Inspire Pharma R&D chief departs in shakeup

Inspire Pharmaceuticals' R&D chief is departing the company as the new CEO puts his stamp on the Durham, NC-based developer. Sepracor vet Adrian Adams was recently tapped to run the company, and he wasted little time in shaking up the executive team that runs the biotech.

Aside from redefining some roles and planning two new hires, Adams says that R&D chief Benjamin Yerxa will step aside at the end of this month. And a company spokesperson said that Yerxa's decision was driven at least in part by the company's increased focus on commercial activities and the fact that Inspire's new therapy for cystic fibrosis is now in late-stage development.

"Ben decided now is the time to make this transition," said Jenny Kobin. "His passion is in the area of drug discovery and research. We are at the point where we are in the later stages of that right now."

Adams is "just building a more commercially oriented organization, I believe, and making a distinct separation between the respiratory and ophthalmology sections," Cowen & Co. analyst Ian Sanderson told the News & Observer.

- here's the story from the Durham News & Observer