Shares of Boston-based Verastem have dropped 10 percent this morning after the company announced Chief Executive Officer Robert Forrester will step down from his role as president and CEO of the company after guiding Verastem’s lymphoma treatment Copiktra to regulatory approval.
Forrester has agreed to continue serving Verastem Oncology in an advisory capacity. Chief Operating Officer Dan Paterson has been appointed to the role of president, while Rob Gagnon, Verastem’s chief financial officer, will expand his duties to include chief business officer. While the board of directors conducts a search to identify a new CEO, Paterson, who joined the company in 2011, will helm the company’s leadership team.
Paterson has been COO since 2014 and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He has held leadership roles at previous companies, including CBO and CEO. Paterson has specific expertise in oncology drug and diagnostic product development, business development and launch planning, Verastem said.
Paterson said he looks forward to working with the leadership team to accelerate the launch of Copiktra, as well as expand the drug’s indications into other hematologic malignancy indications.
Forrester’s decision to step down comes nearly a year after the company won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). Copiktra also received accelerated approval as a second-line treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL). Earlier this month, Verastem presented positive post-hoc data for Copiktra at the European Hematology Association meeting.
Forrester called it a “true honor” to serve as CEO of Verastem for the past six years.
“I am extremely proud of the Verastem Team, the progress we have made, and our many accomplishments aimed at improving the lives of patients diagnosed with cancer, one patient at a time. I have great confidence in Verastem Oncology’s potential and I will work with the entire team to ensure a seamless transition for all of our stakeholders,” Forrester said in a statement.
Michael G. Kauffman, Verastem Oncology’s lead director, said Forester has made “countless contributions” to Verastem during his tenure as CEO and showed “unwavering commitment” to the company, its stakeholders and the patients they serve. Kauffman said the company is confident in the growth potential of Copiktra and the CEO they hire will have the commercial expertise to build on the foundation that Forrester established.
In addition to Forrester’s departure, Verastem said it is reiterating its previously issued financial guidance for the full year 2019. The company anticipates revenue from sales of Copiktra to be in the range of $10 to $12 million based on revenue to date, current run rates and near-term expectations.
总部位于波士顿的 Verastem 公司股价今早下跌了10%，此前该公司宣布首席执行官罗伯特·弗雷斯特将在指导 Verastem 淋巴瘤治疗 Copktra 获得监管批准后辞去公司总裁兼首席执行官一职。
Forrester 已经同意继续为 Verastem 肿瘤学提供咨询服务。首席运营官 Dan Paterson 已被任命为总裁，而 Verastem 的首席财务官 Rob Gagnon 将扩大他的职责，包括首席商务官。尽管董事会正在寻找一位新的 CEO ，2011年加入公司的帕特森将领导公司的领导团队。
Paterson 自2014年起担任首席运营官，拥有超过25年的行业经验。他曾在前几家公司担任过领导职务，包括 CBO 和 CEO 。Verastem 说， Paterson 在肿瘤药物和诊断产品开发、业务开发和上市计划方面拥有专门知识。
Paterson 表示，他期待着与领导团队合作，加快 Copktra 的上市，并将该药的适应症扩大到其他血液肿瘤适应症。
Forrester 决定辞职的将近一年前，该公司获得了美国食品和药物管理局( FDA )的批准，用于治疗成人复发或难治性慢性淋巴细胞白血病/小淋巴细胞性淋巴瘤( CLL / SLL )。Copktra 还作为成人复发或难治性滤泡性淋巴瘤（ FL ）的二线治疗获得了加速批准。本月早些时候， Verastem 在欧洲血液学协会（ EuropeanHematologyAssociation ）会议上提交了 Copktra 的阳性后数据。
Forrester 称，过去六年担任 Verastem 首席执行官是一种“真正的荣誉”。
“我对 Verastem 团队、我们取得的进展以及我们旨在改善癌症确诊患者生活的许多成就感到非常自豪，一次一名患者。Forrester 在一份声明中表示：“我对 Verastem 肿瘤学的潜力非常有信心，我将与整个团队合作，确保为我们所有的利益相关者实现无缝过渡。”
Verastem Oncology 首席董事迈克尔· G ·考夫曼( Michael G . Kauffman )表示，在他担任首席执行官期间， Forester 为 Verastem 做出了“无数贡献”，并对公司、利益相关者及其服务的患者表现出“坚定的承诺”。考夫曼说，公司对科普塔的增长潜力充满信心，他们聘请的首席执行官将拥有商业专业知识，以奠定福里斯特建立的基础。
除了 Forrester 的离职， Verastem 还重申了之前发布的2019年全年财务指导。根据迄今为止的收入、当前的运营速度和近期预期，公司预计 Copktra 的销售收入将在1000万至1200万美元之间。