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Alexion (ALXN) Down on News of CFO Clancy's Departure in 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALXN were down 4.5% after it announced the departure of its current chief financial officer, Paul Clancy, later this year.

Shares of the biotech bigwig have gained 5.7% in the year so far against the industry’s decline of 1.1%



Clancy joined Alexion in July 2017, after serving Biogen, Inc. BIIB. Clancy will be succeeded by Aradhana Sarin, M.D., who is currently the chief strategy and business officer of the company.

The transition will take place after the company reports third-quarter results. Meanwhile, Clancy will serve Alexion as a senior advisor through mid-2020.

Sarin has been with Alexion since November 2017 and taken on roles with various responsibilities.

The stock most likely declined due to uncertainties regarding the transition.

Nevertheless, the company’s performance has been steady in the past year. Per Alexion, Sarin had more than 20 years’ experience at global financial institutions before joining the company, with extensive knowledge of global healthcare systems and an excellent understanding of the biopharmaceutical sector.   

She has overseen nine business development deals at Alexion, which have diversified the company’s pipeline.

In 2018, the company acquired Sweden-based Wilson Therapeutics and added a late-stage candidate, ALXN1840 (formerly WTX101), to its pipeline.

Alexion is looking to diversify its portfolio and reduce dependence on its blockbuster drug, Soliris. In line with this, the company acquired a clinical-stage biotechnology company, Syntimmune, in the fourth quarter of 2018. The acquisition added anti-FcRn antibody, ALXN1830 (formerly SYNT001), to its pipeline. The company has also collaborated with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals to jointly discover and develop up to four subcutaneously-delivered GalXC RNA interference (RNAi) candidates.

The company has also partnered with Complement Pharma to co-develop CP010 for neurodegenerative disorders. In January 2019, Alexion entered a collaboration agreement with Caelum Biosciences to develop CAEL-101 for AL amyloidosis, a rare systemic disorder that causes misfolded immunoglobulin light-chain protein to build up in and around tissues, resulting in progressive and widespread organ damage. In March 2019, the company announced a partnership with Affibody AB to co-develop ABY-039 for rare Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-mediated autoimmune diseases. The company is also collaborating with Zealand Pharma A/S to discover and develop novel peptide therapies for up to four targets in the complement pathway.

Alexion recently announced a license agreement with BridgeBio Pharma, Inc.’s subsidiary, Eidos Therapeutics, Inc. EIDX.

Notably, the company was recently in news on the speculations of a potential buyout by biotech bigwig Amgen AMGN. However, Amgen recently announced an agreement to purchase Celgene Corporation’s plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis drug Otezla, thereby quashing the rumors of acquiring Alexion. Consequently, Alexion’s stock declined. Nevertheless, it has been considered one of the prime candidates for acquisition from the onset of 2019, after the mega-merger announcement of Bristol-Myers and Celgene.

Alexion currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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