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Vertex appoints Jeffrey Leiden CEO

He will start at the US pharma company in February

Jeffrey Leiden - Vertex CEOUS pharmaceutical company Vertex has appointed Jeffrey Leiden as president and CEO.

He will take over from Matthew Emmens, who will serve as executive chairman until May and then remain at the company as a director.

Dr Leiden has been a director on Vertex's Board since mid-2009 and brings to the company more than 20 years of scientific, commercial and financial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

He said: "Under Matt's leadership, Vertex established itself as a company capable not only of discovering important new medicines, but of successfully bringing those medicines to patients.

"As a member of the Vertex Board, I have been extremely impressed with the company's ability to retain its clear focus on both ground-breaking science and improving the lives of people with serious diseases. It will be a privilege to lead Vertex at this exciting time and to further build the organisation as we prepare for the global launch of our second new therapy, advance our diverse pipeline and build value for shareholders in the years ahead."

Vertex's first drug, hepatitis C treatment Incivek (telaprevir), was launched in the US and Europe earlier this year. Its second most advanced product, the cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco (ivacaftor), was filed for US approval in October.

Dr Leiden officially began his employment with Vertex on Wednesday as part of the transition period and will formally take the role of CEO on February 1, 2012.

He is a managing director at life sciences venture capital firm Clarus Ventures which he joined in 2006. Prior to that, he spent six years at Abbott Laboratories as president and chief operating officer.

As part of his move to Vertex Dr Leiden will relinquish his board responsibilities at Dublin-based speciality biopharmaceutical company Shire.

He currently chairs the company's science and technology committee and is a member of the company's remuneration and nomination committees.

16th December 2011

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