EUSA Pharma nabs new executives, including the recently ousted Abeona CEO

Pfizer sign
Carsten Thiel comes after being kicked out as Abeona CEO last year, while Darrel Cohen joins from Pfizer. (Tracy Staton)

Cancer and rare disease life science company EUSA Pharma has added two biopharma veterans to its roster, with one coming after being fired from his old job and the other a top Pfizer scientist.

Carsten Thiel, who becomes EUSA’s new president of Europe, was in November kicked out as CEO of U.S.-based gene therapy specialist Abeona Therapeutics for “personal misconduct” amid allegations of “misconduct towards colleagues,” although exact details were never shared.

RELATED: Abeona ejects CEO Carsten Thiel for 'personal misconduct'

Thiel, who’s also had stints at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Amgen, had only been Abeona’s chief for a few months before being ousted. Thiel has been in biopharma for nearly 30 years, and though the former CEO may have slunk quietly away, he appears to still want roles in life science companies.

At EUSA, he’ll lead its growing commercial infrastructure in Europe, the company said, in what is a newly created role.

In the second and also newly created position, EUSA has placed Dr. Darrel Cohen as its head of clinical development, where he will focus on the company’s late-stage pipeline work, mainly in its already marketed cancer and rare disease drugs.

Cohen, an hematologist and oncologist by training, comes to EUSA after working in Pfizer's global oncology organization as vice president and clinical development leader, having previously led clinical development for the U.S. giant’s cancer drugs Xalkori and Sutent. He came to Pfizer from Sanofi.  

Lee Morley, EUSA Pharma's chief executive officer, said, "We are delighted to welcome Carsten and Darrel to EUSA. Both bring significant experience, vision and proven executional skills to the Company, which will prove invaluable as we continue the rapid expansion in Europe, Emerging Markets and the United States.”