Chutes & Ladders: Allergan CEO Saunders adds chairman to title


Chutes and Ladders

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Angus Liu (email), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Allergan’s Brent Saunders takes on the role of chairman from Actavis vet Paul Bisaro

ImaraGerald Cox

Brent Saunders
assumes additional role as chairman of board.

Allergan President and CEO Brent Saunders has taken Paul Bisaro’s place as chairman of the company’s board, a déjà vu when one traces back to 2014 as Bisaro’s Actavis bought Saunders’ Forest Laboratories and handed Saunders the helm as chief exec of the merged company. Actavis acquired Allergan in 2015 and sold its global generics business to Teva this August and its Anda distribution business in October. Since the transformation has already been completed, Bisaro said it is “the right time to transition leadership of the Allergan Board of Directors to Brent.” Bisaro will remain a member of the board. The company has also elected Christopher Coughlin as its lead independent director. FiercePharma

Concordia CEO Mark Thompson to step down in the aftermath of Valeant exec change

ImaraGerald Cox

Mark Thompson will leave the drugmaker soon.

Concordia is facing the same pushback as Valeant was, since it adopted the same vastly criticized price-hiking strategy as the latter. And now, the Canadian pharma is again following Valeant’s lead in solving the crisis--by letting go of its CEO. Mark Thompson, founder and current CEO of Concordia, will step down as soon as the company finds a replacement. Although the company didn’t verify the reason for Thompson’s departure, it said it “agreed that this would be the ideal time for a leadership change.” Thompson used to be a VP of business development at Biovail, which was later acquired by Valeant. FiercePharma

Endo bids farewell to CFO Suketu Upadhyay, close on the heels of new CEO appointment


Michael Rogers

Suketu Upadhyay
leaves his position as EVP and CFO.

Only a month ago, Endo named former Par exec Paul Campanelli as its new president and CEO. Now, it is parting ways with CFO Suketu Upadhyay, effective November 22. Blaise Coleman, the company’s SVP of global finance operations, will act as interim CFO as the company searches for a permanent replacement. Amid this financial exec adjustment, Campanelli stressed confidence in Endo’s third-quarter and full-year performance in a release announcing the news, a necessary reassurance for its investors as the company recently slashed its Q2 guidance. Release

> Alzheimer’s drug development co. Cognition Therapeutics appoints Kenneth Moch president and CEO. Release

> Jeffrey Francer joins Generic Pharmaceutical Association as SVP and general counsel. Release

> Abzena makes John Manzello president of its U.S. operation and Sven Lee CBO. Release

> Almac Group taps Victor Diaz Perez as head of physical sciences. Release

> CRO BioPharmaSpec hires Richard Easton as new technical director of structural analysis and Mark Millichip as technical director of physicochemical analysis. FierceBiotechCRO

> Former AstraZeneca vet Reginald Seeto appointed by Ardelyx as COO. Release

> Cerulean promotes Scott Eliasof to SVP and CSO. Release

> Elisha Finney will retire as CFO of Varian Medical Systems. Release

> Former Novartis vet Dr. L. Andres Sirulnik becomes Merus’ CMO. Release​​​​​​​

> David Lee becomes Shire’s new head of global oncology. Release​​​​​​​