NEW HAVEN: In an additional move to address what the activist investor Elliot Management said was a lack of bioscience experience on the company’s board, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. [NYSE:ALXN] has appointed Deborah Dunsire, M.D. to the board.
Dr. Dunsire has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2005-2013, which was sold to Takeda Pharmaceutical. Prior to Millennium, Dunsire led the Novartis North America Oncology Business, which according to the company’s release “grew in revenues from $50 million to more than $2.2 billion,” during her tenure.
She currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Xtuit Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Cambridge, MA. a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics. She also serves on the board of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc., and previously served on the boards of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Inc. and FORUM Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she was also the CEO. She received her medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dunsire is the third new director to be appointed in the past several months with significant bioscience background, all since a meeting with Elliot Management in October 2017.
The activist investor released a statement saying, “Elliott strongly supports Deborah’s appointment to the Alexion Board,” said an Elliott spokesperson. “She is one of the biopharmaceutical industry’s most respected leaders and brings significant experience to the Board. This is another welcome step by Alexion to build on its recent accomplishments and enhance value creation for all shareholders.”