Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) has appointed Craig B. Granowitz, M.D., Ph.D. to the position of chief medical officer. In this role, Dr. Granowitz will provide strategic and operational leadership across multiple functions including medical affairs, drug safety and medical communications. In addition, the title and role of Steven Ketchum, Ph.D., Amarin’s president of research and development and senior vice president, has been expanded to include the responsibility of chief scientific officer.
“These additions serve to strengthen Amarin’s leadership team and add valuable expertise at a time of great promise and progress for Amarin as it continues to grow its existing commercial business and work toward the completion of its cardiovascular outcomes study,” commented John F. Thero, president and chief executive officer of Amarin. “I am confident that Craig and Steve will deliver on Amarin’s vision of improving patient care and becoming a leader in cardiovascular health.”
Dr. Granowitz has a strong leadership background in medical affairs, with extensive experience managing a multi-national medical affairs organization for a portfolio of leading cardiovascular products. Prior to joining Amarin, Dr. Granowitz was senior vice president and head of global medical affairs, global human health at Merck, where he developed and implemented an entirely new global medical affairs organization following Merck’s merger with Schering-Plough. In this capacity, among his numerous achievements, he provided critical medical affairs support in the run-up to and read-out of Merck’s cardiovascular outcomes study, IMPROVE-IT. From 2003 to 2008, he was group vice president, head of global medical affairs for Schering-Plough. His work at Schering-Plough and, later, Merck, was critical to the growth and success of a global medical affairs organization that spans multiple therapeutic areas and now operates in more than 80 countries worldwide. Prior to joiningSchering-Plough, Dr. Granowitz co-founded Proliance Pharmaceuticals, a venture-capital backed pharmaceutical development and finance management start-up company.
“Craig’s experience leading impactful scientific exchange and outreach together with his extensive network and influence with physicians will be valuable as we work to further educate healthcare professionals regarding the efficacy and safety of Vascepa today and the future,” continued Mr. Thero. “He brings a wealth of experience leading cross-functional teams to effectively engage external audiences and align scientific objectives with commercial goals. His commitment to medical excellence, integrity and compliance coupled with a keen appreciation for market needs and strong sense of urgency makes him an excellent fit forAmarin.”
In his newly expanded role of chief scientific officer, Dr. Ketchum will lead Amarin’s clinical development and regulatory strategy for Vascepa, with particular emphasis on continuing to advance the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study and ensure its positioning for success.
Mr. Thero said, “Steve has helped transform our business since joining Amarin in February 2012. Among his many contributions, he has been instrumental in the implementation, refinement and timely execution of REDUCE-IT, our cardiovascular outcomes study, which we believe is the cornerstone of Amarin’s future and positioned for success. As a result of Steve’s efforts, we now have a clear clinical and regulatory strategy for the expanded use of Vascepa. I am confident that with his visionary leadership,Amarin will continue to be a leader in the research and development of the omega-3 acid, EPA, and through clinical study of its highly pure pharmaceutical grade lead product, Vascepa, clarify pathways to cardiovascular health and improve patient care.”
Dr. Ketchum has a significant record of achievement in the life sciences industry, with 20 years of experience in late-stage product development and clinical regulatory strategy, having led the filings of multiple successful new drug applications (NDAs) and supplemental NDAs. Prior to joining Amarin, Dr. Ketchum served as senior vice president, research and development for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals where, as a member of the Executive Committee, he provided strategic direction for all facets of research and development, including clinical strategy and operations, regulatory affairs, and pharmaceutical development. Prior to Sunesis, Dr. Ketchum was senior vice president, research and development and medical affairs at Reliant Pharmaceuticalswith responsibilities for leading the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of Reliant’s clinical research, product development, and medical affairs departments, including responsibilities for Lovaza, an earlier generation prescription omega-3 drug. Dr. Ketchum has also served as senior vice president, operations and regulatory affairs for IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was responsible for regulatory affairs, project management, quality assurance, and supply chain management in support of late-stage clinical research. (Original Source)
Shares of Amarin closed yesterday at $1.51. AMRN has a 1-year high of $3.33 and a 1-year low of $1. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.81 and its 200-day moving average is $2.07.
On the ratings front, Amarin has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 9, Oppenheimer analyst Akiva Felt assigned a Hold rating on AMRN. Separately, on October 13, Jefferies Co.’s Shaunak Deepak reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $3.50.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Akiva Felt and Shaunak Deepak have a total average return of 1.4% and -72.1% respectively. Felt has a success rate of 35.4% and is ranked #994 out of 3579 analysts, while Deepak has a success rate of 0.0% and is ranked #3533.
Amarin Corp PLC is a biopharmaceutical company with expertise in lipid science. The Company is engaged in commercialization and development of therapeutics to improve cardiovascular health.