Zafgen's Alicia Secor Steps Up as Juniper Pharma’s President and CEO

Published: Jul 20, 2016

Zafgen’s Alicia Secor Steps Up as Juniper Pharma’s President and CEO July 20, 2016
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Boston-based Juniper Pharmaceuticals announced today that Alicia Secor will join the company on August 1 as its new president and chief executive officer. She will also join the board of directors.

It was only announced today that Secor was leaving her position as chief commercial officer for Boston-based Zafgen . After a clinical hold on Zafgen’s lead obesity drug beloranib, the company announced it was shifting its focus to another compound, ZGN-1061, and laying off 34 percent of its staff.

Alicia Secor, prior to working with Zafgen, spent 15 years at Genzyme, a Sanofi company, in various roles. Her most recent position was as the global general manager for the Metabolic Disease Business. Before Genzyme she was at Alkermes , Centocor (a Johnson & Johnson company), and at Pfizer .

“I am excited to join Juniper at such an important time in the Company’s evolution,” Secor said in an statement. “I look forward to working with Juniper’s high caliber leadership team and dedicated employees to achieve further growth at Juniper Pharma Services and support the growing Crinone franchise while accelerating the development and commercialization of therapeutics focused on significant unmet needs in women’s health care in the U.S. and around the world.”

Juniper focuses on women’s medical needs and utilizes a proprietary intravaginal drug delivery technology. The company’s product Crinone (progesterone gel), which is used as progesterone supplementation or replacement as part of infertility treatment for women, is a licensed outside the U.S. by Germany’s Merck KgaA and in the U.S. by Dublin’s Allergan . Another source of revenue for the company is Juniper Pharma Services, which provides “high-end fee-for-service pharmaceutical development, analytical characterization, and clinical trials manufacturing to clients.”

In June, the company announced the results of a Phase I trial of COL-1077 Lidocaine Vaginal Gel and the subsequent publication of data in the journal Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development. The trials showed the bioadhesive vaginal gel was safe and had appropriate efficacy.

And on July 5, it announced that Merck KGaA had received approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) for OneCrinone 90 mg for luteal phase supplementation in assisted reproductive treatment.

As part of her deal coming on as president and chief executive officer, Sector will get an employment inducement grant to buy 225,000 of the company’s common stock at an exercise price equal to the July 19, 2016 closing price.

Secor is replacing Frank Condella, who will retire. He will remain on the board as a non-executive director, and act as a consultant through the transition period.

“We are confident that Alicia is the right person to lead Juniper going forward, and to execute the Company’s strategy to develop and commercialize important products for women’s health,” said Jim Geraghty, chairman of the company’s board, in a statement. “She joins a dedicated team that is advancing a pipeline of high-value product candidates poised to create long-term shareholder value, which she is ideally suited to take forward.”

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