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Celgene’s COO heads to the exit

Published on 03/04/18 at 08:51am

Celgene has had a rough six months, its share price since the beginning of October has dropped from $146 to its present price of $87. Someone has to take the blame for such a precipitous drop and it looks like the fall guy is Chief Operating Officer, Scott Smith.

The biotech revealed that Smith would be leaving the company “effective immediately” and no further reasons were given for his departure, barring that it was looking to “enhance leadership focus on building Celgene for continued long-term success”.

Much of the company’s woes lie in its attempts to develop beyond being reliant on Revlimid, an effort that has hit several road blocks recently – notably in the failure of both ozanimod and mongersen to make progress towards marketing approval.

This led Celgene to completely write-off the future of mongersen as a candidate for Crohn’s disease, after the monitoring committee for the treatment urged the biotech to stop a Phase 3 trial.

While ozanimod stumbled at the threshold of the FDA, as Celgene received a Refusal to File letter due to insufficient data in the application.

All of this has meant that the biotech has been in a tailspin of late and it looks like CEO, Mark Alles, believes he needs to turn things around by assuming greater control of the company.

The press release on Smith’s departure revealed that Alles would be taking on the former COO’s responsibilities and, additionally, taking direct control of Celgene’s global Haematology and Oncology franchise, global Inflammation and Immunology franchise, manufacturing, regulatory, and clinical development.

Smith had worked at Celgene from 2008, where he began as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Celgene Immunology. He worked his way up by also assuming responsibility of its Inflammation division before becoming COO. He previously worked for 16 years in various roles at Pfizer.

Ben Hargreaves


Now the business development head George Golumbeski also leaves. Stock plunges.

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