Roiled by C-suite turmoil and a CRL, Immunomedics salutes CMO Rob Iannone as he makes a quick exit

Just days after celebrating his first anniversary as chief medical officer at Immunomedics $IMMU, I/O vet Rob Iannone is hitting the exit door. 

Rob Iannone

In a statement out this morning, Iannone said he was making another career leap to Pennsylvania, going where he could be close to his family “after many years of having worked far away from home.” The cancer R&D vet, who jumped to Immunomedics after a stint at AstraZeneca, didn’t mention exactly where he’s headed.

His departure comes as the Morris Plains, NJ-based biotech is being roiled by setbacks and departures. The CEO exited just two months ago, after the biotech’s lead drug — the antibody drug conjugate IMMU-132, or sacituzumab govitecan — was rejected by the FDA.

Michael Pehl

Michael Pehl’s resignation right after the CRL came 15 months after he arrived to help end the long-running drama over the drug and the company, which had been taken over by the crew led by venBio’s Behzad Aghazadeh. Aghazadeh derailed a $300 million upfront pact with Immunomedics on their lead drug — ousting the husband and wife team who had run the company for years in the process — in the spring of 2017 and later landed a $250 million royalty deal to fund the company’s work. 

It didn’t work out though. Just before Pehl departed from the biotech, an agency report began to circulate showing that the FDA had cited the company for a breach of data integrity after an August inspection. The regulatory report on the facility spotlighted the agency’s concerns about manipulated samples and backdated documents.

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