AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:AEZS), a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women’s health, today announced the separation of the positions of Chairman of the Board and President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Carolyn Egbert has been elected Chair of the Board, a non-executive position, by the Company’s Board of Directors, and the position of Lead Director was eliminated. David A. Dodd, who has served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since 2014, will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as a director. Mr. Juergen Ernst, the former Lead Director, will remain as a director of the Company.
“Separating the roles of Chairman and President and Chief Executive Officer is consistent with today’s corporate governance best practices, and is certainly appropriate for Aeterna Zentaris as we continue to position the Company for long-term success,” said Juergen Ernst, the Company’s outgoing Lead Director. “This action will allow David to devote all of his energy and attention to the leadership and management of the Company, including driving our growth and profitability initiatives. All independent directors look forward to continuing to work with David and his team to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities that lie before us,” Mr. Ernst concluded.
Ms. Egbert, who has served on the Company’s Board since August 2012, and as the Chair of its Nominating, Governance and Compensation Committee since May 2014, formerly served Solvay America, Inc. (“Solvay”) (a chemical and pharmaceutical company in Houston, Texas) as its Vice President, Human Resources, as the President of Solvay Management Services, as Global Head of Human Resources for the pharmaceutical sector of Solvay and as Senior Executive Vice President of Global Ethics and Compliance. During her 20-year tenure with Solvay, she served as a director on the Board of Directors of seven subsidiary companies and as Chair of one subsidiary board. After retiring in 2010, she established a consulting business providing expertise in corporate governance, ethics and compliance, organizational development, executive compensation and strategic human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biological Sciences from George Washington University, Washington D.C., and a Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University, Seattle, Washington. She also was a Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacology at both Georgetown University Medical School at Washington, D.C. and Northwestern University Medical School at Chicago, Illinois. She remains an active member of both the Michigan State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Egbert was elected Chair of the Company’s Board for a term ending with the meeting of the Board of Directors immediately following the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, at which time the Board shall select its Chair for the ensuing year. (Original Source)
Shares of Aeterna Zentaris closed yesterday at $3.44, down $0.01 or 0.29%. AEZS has a 1-year high of $33 and a 1-year low of $2.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $3.72 and its 200-day moving average is $4.15.
On the ratings front, Aeterna Zentaris has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 28, Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on AEZS, with a price target of $11, which represents a potential upside of 219.8% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 31, Canaccord Genuity’s Neil Maruoka reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $9.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason McCarthy and Neil Maruoka have a total average return of -7% and -29% respectively. McCarthy has a success rate of 30.9% and is ranked #3607 out of 3842 analysts, while Maruoka has a success rate of 21% and is ranked #3827.