John Orloff, New Alexion R&D Head did seven Years at Yale Med School

By Mitchell Young

Key Executive Hires From Hantson's Previous Company, Baxalta

New Haven: What new Alexion [ Nasdaq{: ALXN ]CEO  Ludwig Hantson has in mind in his C Suite makeover has gotten a little more clear. In Early May, the company announced the departure of four key executives, including Martin Mackay, EVP and the head of R&D for the company who will “retire” this year. McKay joined Alexion in 2013 and will be replaced by John Orloff, M.D.

Orloff has most recently been head of R&D at Novelion [Nasdaq: NVLN] a small $175 million market cap rare disease biotech headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. with operations in Cambridge Mass as well.

Before then, Orloff was global head of R&D and CSO [Chief Science Officer] at Baxalta, where he worked for then CEO Hantson.  


melinta therapeutics largeBy Mitchell Young

Menarini.svg New Haven: In less than three weeks on June 19, the executives, investors, pharmaceutical company partners and the Yale University researchers that founded Melinta Therapeutics are expecting to learn whether the seventeen years of efforts have paid off with the anticipated approval by the FDA of Delafloxacin, a drug to treat serious infections.

Delafloxacin, [Baxdela in the US] is for “hospital-treated skin infections, known as acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) including treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA], a major cause of hospital-treated skin infections.”

In March, privately held Melinta and the Menarini Group, a $3.5 billion in revenue Florence, Italy based, privately owned biopharmaceutical group, signed a development and commercialization agreement for Delafloxacin.

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Jackson Labs, Farmington, Connecticut

By Mitchell Young

Farmington: The controversial $290 million investment promoted by Governor Dannel Malloy in a major Genomics research facility by Jackson Labs [Jax], is looking pretty good for now. The facility opened in 2014 with an initial employment of 30 scientists and administrators.

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CNBC's Jim Cramer, “I'm sticking by it. I like it."

By Mitchell Young

Stamford: The Opioid crisis has brought a lot of attention to new approaches to pain relief.

Cara Therapeutics, Inc. [Nasdaq: CARA], a biotech focused on developing new non-addictive pain killers is getting some of that attention from investors. The company says its drugs selectively “target peripheral kappa opioid receptors,”  and it reported in the first quarter initial results from a phase 2/3 study.

Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., CEO said, “we observed sustained clinical benefit over the entire two-month treatment period, supporting the potential viability of I.V CR845 as a long-term therapeutic approach for this unmet medical need.”

The company went public in 2014, at $11 per share, one year ago investors appeared to lose confidence and the stock traded as low as $4.76 per share. Investor interest has apparently returned and the stock has risen steadily in the past 12 months.

Screen Shot 2017 05 30 at 2.59.06 PMBy Mitchell Young

New Haven: The news remains especially good for Biohaven Pharma [Nasdaq: BHVN], the company’s public stock offering significantly surpassed initial expectations. Originally targeted to raise approximately $100-125 million at $10 - $16 per share, the company raised $168 million at $17 per share. Existing investors reportedly were seeking up to $70 million of the stock underwriting. Public investors also apparently like the Biohaven story as well, the stock has climbed to more than $26 per share since the early May IPO, bringing the market value of the start-up to more than $840 million.

achillion logoBy Mitchell Young

New Haven: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [Nasdaq: ACHN] reported in early May that positive results are being shown in clinical trials of its Hepatitis C drug being developed in partnership with Jansen Pharmaceuticals a division of John and Johnson [NYSE: JNJ]. It also announced that it was proceeding with a Phase 2 clinical trial of ACH-4471, for the treatment of PNH [Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria]. PNH is a rare disease and the same one that Alexion Pharmaceuticals generates more than $3 billion in annual sales.

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Alexion's New CEO Ludwig Hantson is making major executive changes

By Mitchell Young

New Haven: In spite of unexpected sales and earnings growth announced by Alexion Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq: ALXN] just weeks ago, the company’s stock has been dropping for most of the past month. The stock took a huge hit with a nearly 10% fall in value on May 23.

There may be a lot of action in the stores on Broadway, but when it comes to corporate board room drama, New Haven at least until now has been a sleepy little college town.

Well everyone is awake at 100 College Street, the one day stock dive followed the announcement that Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., Alexion’s newly appointed CEO is making major changes in the C Level Suite.