SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Jan. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq:BMRN) today announced that, after a tenure of more than a decade, Pierre Lapalme has elected to step down as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors following the annual meeting of stockholders anticipated in June of this year. Mr. Lapalme will seek re-election to serve as a Director on BioMarin's Board at the meeting. Mr. Lapalme joined BioMarin's Board of Directors in January 2004 and was named as Chairman of the Board in August 2004.
Following Mr. Lapalme's decision, the Board elected to revise the organizational structure of the Board and the Company. The Board created the position of Lead Independent Director to serve as a liaison between the Chief Executive Officer and the independent directors, and to facilitate discussions and deliberation among the independent directors in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities for the Company. The Board has determined that Richard Meier will serve as the Lead Independent Director effective on Mr. Lapalme stepping down as Chairman. Mr. Meier joined the Board in December 2006.
Also effective on Mr. Lapalme stepping down as Chairman, to better align the operational leadership of the Company, the Board has determined Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin, will assume the role of Chairman of the Board. Mr. Bienaimé joined BioMarin in May 2005 as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors.
"I am proud of our accomplishments over the last ten years as we have transformed BioMarin into a leader in the development and commercialization of therapies to treat rare and ultra-rare diseases," said Pierre Lapalme. "I am sincerely grateful for the backing I have received from BioMarin's Board of Directors, and expect to continue to make significant contributions as a Director over the coming years."
"We are indebted to Pierre for his commitment to BioMarin during his tenure as Chairman of the Board, and want to thank him for his dedication to the Company this past decade," said Richard Meier. "We believe these changes to the Board will help strengthen our ability to serve our shareholders as BioMarin moves toward generating $1 billion in revenue in the coming two to three years. With the Board's unwavering support and guidance, BioMarin is well-positioned to continue along our remarkable growth trajectory."
All of the planned changes are contingent on the reelection of Messrs. Lapalme, Meier and Bienaimé to the Board of Directors at the annual meeting of stockholders later this year. The Lead Independent Director Charter will be posted on Corporate Governance section of the Company's website.
BioMarin develops and commercializes innovative biopharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. The company's product portfolio comprises five approved products and multiple clinical and pre-clinical product candidates. Approved products include VIMIZIM® (elosulfase alfa) for MPS IVA, a product wholly developed and commercialized by BioMarin; Naglazyme® (galsulfase) for MPS VI, a product wholly developed and commercialized by BioMarin; Aldurazyme® (laronidase) for MPS I, a product which BioMarin developed through a 50/50 joint venture with Genzyme Corporation; KUVAN® (sapropterin dihydrochloride) Powder for Oral Solution and Tablets, for phenylketonuria (PKU), developed in partnership with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany and Firdapse® (amifampridine), which has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). Product candidates include BMN 165 (PEGylated recombinant phenylalanine ammonia lyase), also referred to as PEG PAL, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of PKU, talazoparib (formerly referred to as BMN 673), a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of germline BRCA breast cancer, BMN 701, a novel fusion protein of insulin-like growth factor 2 and acid alpha glucosidase (IGF2-GAA), which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of Pompe disease, BMN 111, a modified C-natriuretic peptide, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of achondroplasia, BMN 190, a recombinant human tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (rhTPP1) for the treatment of CLN2 disorder, a form of Batten disease, which is currently in Phase 1, BMN 270, an AAV-factor VIII vector, for the treatment of hemophilia A and BMN 250, a novel fusion of alpha-N-acetyglucosaminidase (NAGLU) with a peptide derived from insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), for the treatment of MPS IIIB.
For additional information, please visit www.BMRN.com. Information on BioMarin's website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
CONTACT: Investors: Traci McCarty BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (415) 455-7558 Media: Debra Charlesworth BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (415) 455-7451