Not All of Alexion's Top Execs Are Moving to Boston


In September, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which was headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, announced it was moving its headquarters to Boston. It was also closing several sites and laying off 20 percent of staff.

Alexion released in its annual filing last week that as a result of the move, its general counsel, John Moriarty, and head of global government affairs, Heidi Wagner, will not be making the move to Boston and will be leaving the company at the end of this month. Moriarty has been with the company for three years, and Wagner for five.

Ellen Chiniara, formerly general counsel at Alere, in Waltham, Massachusetts, will take on the role of general counsel. The company has yet to say who will replace Wagner.

The Boston Business Journal writes, “Alexion, which makes rare blood disease drug Soliris, has experienced significant turnover in its top ranks recently. Its CEO and chief financial officer resigned in December 2016 amid an internal investigation into the company’s aggressive sales practices for Soliris. Those roles were replaced again last year. Alexion also appointed a new head of R&D and chief commercial officer.”

The shift to Boston is expected to take place in the middle of this year. Alexion will move about 400 positions to Boston. New Haven will be the company’s Center of Excellence for its complement research and process development teams. About 450 staffers will be based in New Haven.

The company was founded in New Haven’s Science Park in 1992, and moved to the 100 College Street, New Haven location in March 2016. The new headquarters will be at 121 Seaport Boulevard, which is currently under construction. The company has subleased temporary space in the Seaport District.

Alexion is also consolidating several of its manufacturing sites. It expects to close several locations, including its Rhode Island manufacturing facility and some regional and country-based offices. It indicated in September it “is aligning its manufacturing facilities with its ongoing multi-product network manufacturing strategy, which utilizes Alexion’s manufacturing operations in the U.S. and Ireland, and manufacturing capacity through its manufacturing partners.”

The company’s chief executive officer, Ludwig Hantson, took over the helm of the company in March 2017 after a series of scandals. David Brennan had been named interim chief executive officer after chief executive officer David Hallal and chief financial officer Vikas Sinha stepped down in December 2016, the results of various investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to grant-making activities and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in several countries.

The company’s offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil were raided on May 8, 2017, as part of an investigation into company business practices in the company. There were claims that Alexion sales reps were given instructions to encourage doctors to send lab tests on patients who were thought to have rare diseases to “preferred partner” laboratories, which had agreements with Alexion to turn over the test results to the company. The SEC’s investigations into grant-making weren’t limited to Brazil, but included Colombia, Japan, Russia and Turkey.

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