Healthcare Industry News: Eculizumab
News Release - April 25, 2013
Alexion Broadens and Strengthens its Executive Leadership TeamMartin Mackay, Ph.D. to Join Alexion as Global Leader of R&D; Saqib Islam To Join as Chief Strategy and Portfolio Officer
Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., Promoted to New Position of Chief Global Operations Officer
CHESHIRE, Conn.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) today announced that it is broadening and strengthening its executive leadership team in line with the Company’s expanding global mission to develop and commercialize life transforming therapies for patients with disorders that are severe, life-threatening, and ultra-rare.
Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., co-founder of Alexion, is being promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Chief Global Operations Officer. Martin Mackay, Ph.D. will be joining Alexion as Executive Vice President, Global Head of R&D, and Saqib Islam, J.D. has joined Alexion as Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Portfolio Officer. All three executives will report directly to Leonard Bell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alexion.
The arrivals of Dr. Mackay and Mr. Islam will help to broaden Alexion’s portfolio of transformative ultra-orphan therapeutic candidates and accelerate the development of these candidates into approved products. The promotion of Dr. Squinto to his new position will support these initiatives, and also improve and expand critical processes in manufacturing, quality and corporate project management.
Growing to Serve More Patients, with More Disorders, in More Countries
Alexion currently serves patients in nearly 50 countries with Soliris® (Eculizumab), the Company’s first approved product. Soliris is approved for patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in the US, European Union, Japan and other territories as the first and only treatment indicated for this debilitating and life-threatening ultra-rare blood disease. Soliris is also approved for patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) in the US and European Union as the first and only treatment indicated for this life-threatening and ultra-rare, genetic disease. As it continues the global introductions of Soliris in PNH and aHUS, the Company is developing the most robust pipeline in its history, with five highly innovative therapeutic candidates at various stages of development across nine severe and life-threatening disorders that are also ultra-rare.
Stephen Squinto, Ph.D.
Dr. Squinto, co-founder of Alexion along with Dr. Bell, has helped to grow the Company from a start-up to a global organization with 1,500 employees around the world. Dr. Squinto continues to serve as a key member of the executive leadership team, having risen to Executive Vice President and Head of R&D in 2007, and subsequently leading the development of Soliris through its approval in aHUS. Most recently, Dr. Squinto has driven the expansion of Alexion’s R&D pipeline to now comprise five highly innovative therapeutic candidates. In his new position of Chief Global Operations Officer, Dr. Squinto will increasingly focus his activities on leadership of the Company’s critical technical operations and quality organizations. Dr. Squinto will commence his new duties at Alexion in mid-May.
“Steve’s deep experience, strong technical background and excellent leadership skills, position him well to lead the critical expansions in our global manufacturing and quality organizations,” said Dr. Bell. “Additionally, Steve’s leadership in the development of a corporate project management organization will serve as a critical underpinning for our global growth across many vital functions and projects.”
Martin Mackay, Ph.D.
Dr. Mackay brings to Alexion more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development on a global scale. In his position, Dr. Mackay will focus on continuing to build and improve Alexion’s global research and development organization with a goal of accelerating the simultaneous development of multiple drug candidates in debilitating and life-threatening ultra-rare disorders across a range of therapeutic areas. Most recently, Dr. Mackay served as President, Research and Development at AstraZeneca, reporting directly to the CEO, where he led all R&D functions on a global basis, including discovery research, clinical development, regulatory affairs and key related R&D functions. Prior to AstraZeneca, Dr. Mackay held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, rising to the position of President, Head of Pfizer Pharmatherapeutics, R&D, where he reported to the CEO and Chairman, overseeing all aspects of discovery and development of therapies across nine therapeutic areas. Earlier in his career, Dr. Mackay worked in the CIBA organization (now Novartis) and held positions within academia. He received his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Mackay will join Alexion in mid-May.
“I am excited to be joining Alexion at a time when the company is developing the most robust pipeline in its history. With an exclusive focus on transformative therapies, we can bring hope to an increasing number of patients with a wide range of life-threatening ultra-rare disorders,” said Dr. Mackay.
“Martin’s passion to help patients, and his world-class experience in building and leading talented R&D organizations across multiple therapeutic areas, will help Alexion to reach the next levels in our mission to bring additional breakthrough therapies to individuals and families suffering from devastating and ultra-rare conditions,” said Dr. Bell.
Mr. Islam brings to Alexion 18 years of experience in global business management, with a focus on business development, strategic decision-making and planning, and capital markets. In his new position, he will focus on both executing our corporate growth strategies as well as contributing to our assessment and management of our global operations. Mr. Islam has an extensive background in the healthcare banking sector, having held positions of increasing responsibility in the investment banking divisions of Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and most recently, Credit Suisse Securities, where he served as Managing Director, Head of Healthcare and Diversified Industrials Capital Markets. Earlier in his career, at The Boston Consulting Group, Mr. Islam had provided strategic analysis and advice to client firms across diverse industry segments. Mr. Islam received his Bachelor’s degree from McGill University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
“Alexion offers an unmatched combination of a unique and highly respected track record within the ultra-orphan space, substantial global resources, and an entrepreneurial determination to serve even more patients with severe, ultra-rare disorders,” said Mr. Islam. “I look forward to helping Alexion to continue growing into a leadership position on the global healthcare stage.”
“Saqib’s experience within healthcare and across other key industries will be invaluable as we enter the next phase of leading the Alexion organization to maximize our opportunities to serve patients,” said Dr. Bell. “He will play a central role as we continue to grow our global organization to serve more patients with additional severe and ultra-rare disorders.”
Soliris is a first-in-class terminal complement inhibitor developed from the laboratory through regulatory approval and commercialization by Alexion. Soliris is approved in the U.S., European Union, Japan and other countries as the first and only treatment for patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a debilitating, ultra-rare and life-threatening blood disorder, characterized by complement-mediated hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells). Soliris is indicated to reduce hemolysis.
Soliris is also approved in the U.S. and the European Union as the first and only treatment for patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a debilitating, ultra-rare and life-threatening genetic disorder characterized by complement-mediated thrombotic microangiopathy, or TMA (blood clots in small vessels). Soliris is indicated to inhibit complement-mediated TMA. The effectiveness of Soliris in aHUS is based on the effects on TMA and renal function. Prospective clinical trials in additional patients are ongoing to confirm the benefit of Soliris in patients with aHUS. Soliris is not indicated for the treatment of patients with Shiga toxin E. coli related hemolytic uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS).
Alexion's breakthrough approach in complement inhibition has received the pharmaceutical industry's highest honors: the 2008 Prix Galien USA Award for Best Biotechnology Product with broad implications for future biomedical research, and the 2009 Prix Galien France Award in the category of Drugs for Rare Diseases. More information, including the full prescribing information on Soliris, is available at www.soliris.net.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients with severe and ultra-rare disorders through the innovation, development and commercialization of life-transforming therapeutic products. Alexion is the global leader in complement inhibition and has developed and markets a treatment for patients with PNH and aHUS, two debilitating, ultra-rare and life-threatening disorders caused by chronic uncontrolled complement activation. The treatment is currently approved in more than 40 countries for the treatment of PNH, and in the United States and the European Union for the treatment of aHUS. Alexion is evaluating other potential indications for its marketed drug and is developing four other highly innovative biotechnology product candidates, which are being investigated across nine severe and ultra-rare disorders beyond PNH and aHUS. This press release and further information about Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. can be found at: www.alexionpharma.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to factors that may cause Alexion's results and plans to differ from those expected, including for example, decisions of regulatory authorities regarding marketing approval or material limitations on the marketing of Soliris for its current or potential new indications, and a variety of other risks set forth from time to time in Alexion's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the risks discussed in Alexion's Quarterly Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2012, and in Alexion's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Alexion does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, except when a duty arises under law.
Source: Alexion Pharmaceuticals
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