Roiled by fi­nan­cial tur­moil, Teva's CEO boots R&D chief, top ex­ecs in C-suite over­haul

Fol­low­ing news of im­pend­ing lay­offs and dis­as­trous fi­nan­cial per­for­mance, the new CEO of gener­ics gi­ant Te­va Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals is boot­ing old ex­ec­u­tives and bring­ing up a new team to lead the trou­bled com­pa­ny’s re­struc­tur­ing ef­forts.

Kåre Schultz

Kåre Schultz, who took the reins at Te­va ear­li­er this month, has made staffing cuts his first big move. The com­pa­ny is ex­pect­ed to soon slash 4,000 jobs at its head­quar­ters and plants in Is­rael, along with some lo­ca­tions in the US, Cal­cal­ist re­port­ed last Thurs­day.

Now, the com­pa­ny’s C-suite is al­so get­ting a shake­up. Te­va an­nounced this morn­ing that three top ex­ec­u­tives are re­tir­ing at the end of the year, con­firm­ing ru­mors that some head hon­chos were head­ed out.

Te­va’s high-pro­file R&D chief Michael Hay­den, who joined the com­pa­ny back in 2012, is among those leav­ing the com­pa­ny. Rob Ko­re­mans, pres­i­dent and CEO of Te­va’s Glob­al Spe­cial­ty Med­i­cines, and Di­pankar Bhat­tachar­jee, pres­i­dent and CEO of Te­va’s Glob­al Gener­ic Med­i­cines Group, are al­so ex­it­ing at year’s end.

Schultz has brought up lead­ers from Te­va’s glob­al busi­ness arms to lead in Te­va’s re­worked ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment team.

“Te­va is tak­ing de­ci­sive and im­me­di­ate ac­tion to ad­dress ex­ter­nal pres­sures and in­ter­nal in­ef­fi­cien­cies,” Schultz said in a state­ment. “Our new com­pa­ny struc­ture will en­able stronger align­ment and in­te­gra­tion be­tween R&D, op­er­a­tions and the com­mer­cial re­gions, al­low­ing us to be­come a more ag­ile, lean and prof­itable com­pa­ny… The new man­age­ment team will po­si­tion Te­va for turn­around in the short to medi­um term.”

New ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment team:

Mike Mc­Clel­lan

Michael (Mike) Mc­Clel­lan is ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer and will over­see the Fi­nance Group, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, In­vestor Re­la­tions and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy.Pre­vi­ous­ly, he served as In­ter­im CFOan­das SVP & CFO Glob­al Spe­cial­ty Med­i­cines. Pri­or to join­ing Te­va, Mike was the U.S. CFO at Sanofi.

Hafrun Fridriks­dot­tir

Dr. Hafrun Fridriks­dot­tir is ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Glob­al R&D. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she served as Pres­i­dent of Glob­al Gener­ics R&D. Pri­or to join­ing Te­va, Hafrun served as Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent and Pres­i­dent of Glob­al Gener­ics R&D in Al­ler­gan plc.

Bren­dan O’Grady is ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­ca Com­mer­cial.Bren­dan has pre­vi­ous­ly served as Chief Com­mer­cial Of­fi­cer, Glob­al Spe­cial­ty Med­i­cine, as in­ter­im head of Te­va’s Eu­ro­pean spe­cial­ty busi­ness and as Pres­i­dent and CEO for Te­va’s North Amer­i­ca gener­ics busi­ness and as VP US Mar­ket Ac­cess and Re­im­burse­ment.

Richard Daniell is ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Eu­ro­pean Com­mer­cial, af­ter hav­ing served as Pres­i­dent and CEO, Te­va Gener­ics Eu­rope.

Gi­an­fran­co Nazzi is ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent,Growth Mar­kets Com­mer­cial. Gi­an­fran­co has pre­vi­ous­ly served as Pres­i­dent and CEO of Growth Mar­kets at the Glob­al Gener­ic Med­i­cines group, and pri­or to that he was he has served as Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Spe­cial­ty Med­i­cines Eu­rope.

Sven Deth­lefs is ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Glob­al Mar­ket­ing & Port­fo­lio. He pre­vi­ous­ly served as Glob­al Head of Res­pi­ra­to­ry Med­i­cines and as Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer, Te­va Glob­al Op­er­a­tions.

Oth­er than the lead­er­ship shake­up, Te­va ex­pects to an­nounce de­tails on its turn­around plan in mid-De­cem­ber.

“It re­mains our ab­solute pri­or­i­ty to sta­bi­lize the com­pa­ny’s op­er­at­ing prof­it and cash flow in or­der to im­prove our fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, while be­ing fo­cused on short-term rev­enue and cash gen­er­a­tion, and at the same time, en­sure we de­liv­er on our com­mit­ment to sup­ply high-qual­i­ty med­i­cines to pa­tients around the world,” Schultz said in a state­ment.

All this re­struc­tur­ing comes days af­ter Is­raeli’s par­lia­ment shud­dered at news that the trou­bled gener­ics mak­er would lay off about 25% of the com­pa­ny’s Is­raeli work­force. Is­raeli La­bor Par­ty mem­ber Shelly Yachi­movich said she in­tends to call an emer­gency hear­ing of the Is­raeli par­lia­ment’s state con­trol com­mit­tee on the is­sue, Cal­cal­ist re­ports.

“The work­ers are sim­ply hu­man sac­ri­fices of a failed man­age­ment, stu­pid­i­ty and greed,” she wrote in her week­ly email newslet­ter. “We are sick of the pol­i­cy of ex­ces­sive tax ben­e­fits for com­pa­nies such as Te­va, which pro­vide ze­ro oblig­a­tion in re­turn.”

Most of the cuts in Is­rael are ex­pect­ed to hit Te­va’s head­quar­ters in Petach Tik­va, where the com­pa­ny em­ploys about 1,500 peo­ple. But Te­va al­so has plants scat­tered around the coun­try that might be af­fect­ed by the lay­offs.

These tough cuts aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly un­ex­pect­ed. Te­va’s last quar­ter­ly num­bers brought a few key things in­to view: poor fi­nan­cial re­sults and weak gener­ics prices at a time when the com­pa­ny’s in­ter­nal pipeline lacks the num­ber of po­ten­tial block­busters need­ed. Te­va just cut its fi­nan­cial fore­cast, with an ear­ly in­tro­duc­tion of Co­pax­one 40 mg gener­ics ex­pect­ed to bite hard. That came af­ter Te­va built up debt of close to $35 bil­lion for some bad­ly timed ac­qui­si­tions that leave the com­pa­ny auc­tion­ing off as­sets.

To add in­sult to in­jury, Te­va’s close­ly-watched suc­ces­sor to Co­pax­one flunked out in the clin­ic this year, which sur­prised no one fol­low­ing that mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis pro­gram.

Norbert Bischofberger. Kronos

Backed by some of the biggest names in biotech, Nor­bert Bischof­berg­er gets his megaround for plat­form tech out of MIT

A little over a year ago when I reported on Norbert Bischofberger’s jump from the CSO job at giant Gilead to a tiny upstart called Kronos, I noted that with his connections in biotech finance, that $18 million launch round he was starting off with could just as easily have been $100 million or more.

With his first anniversary now behind him, Bischofberger has that mega-round in the bank.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 55,100+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Chas­ing Roche's ag­ing block­buster fran­chise, Am­gen/Al­ler­gan roll out Avastin, Her­ceptin knock­offs at dis­count

Let the long battle for biosimilars in the cancer space begin.

Amgen has launched its Avastin and Herceptin copycats — licensed from the predecessors of Allergan — almost two years after the FDA had stamped its approval on Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb) and three months after the Kanjinti OK (trastuzumab-anns). While the biotech had been fielding biosimilars in Europe, this marks their first foray in the US — and the first oncology biosimilars in the country.

Seer adds ex-FDA chief Mark Mc­Clel­lan to the board; Her­cules Cap­i­tal makes it of­fi­cial for new CEO Scott Bluestein

→ On the same day it announced a $17.5 million Series C, life sciences and health data company Seer unveiled that it had lured former FDA commissioner and ex-CMS administrator Mark McClellan on to its board. “Mark’s deep understanding of the health care ecosystem and visionary insights on policy reform will be crucial in informing our thinking as we work to bring our liquid biopsy and life sciences products to market,” said Seer chief and founder Omid Farokhzad in a statement.

Daniel O'Day

No­var­tis hands off 3 pre­clin­i­cal pro­grams to the an­tivi­ral R&D mas­ters at Gilead

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day’s new task hunting up a CSO for the company isn’t stopping the industry’s dominant antiviral player from doing pipeline deals.

The big biotech today snapped up 3 preclinical antiviral programs from pharma giant Novartis, with drugs promising to treat human rhinovirus, influenza and herpes viruses. We don’t know what the upfront is, but the back end has $291 million in milestones baked in.

Vas Narasimhan, AP Images

On a hot streak, No­var­tis ex­ecs run the odds on their two most im­por­tant PhI­II read­outs. Which is 0.01% more like­ly to suc­ceed?

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan is living in the sweet spot right now.

The numbers are running a bit better than expected, the pipeline — which he assembled as development chief — is performing and the stock popped more than 4% on Thursday as the executive team ran through their assessment of Q2 performance.

Year-to-date the stock is up 28%, so the investors will be beaming. Anyone looking for chinks in their armor — and there are plenty giving it a shot — right now focus on payer acceptance of their $2.1 million gene therapy Zolgensma, where it’s early days. And CAR-T continues to underperform, but Novartis doesn’t appear to be suffering from it.

So what could go wrong?

Actually, not much. But Tim Anderson at Wolfe pressed Narasimhan and his development chief John Tsai to pick which of two looming Phase III readouts with blockbuster implication had the better odds of success.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 55,100+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Francesco De Rubertis

Medicxi is rolling out its biggest fund ever to back Eu­rope's top 'sci­en­tists with strange ideas'

Francesco De Rubertis built Medicxi to be the kind of biotech venture player he would have liked to have known back when he was a full time scientist.

“When I was a scientist 20 years ago I would have loved Medicxi,’ the co-founder tells me. It’s the kind of place run by and for investigators, what the Medicxi partner calls “scientists with strange ideas — a platform for the drug hunter and scientific entrepreneur. That’s what I wanted when I was a scientist.”

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 55,100+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Af­ter a decade, Vi­iV CSO John Pot­tage says it's time to step down — and he's hand­ing the job to long­time col­league Kim Smith

ViiV Healthcare has always been something unique in the global drug industry.

Owned by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer — with GSK in the lead as majority owner — it was created 10 years ago in a time of deep turmoil for the field as something independent of the pharma giants, but with access to lots of infrastructural support on demand. While R&D at the mother ship inside GSK was souring, a razor-focused ViiV provided a rare bright spot, challenging Gilead on a lucrative front in delivering new combinations that require fewer therapies with a more easily tolerated regimen.

They kept a massive number of people alive who would otherwise have been facing a death sentence. And they made money.

And throughout, John Pottage has been the chief scientific and chief medical officer.

Until now.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 55,100+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

On a glob­al romp, Boehringer BD team picks up its third R&D al­liance for Ju­ly — this time fo­cused on IPF with $50M up­front

Boehringer Ingelheim’s BD team is on a global deal spree. The German pharma company just wrapped its third deal in 3 weeks, going back to Korea for its latest pipeline pact — this time focused on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

They’re handing over $50 million to get their hands on BBT-877, an ATX inhibitor from Korea’s Bridge Biotherapeutics that was on display at a science conference in Dallas recently. There’s not a whole lot of data to evaluate the prospects here.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 55,100+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Servi­er scoots out of an­oth­er col­lab­o­ra­tion with Macro­Gen­ics, writ­ing off their $40M

Servier is walking out on a partnership with MacroGenics $MGNX — for the second time.

After the market closed on Wednesday MacroGenics put out word that Servier is severing a deal — inked close to 7 years ago — to collaborate on the development of flotetuzumab and other Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART) drugs in its pipeline.

MacroGenics CEO Scott Koenig shrugged off the departure of Servier, which paid $20 million to kick off the alliance and $20 million to option flotetuzumab — putting a heavily back-ended $1 billion-plus in additional biobuck money on the table for the anti-CD123/CD3 bispecific and its companion therapies.