Clavis Pharma gets orphan drug status, new CEO

Clavis Pharma announced today that the FDA has granted its intravenous pancreatic cancer treatment CP-4126 orphan drug designation. Clavis signed a $380 million development and commercialization deal with cancer-drug powerhouse Clovis Oncology in November. As part of the deal, Clavis handed off all development of the Phase II CP-4126 to Clovis. The FDA designation follows a similar move by European regulators in October of last year.

The Norway-based company also says in a statement it has snagged a UCB executive as its new CEO. Olav Hellebø, formerly senior vice president, UCB Pharma and president of immunology operations, will take on the top spot at Clavis as of February 1. The company said it's bringing Hellebø on because it needs a CEO with more experience in international clinical and commercial development. There's no word yet on where current CEO Geir Christian Melen will head.

- here's Clavis' announcement
- and here's the release on the CEO appointment