Biogen (BIIB) Taps Former Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) Exec and a Finance Vet for Hemophilia Spin-off Company Bioverativ
11/15/2016 6:24:42 AM
November 15, 2016
By Alex Keown,
BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Biogen (BIIB) is moving quickly to launch its hemophilia spin-off company Bioverativ Inc. in early 2017 and has tapped a former Sparks Therapeutics (ONCE) executive for a leadership role, along with a finance vet from multiple companies to watch over finances.
Biogen tapped Rogerio Vivaldi as Bioverativ’s chief global therapeutic operations officer and John Greene as the new chief financial officer. George Scangos, chief executive officer of Biogen, said in a statement that the two new members of the executive team will be “instrumental players” in making Bioverativ a successful stand-alone company.
Bioverativ will focus on the discovery, research, development and commercialization of treatments for hemophilia and other blood disorders. The company will launch with two approved hemophilia drugs, Alprolix and Electate, which generated $500 million in revenue in 2015. Bioverativ will be helmed by John Cox, Biogen’s former executive vice president of pharmaceutical operations and technology.
“Rogerio’s expertise in the industry and extensive knowledge of the rare disease space will be critical as we work to deliver transformative medicines to patients,” Cox said in a statement. “And, given John’s strong track record of fiscal and operational management across all of the major disciplines within finance, I am confident in his ability to lead our global finance organization and be an excellent representative for our shareholders.”
Vivaldi will be responsible for building and leading all aspects of Bioverativ’s commercial organization, including oversight of sales and marketing for the franchise’s lead products, Alprolix and Electate. Vivaldi most recently served as chief commercial officer at Spark and was also co-founder, president and CEO of Minerva Neurosciences. He also spent time at Genzyme where he gained valuable experience “delivering orphan products to patients worldwide,” Biogen said.
“Bioverativ is a unique opportunity to join a new company with a strong commercial business, growing pipeline and an experienced team dedicated to delivering results for patients, providers and caregivers,” Vivaldi said in a statement. “I am passionate about improving lives through innovative therapies and ardent patient advocacy, and believe Bioverativ shares this vision.”
As CFO, Greene will be responsible for all financial and fiscal management of Bioverativ’s operations, with “oversight for the company’s finance, information technology and technical operations functions,” Biogen said. Greene most recently served as chief financial officer at London-based Willis Group, plc, a risk advisor and insurance broker. Prior to his tenure with the Willis Group, Greene was chief financial officer for HSBC Holdings.
Once the spin-off is complete, Bioverativ will continue development of Alprolix and Electate, including conducting studies to explore the potential benefits of Fc fusion technology on long-term joint health, immunogenicity and immune tolerance induction in hemophilia patients who develop inhibitors. Bioverativ will also focus on new pipeline programs to address unmet needs in hemophilia and other blood disorders. Part of that will include gene therapy programs and the use of Xten technology, a non-factor bi-specific antibody program to treat patients with hemophilia A. Bioverativ will also explore treatments for sickle cell disease as well, the company said.
The spinoff of Bioverativ was announced in May and put to rest rumors the company, a leader in multiple sclerosis treatments, has been planning to unload its hemophilia business, which some have considered to be an anomaly amongst Biogen’s core pipeline of central nervous system and autoimmune disease treatments. But the decision to stay in the hemophilia market meant the company needed to make some strategic investments in not only its two existing drug products, but in future products as well, Scangos said in that interview.
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