Sector News

Alexion brings on former Baxalta chief Hantson to fill vacant CEO spot

March 28, 2017
Life sciences

Alexion’s CEO search is over. The Connecticut biotech, which bade its skipper farewell late last year, is bringing former Baxalta chief Ludwig Hantson into the fold.

Hantson will take the reins from David Brennan, who stepped in as interim CEO after David Hallal made his exit last December. Brennan will remain on Alexion’s board, which expects to appoint him chairman at the company’s mid-May annual meeting, Alexion said.

All eyes will be on the newcomer CEO, who will be tasked with helping Alexion move on after an investigation that found that, to hit financial targets, former execs pressed staffers to get customers to place their orders of lead med Soliris earlier than they would have otherwise. During that probe, both Hallal and then-CFO Vikas Sinha left the company, with one source telling CNBC that the pair had lost the confidence of Alexion’s board.

Meanwhile, Hantson’s experience in the rare-disease field will come in handy at Alexion, whose marketed products are used to treat orphan diseases such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. Baxalta’s hemophilia prowess is what drew rare-disease drugmaker Shire’s attention, and its 2016 buyout of the Baxter spinoff put Hantson out of a job.

He’ll need to lean on that know-how early, with plenty of near-term events on Alexion’s horizon. Among them: regulatory decisions in the U.S. and EU for Soliris in refractory generalized myasthenia gravis, an indication that could kick in about $200 million in additional sales by 2020, Barclays analyst Geoff Meacham has predicted.

On his resume, Hantson has more than the stint at short-lived Baxalta, which stood on its own for less than a year before the $32 billion Shire deal closed. He held a number of roles with Novartis—including CEO of Novartis’ North American pharma division and CEO of Novartis Europe—as part of a decade-long tenure at the Swiss pharma giant.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

February 4, 2023

MedTrace receives U.S. patent for diagnosing the human heart

Life sciences

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to MedTrace for their method of diagnosing the human heart via 15O-water PET. The patented method is the foundation of the company’s software aQuant, currently under development. Hendrik “Hans” Harms, PhD and Senior Scientist at MedTrace, and Jens Soerensen, Professor and Clinical Advisor to MedTrace, are the originators of the method.

February 4, 2023

Roche taps insider Teresa Graham for top pharma job as setbacks prompt M&A questions

Life sciences

Teresa Graham, currently head of global product strategy for Roche pharma, will become the division’s new CEO next month, Roche said Thursday. Simultaneously, Roche is elevating Levi Garraway, chief medical officer, to the executive committee.

February 4, 2023

J&J’s pharma group quietly works through global overhaul, with layoffs expected to reach multiple countries

Life sciences

Fierce Pharma has obtained internal documents and video of a town hall meeting conducted this week describing what J&J called a “comprehensive review” of its portfolio. Moving forward, J&J plans to operate its vaccines and infectious diseases outfits as one group, the executives explained.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach