior vice president of Eli Lilly and Company and president of Lilly Oncology Business Unit, where he was responsible for multi-billion dollar franchise including a development portfolio of over 30 oncology products. From August 2007 to November 2009, Mr. Johnson was chief executive officer of ImClone Systems, and served on ImClone's board of directors until the company was acquired by Lilly in November 2008. While at ImClone, Mr. Johnson managed the market expansion of colorectal cancer treatment Erbitux, overseeing the global growth of the billion dollar brand and eventual sale of the company to Eli Lilly for $6.5 billion. Prior to joining ImClone, Mr. Johnson had served as company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s Worldwide Biopharmaceuticals unit since 2005. Mr. Johnson began his health care career with Pfizer in 1983, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in sales and sales management. He joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988 and advanced through positions of increasing responsibility with Ortho-McNeil. In 2000, he served as president and chief executive officer for Parkstone Medical Information Systems. Mr. Johnson returned to Johnson & Johnson in 2001 as worldwide vice president, CNS/psychiatry, for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Group Strategic Marketing. He was appointed president of Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. in 2003 and assumed additional responsibility for Ortho Biotech Canada in 2004. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Dendreon Corporation, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Tranzyme Pharma, Inc. Mr. Johnson received his bachelor's degree from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.
About Dr. Mitchell H. Gold
Dr. Mitchell H. Gold has served as president and chief executive officer of Dendreon since 2003. Dr. Gold is also a member of Dendreon’s Board of Directors. Dr. Gold previously served as Dendreon’s vice president of business development and as chief business officer. Prior to joining Dendreon, Dr. Gold previously served as vice president of business development and vice president of sales and marketing for Data Critical Corporation, a company engaged in wireless transmission of critical healthcare data, now a division of GE Medical. Dr. Gold was the president, chief executive officer, and a co-founder of Elixis Corporation, a medical information systems company. For his contributions to science through his leadership at Dendreon, Dr. Gold was given the “Oliver R. Grace Award” by the Cancer Research Institute and was named a runner-up for “Smartest CEO” by Fortune Magazine in their “Smartest People in Tech” issue. He was voted “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Pacific Northwest by Ernst and Young. At the annual Laguna CEO Biotech Meeting, Dendreon received the Hall of Fame Award for Best Company for its cumulative contributions to the industry. Locally, Seattle Magazine named Dr. Gold the top influencer in medicine in 2010, and Dendreon was recognized as the most innovative company at the 2010 Washington State Governor’s Life Sciences Summit. Dr. Gold currently serves on the board of the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Prostate Cancer Institute. Dr. Gold received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his M.D. from Rush Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Gold was a resident physician in the Department of Urology at the University of Washington.
Conference Call Information
Dendreon will host a conference call on February 1, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. ET. To access the live call, dial 1-877-548-9590 (domestic) or +1-720-545-0037 (international); the conference ID number is 48222622. The call also will be audio webcast and will be available from the Company's website at http://www.dendreon.com under the "Investor/Webcasts and Presentations" section. A recorded rebroadcast will be available for interested parties unable to participate in the live conference call by dialing 1-855-859-2056 or +1-404-537-3406 for international callers; the conference ID number is 48222622. The replay will be available from 12:00 p.m. ET on February 1 until 11:59 p.m. ET on February 8. In addition, the webcast will be archived for on-demand listening for 30 days at http://www.dendreon.com.
Dendreon Corporation is a biotechnology company whose mission is to target cancer and transform lives through the discovery, development, commercialization and manufacturing of novel therapeutics. The Company applies its expertise in antigen identification, engineering and cell processing to produce active cellular immunotherapy (ACI) product candidates designed to stimulate an immune response in a variety of tumor types. Dendreon's first product, PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2010. Dendreon is exploring the application of additional ACI product candidates and small molecules for the potential treatment of a variety of cancers. The Company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol DNDN. For more information about the Company and its programs, visit http://www.dendreon.com/.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, developments affecting Dendreon's business and prospects, including progress on the commercialization efforts for PROVENGE. Information on the factors and risks that could affect Dendreon's business, financial condition and results of operations are contained in Dendreon's public disclosure filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Dendreon cautions investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Dendreon on the date hereof, and Dendreon undertakes no obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release, except as required by law.
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