Ver­tex taps long­time com­mer­cial lead to fill two-year COO va­can­cy; Nan­cy Thorn­ber­ry set for dif­fer­ent role at Kally­ope with an old friend from Mer­ck wait­ing in the wings

For the first time in two years, Ver­tex has a COO.

The cys­tic fi­bro­sis drug­mak­er an­nounced Wednes­day that Stu­art Ar­buck­le, who has led the com­pa­ny’s com­mer­cial ef­forts since 2012, has been ap­point­ed to run op­er­a­tions as well. In do­ing so, Ar­buck­le fills a void opened two years ago when, af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, long­time ex­ec­u­tive Ian Smith was abrupt­ly fired for “per­son­al be­hav­ior” that vi­o­lat­ed Ver­tex’s code of con­duct. De­tails of the vi­o­la­tion, which al­so cost Smith high-pro­file board seats at oth­er biotechs, have nev­er been made pub­lic.

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