ImClone Systems has booted its CEO and hired investment banking firm Lazard to find a buyer for the company. Board member Joseph L. Fischer took over as interim CEO after the board decided to replace Philip Frost. Board members said that they wanted someone with a strong financial background to handle the company during the transition ahead. Fischer is the second interim CEO in two months. The move came after the company announced that despite declining revenue it earned a profit of $13 million, or 15 cents a share. Revenue dropped from $107.3 million to $98.2 million. Those earnings represent about half of what analysts had been expecting.
ImClone's only product is the storied cancer drug Erbitux, which may soon be facing competition from Amgen's panitumumab. Analysts saw the move to hire Lazard for a "strategic review" a sign that the company knows it will soon face competing drugs and that biotech companies are also earning a premium in today's market.
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