Axovant Sciences, a company developing treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, just picked up a new CEO.
Axovant’s stock was up 30% on Monday morning after the company announced that Dr. David Hung would join as its new CEO.
Hung was formerly the founder and CEO of Medivation, a cancer drugmaker that sold to Pfizer for $US14 billion in 2016, making it one of the biggest pharmaceutical deals of the year.
Medivation brought one drug to the market, called Xtandi, or enzalutamide, before the acquisition. The oral drug is used to treat late-stage prostate cancer. It was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 and it has a list price of $US129,000 in the US, which has gotten the company in some hot water with Congress.
Medivation’s former chief operating officer Marion McCourt is also joining Axovant as its president and COO.
Before Hung joined the company, 31-year-old Vivek Ramaswamy was CEO of Axovant. Ramswamy will stay on Axovant’s board, and he is CEO of Axovant’s parent company Roivant Sciences.
Axovant’s leading Alzheimer’s drug in development is expected to have results from a late-stage phase 3 trial in late September. If it’s successful, it could offset the trend of Alzheimer’s drug trial failures that have been the norm in the past few months.
The drug is notable because Axovant paid just $US5 million for the rights to the compound from pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline back in December 2014. Axovant’s current market cap is $US1.4 billion.