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Daily Brief: Lundbeck gets new leader, Recordati sold, GSK-backed firm prepares for market

A round-up from pharma, biotech and healthcare

Dunsire named new Lundbeck chief executive

Deborah Dunsire

Facing declining sales of its older drugs, neuroscience specialists Lundbeck has secured a CEO to help reinvigorate the business.

Deborah Dunsire has been named as the Copenhagen-headquartered firm’s new leader, and is best known as the former CEO of Millennium.

Under her leadership the US pharma company produced blockbuster-selling drugs like Velcade before it was sold to Takeda back in 2008.

Lundbeck has been without a permanent CEO since Kåre Schultz left to take on the turnaround of Israel’s troubled pharma group Teva last year.

Lundbeck saw its share price more than triple due to his downsizing strategy, which included cutting around 1,000 jobs.

Now the Danish group needs to reinvigorate it pipeline, and chairman Lars Rasmussen believes Dunshire is the women for the job.

“She brings a wealth of highly successful R&D and commercial experiences including a robust knowledge and experience in neuroscience,” he said.

“She is a proven and highly passionate leader and has all the qualifications to take Lundbeck to the next level as a global leader within psychiatric and neurological disorders.”

Taking over from interim chief executive Anders Gotzsche on 1 September, Dunsire will bring more than 30 years of clinical, commercial and management experience from the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, primarily in the fields of oncology and CNS.

Dunsire trained as doctor before moving into the industry, also heading up Massachusetts-based Xtuit Pharmaceuticals.

“I think my challenge is to build sustainability into the future and make sure Lundbeck is well-prepared for the next decade of growth,” Dunsire, told Reuters.

“Clearly there is going to be some organic growth, there’s some very interesting things in the pipeline, but I would never rule out that there will be external assets that we may look to acquire or partner,” she added.

Recordati to be acquired for €3bn

The family-controlled Italian pharma company Recordati is to bought out by venture capital firm CVC Capital Partners for €3.03 billion.

The Recordati family have been considering a sale since the death of chief executive Giovanni Recordati two years ago, and will now hand over their 51% controlling stake to CVC.

The acquisition is made up of 2.3 billion in cash and €750 million in long-term debt. Current CEO Andrea Recordati will remain at the helm, and welcomed the deal.

“It was important to find a party that would allow Recordati to remain independent [and to] accelerate its growth strategy as a leading global consolidator in the industry,” he said.

CVC will aim to expand Recordati’s revenues, including its rare disease business.  Last year the Italian firm paid $300m to purchase AstraZeneca’s European rights to cardiovascular drug Seloken and related combination Logimax.

Liquidia prepares for IPO

Liquidia Technologies has filed for an IPO, looking to raise funding for its particle engineering platform and bring new drugs to market.

Its PRINT technology is a particle engineering platform which allows precise production of uniform drug particles, with the aim of improving the safety, efficacy and performance of a wide range of therapies.

Liquidia is developing two product candidates: LIQ861 for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and LIQ865 for local post-operative pain.

LIQ861 is in phase III trials to improve the therapeutic profile of off-patent drug treprostinil by enhancing deep-lung delivery and achieving higher dose levels than current inhaled therapies by using a convenient, disposable dry powder inhaler.

Liquidia has a number of backers, including venture capital firms and corporate investment vehicles and GlaxoSmithKline, with which it has a long-term collaboration deal.

The company plans to raise about $57.5 million in the IPO and list its common stock on the Nasdaq exchange, and is supported by global private capital firm Capbridge

3rd July 2018

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