Radius Health's Longtime CEO Out, Former Novo Nordisk A/S Exec Named New Leader

Radius Health's Longtime CEO Out, Former Novo Nordisk (NVO) Exec Named New Leader July 17, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

WALTHAM, Mass. – As Radius Health moves forward following the April approval of osteoporosis drug Tymlos, it will do so with a new leader at the helm.

This morning, the Massachusetts-based company named Jesper Høiland, former president of Novo Nordisk USA , as the new president and chief executive officer of Radius Health. Høiland replaces Bob Ward, who has manned the top spot at the company since 2013. In its announcement, Radius did not provide too many reasons why it was terminating Ward, who oversaw the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Tymlos and a successful IPO. In the announcement, Radius’ board chairman Kurt Graves simply said he wanted to congratulate Ward for the contributions he made to the company.

It would seem that Radius believes Høiland is more capable of leading Radius through a successful commercialization of Tymlos and will also have the experience to drive its other pipeline products. Graves said Høiland is “uniquely qualified to lead Radius through the successful launch of Tymlos.” Graves went on to say that while at Novo Nordisk, Høiland demonstrated success in launching major branded drugs, leading successful business development programs and also demonstrated successful growth practices.

“His leadership and experience will be invaluable in guiding Radius through our next dynamic period of growth,” Graves said of Høiland in a statement.

While president of Novo Nordisk’s U.S. division, Høiland oversaw about 5,300 employees. In the Radius statement the company said Høiland brings “extensive knowledge” in the areas of endocrinology, biopharmaceuticals and women’s health. He also has “unique insights” about U.S. market access, the company said. Høiland spent 30 years with the Danish company and played numerous roles there, including leading its international operations, which spans 150 countries.

“I am delighted to be joining Radius in the exciting, early stages of the commercialization of Tymlos and I look forward to guiding the continued development of its strong pipeline,” Høiland said in a statement. “I am eager to work with our board, senior management and the entire organization to execute on our promising future and deliver on the company’s long-standing goal of positively impacting the lives of patients and delivering significant value for all our stakeholders”

Radius’ Tymlos was approved by the FDA in April for the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture. The new drug will have some breathing room to gain market share after the FDA FDA rejected rival drugmaker Amgen 's osteoporosis drug Evenity. In its Complete Response Letter for Evenity, the FDA expressed concern over safety issues.

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