Beleaguered biotech Axovant announced Monday that President and COO Marion McCourt would be departing “to pursue another opportunity” as part of a larger executive shakeup that also claimed CEO David Hung. And as it turns out, McCourt’s opportunity is with Regeneron.
The New York biotech this week publicly named (PDF) McCourt as its new SVP and commercial head. She’ll lead “all aspects” of product commercialization for Regeneron’s already approved drugs, as well as its development-stage pipeline, the company said.
McCourt will be replacing Bob Terifay, who early last month resigned as commercial EVP. He’ll officially retire from the company on July 31 after a medical leave of absence wraps up.
As CEO Len Schleifer pointed out in a statement, McCourt has an opportunity to make a big impact at her new employer, considering that the company boasts 15 late-stage programs that could land new approvals or indications.
“Marion will play a critical role in shaping Regeneron’s future and ensuring our innovative medicines reach patients in need,” he said.
She’ll also be responsible for steering blockbuster and lead drug Eylea through potential competition down the line, as well as keeping it churning out double-digit growth more than six years after its first approval. To do that, she’ll need to help the product push further into diabetic eye diseases, an area management says remains relatively untapped.
Plus, she’ll be tasked with the ongoing launch of three drugs Regeneron shares with Sanofi:
1.Cholesterol-fighter Praluent, which entered the market to great fanfare only to come up against serious payer obstacles.
2.Dupixent, the atopic dermatitis drug that’s already catching on.
3.Kevzara, a rheumatoid arthritis product that’s competing in an already-crowded field.
McCourt has plenty of commercial experience to draw on in her new role, though. After kicking off her career with 12 years at AstraZeneca, she went on to serve as VP of Amgen’s U.S. commercial operations and VP and general manager of its bone health and primary care business units. She also held a C-suite post at Medivation until Pfizer bought it out, at which time she joined then-Medivation CEO Hung in jumping over to Axovant.
In addition to Hung and McCourt, Axovant directors Kate Falberg, Tony Vernon and Patrick Machado also left the company Monday.
By Carly Helfand
Source: Fierce Pharma
Colorcon Ventures, the corporate venture fund of Colorcon Inc., has invested in VeriSIM Life, a San Francisco-based startup with a digital bio-simulation platform that accelerates drug development and reduces animal testing.
Initial public offerings have fueled biotech’s boom. Keep track of them as they happen with this database. Which biotechs create value over time, and which fail? What types of companies are generating the best returns? Who are their top investors? Biopharma Dive is tracking these details in the database which will be updated regularly.
Sanofi has ended a long-running alliance with Sangamo Therapeutics to develop genetic medicines for inherited blood disorders, among them an experimental sickle cell disease therapy that is in early clinical testing.
The two have been developing complex, personalized treatments, led by a sickle cell drug known as SAR445136. But Sanofi is now more interested in off-the-shelf approaches, which are meant to be more convenient.