Axovant appoints Medivation founder David Hung as CEO; shares jump

Axovant Sciences on Monday announced that former Medivation chief executive and founder David Hung has been selected as its next CEO effective April 7, sending the company's shares up as much as 28 percent. Axovant noted that current CEO Vivek Ramaswamy will remain on its board of directors and serve as chief executive of its parent company Roivant Sciences. 

Ramaswamy remarked "we were not searching for a new CEO at Axovant, but following the acquisition of Medivation I approached [Hung] about taking a role with us after the MINDSET study," referring to late-stage trials of intepirdine. Hung overlooked the sale of Medivation last year to Pfizer for $14 billion.

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Meanwhile, Axovant also named former Medivation chief operating officer, Marion McCourt, as its president and chief operating officer. Axovant additionally expanded its board of directors to include former Medivation directors Kathryn Falberg and Anthony Vernon as independent directors. 

The news comes after Axovant recently completed enrolment in the Phase III MINDSET study of intepirdine in the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. The drugmaker, which acquired rights to the therapy from GlaxoSmithKline in 2014 for $5 million plus royalties, anticipates top-line results from the trial in September. 

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Death knell for Lundbeck's idalopirdine unlikely to trouble Axovant

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