Apotex founder and wife's death now suspected homicide; Spectrum CEO Rajesh Shrotriya fired
→ Barry Sherman, the founder of Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex Inc., and his wife, Honey, were found dead in their home Friday from what Toronto’s homicide detectives are calling “ligature neck compression” – a type of strangulation. Sherman founded the generics company in 1974, and today it makes over 300 generics, employs 11,000 people worldwide and reports annual sales of over $1 billion. Sherman’s net worth was estimated at $4.77 billion by Canadian Business. In recent years, Sherman and his company has been at the center of legal disputes in the U.S. after Apotex launched a cheaper, generic version of blood-thinning drug Plavix. As a result, the company had to pay $440 million in damages to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi in a patent-infringement case. Although Toronto law enforcement is looking into the deaths as potential homicides, Sherman’s family told the Wall Street Journal they couldn’t believe it to be true.
→ Rajesh Shrotriya, the 15-year chairman and CEO of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, has been fired, the company announced Sunday. The termination triggered a chain of leadership changes: current president and COO Joseph Turgeon is now president and CEO, as well as a board of director member; director Stuart Krassner fills the chairman seat; and Thomas Riga (EVP, CCO and head of business development) becomes COO. Turgeon is an Amgen vet who used to oversee commercial activities for Spectrum.
→ France’s Sensorion and Australia’s Cochlear Ltd. will collaborate on a combo using SENS-401 and cochlear implants to improve hearing. Preclinical work begins next year.
Additional reporting by Amber Tong and John Carroll.