Outgoing Genzyme CEO Termeer hops on to AVEO board

Henri Termeer (photo) is leaving the newly acquired Genzyme with a severance deal worth potentially more than $200 million, but he'll be keeping his finger in the biotech game as a new director of AVEO Pharmaceuticals.

"Henri's experience building Genzyme into a leading global biotechnology company with significant commercial prowess will be extremely beneficial as we begin commercial planning activities associated with tivozanib, our triple VEGF receptor inhibitor," said Tuan Ha-Ngoc, president and chief executive officer of AVEO. "We believe that Henri's insight and extensive experience will be a significant asset for this next stage of the company."

Termeer arrives at AVEO at an important time. Just a couple of months ago AVEO signed a rich, $1.4 billion development and commercialization pact with Astellas for tivozanib. Now in a Phase III head-to-head study comparing the drug to Nexavar, Astellas plans to spearhead commercialization work for tivozanib in Europe, leaving Aveo in charge in the U.S.

AVEO also announced that directors Douglas Cole, M.D., general partner at Flagship Ventures, and Russell Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., managing director of Prospect Venture Partners, will not stand for re-election at AVEO's 2011 annual shareholder meeting.

- check out the AVEO release