Neos poaches AgeneBio chief as CEO Vipin Garg abruptly resigns

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Neos is entering its next stage of evolution following three FDA approvals in two years for its easy-to-take, extended-release ADHD formulations. (Pixabay)

Following the sudden resignation of Vipin Garg, its president and CEO, Neos Therapeutics has poached AgeneBio chief executive Jerry McLaughlin to fill the top spot, effective immediately.

No reason was given for the departure, though a company statement described it as a mutual decision between Garg and the board of directors. Garg will stay on as an advisor through July to assist with the executive transition, as the company moves on after receiving FDA approvals for most of its pipeline over the past two-and-a-half years.

Specializing in extended-release and orally disintegrating treatments, Neos maintains three approved products for ADHD: Adzenys XR-ODT, a dissolvable version of Adderall, and Cotempla XR-ODT, a similar copy of Ritalin. The company also markets the oral suspension Adzenys-ER, as well as a generic version of UCB’s cough and cold medicine Tussionex, and lists two CNS drugs in preclinical development.

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“I have been proud to oversee a team of talented individuals and lead them through the company’s successful IPO in 2015 and the commercial launch of our three branded products for the treatment of ADHD,” Garg said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the company continue to advance and grow under Jerry’s leadership.”

McLaughlin served as president and CEO of AgeneBio since June 2014. Before that, he was senior VP and chief commercial officer at NuPathe, until its acquisition by Teva Pharmaceuticals. He has also held roles at Endo Pharmaceuticals and Merck. McLaughlin will serve on Neos’ board of directors.

RELATED: PDL goes public with hostile bid to buy Neos

After the company’s $72 million IPO in 2015, the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas-based Neos became the target of a hostile takeover bid from PDL BioPharma investment group. PDL went public with its plans in October of last year, saying Neos’ board refused to negotiate in good faith, after a round of dilutive financing drove down the company’s stock price.

The board went on to reject a buyout offer 40% over the company’s stock price, describing it as “substantially undervalued,” compared to their view of Neos’ future. PDL said in February it would no longer pursue the deal.

RELATED: Neos, facing criticism, wins approval for another easy-to-take pediatric ADHD medication

In being named the new CEO, McLaughlin described Neos as having a unique commercial franchise with strong growth potential in a large market.

“I look forward to working with the whole team to increase the market share for these products, advance the development pipeline and contribute to the overall growth of the company at this next stage,” McLaughlin said.

Neos’ board of directors granted McLaughlin an option to purchase 600,000 shares of common stock, equal to the current share closing price, vested in annual installments over a four-year period. They also granted an option to purchase 200,000 shares, with subject to vesting upon achievement of performance-based goals during the first two years.

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