Brent Saun­ders’ team gets hit with a PhI­II dis­as­ter — and a grow­ing mob of Al­ler­gan crit­ics seizes the mo­ment

Usu­al­ly when a large cap bio­phar­ma com­pa­ny has a big Phase III dis­as­ter, the top ex­ecs give it a quick mid­night bur­ial, is­sue a brief press re­lease, put up with a few head­lines, watch the mar­ket cap erode a bit and move on down the pipeline.

For Al­ler­gan $AGN, it’s a lot more com­pli­cat­ed than that.

Al­ready un­der pres­sure from the hedge fund Ap­paloosa to split the roles of CEO and chair­man in Brent Saun­ders’ shop, the ac­tivists point­ed to the de­ba­cle with ra­pastinel — Saun­ders’ $560 mil­lion de­pres­sion drug that flat failed a full slate of piv­otal tri­als — as an­oth­er sign that some­one needs to set things right at the com­pa­ny. And that no longer stops with a new chair­man to help steer a bet­ter course. Ap­paloosa wants to put a re­vamp of the man­age­ment team on the ta­ble, along with a sale, breakup or merg­er.

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