Sector News

Apotex CEO Jeremy Desai resigns in midst of turmoil

January 29, 2018
Life sciences

The turmoil at Canada’s largest home-grown pharma company, generics maker Apotex, continues with the resignation of CEO Jeremy Desai even as the company deals with the fallout from the murders of the company’s founder.

Apotex said Friday that Desai had resigned and was being replaced by vice chairman and former CEO Jack Kay. Apotex global generics president Jeff Watson, a 25-year veteran of the company, has been appointed president and chief operating officer.

The resignation of Desai comes six months after Teva filed a lawsuit against him and Apotex claiming that for two years Desai received copies of Teva trade secrets from his girlfriend, Barinder Sandhu, who before her 2016 departure was Teva’s chief of regulatory affairs for its American generics business.

A company spokesman declined to tell CBC News the reason for Desai’s departure saying only, “We thank Jeremy for his contributions and wish him success in the next phase of his career.”

Separately, Toronto police on Friday announced that they were investigating the strangulation deaths of 75-year-old Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his 70-year-old wife, Honey, as a targeted double murder, according to a streamed version of a press conference.

Police said the couple was found Dec. 15, 2017 with belts around their necks that were attached to a railing near the indoor pool of their $7 million home. Police declined to discuss suspects or a possible motive. Det.-Sgt. Susan Gomes did say, “Legal complexities in some (evidence) executions have been challenging, given the litigious nature of Barry Sherman’s businesses, in particular the search and seizure of electronics in [his] workspace at Apotex.”

The Canadian billionaire was known to be litigious and was involved in a number of legal battles when Toronto police were called to the couple’s three-story home and found them strangled to death on the deck of their pool. The Toronto Star reported that just days before they were murdered, Sherman had filed a lawsuit in an effort to quash a government investigation into whether lobbying rules had been broken when he held a political fundraiser for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He has also been involved in a decadelong legal battle with cousins who claim they are owed part of the Apotex fortune.

Apotex even claimed to international authorities that the U.S. violated the North American Free Trade Act when it banned products from Apotex plants in Toronto and Quebec from 2009 to 2011 over quality problems uncovered by the FDA. An arbitration panel sided with the FDA.

Apotex has a history of issues with regulatory agencies. Following a November inspection, the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) pulled the manufacturing certificate for an Apotex solid-dose plant in Bangalore, India, saying investigators found a risk for cross-contamination.

By Eric Palmer

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

January 29, 2023

Colorcon, Inc. signs Put agreement with intent to acquire controlled atmosphere packaging specialist Airnov Healthcare Packaging

Life sciences

Airnov provides critical healthcare industries with high-quality, controlled atmosphere packaging, to protect their products from moisture and oxygen. The business has manufacturing facilities in the USA, France, China and India and employs around 700 people.

January 29, 2023

Takeda pledges up to $1.13B for rights to Hutchmed’s cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China

Life sciences

Takeda of Japan has partnered with Hong Kong-based Hutchmed, gaining the commercial rights to colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China for $400 million up front, plus $730 million in potential milestone payments. Takeda also will help develop fruquintinib, which can be applied to subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, regardless of biomarker status, the companies said.

January 29, 2023

Vir taps Bayer dealmaker Marianne De Backer as its next CEO

Life sciences

On April 3, Scangos, who’s been chief executive officer at Vir since the start of 2017, will hand over the reins to Marianne De Backer, Ph.D. De Backer comes over from Bayer, where she currently heads up pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing. Alongside her CEO appointment, De Backer is set to join Vir’s board of directors, the company said Wednesday.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach