David Hung makes a quick, abrupt exit at Axovant after humiliating setbacks
A month after experiencing one of the most humiliating setbacks in biotech, David Hung is bowing out as CEO of Axovant $AXON.
Hung, you’ll recall, had only recently completed a $14 billion deal to sell Medivation to Pfizer when he agreed to take the helm at Vivek Ramaswamy’s Alzheimer’s company just 10 months ago. His new deal gave him a direct line to a potential fortune, provided the drug — once touted as “a great drug candidate” by Roivant founder Vivek Ramaswamy — actually worked.
But their 5HT6 drug failed to make a mark on symptoms of the disease, and the one positive piece of data the company could report turned out to be an amateurish statistical error — something that professionals around the world cringed at.
Axovant’s already brutalized shares tumbled more than 20% in pre-market trading Monday morning, shoving its market cap down even further. Once valued at more than $2 billion, the vast majority of that has been shredded.
Along with Hung went his whole camp: Marion McCourt — the former COO at Medivation — resigned to “pursue another opportunity, and directors Kate Falberg, Tony Vernon, and Patrick Machado have resigned as members of the company’s board of directors.”
Ex-McKinsey consultant and Harvard Med graduate Pavan Cheruvu is taking Hung’s place. George Bickerstaff, the former CFO of Novartis Pharma, joined Axovant’s board of directors along with ex-United Therapeutics CEO Roger Jeffs.