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John Johnson is back trying his hand as a turnaround artist for a troubled biotech. Can he win this time?

John Johnson is once again trying his hand as a turnaround artist. The longtime biopharma exec has been named permanent CEO of the troubled Melinta Therapeutics $MLNT, which has been struggling to reorganize after building up a portfolio of antibiotics.

Johnson signaled more budget cuts ahead for Melinta as a top priority as he finished lining up a $135 million credit line for the biotech.

Johnson has been here before. He was recruited to save Dendreon after its disastrous launch of Provenge — though that salvage effort failed badly. And he was brought in from Savient, which had its own snafus to deal with on the launch of the gout drug Krystexxa.

Both Dendreon and Savient ended up in bankruptcy court before being bought up at a knock down price.

Vatera Healthcare Partners is providing the credit line for Melinta, where Johnson has been interim CEO for the last 2 months.

Melinta’s stock barely moved this morning. It’s trading at a little more than $1, keeping its nose above penny stock territory. The stock has dropped 94% over the past year.


Image: John Johnson. W2O


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Biotech Investment Analyst
SV Health Investors Boston, MA
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Contrafect Corporation New York, NY
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Cadent Therapeutics Cambridge, MA

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