2seventy bio CEO Nick Leschly stepping down amid company layoffs
Who: Amid a “strategic restructuring” that triggered a 40% reduction of 2seventy bio’s workforce, CEO Nick Leschly said on Tuesday he’ll step down from the role and transition to chair of the biotech’s board.
Background: A longtime CEO of bluebird bio, Leschly led the company’s decision in 2021 to split its oncology unit into a separate company, creating 2seventy bio. Since then, he’s played a pivotal role in the commercialization of the biotech’s main drug Abecma, a cell therapy for patients with multiple myeloma, it developed in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb. 2seventy has not yet named Leschly’s replacement.
Why it matters: 2seventy is anticipating lower than expected Abecma sales in the third quarter, although it said the drug is still likely to reap a profit this year. The company is also awaiting an FDA approval sometime this fall for another form of multiple myeloma.
By cutting 176 roles from its payroll, the company expects to save roughly $130 million between 2024 and 2025.
"Our U.S. Abecma collaboration provides a source of revenue to offset investment in our pipeline programs, and while we continue to be optimistic about Abecma’s future, particularly given the potential third-line label expansion at the end of the year, we are planning conservatively,” Chip Baird, 2seventy’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.
Regeneron names new CFO ahead of rare disease drug launch
Who: After over a decade as chief financial officer at Regeneron, Robert Landry is set to retire in February and will be succeeded by Christopher Fenimore, who is the biotech’s current senior vice president, head of accounting and controller.
Background: Much like Landry, Fenimore has enjoyed a lengthy tenure at Regeneron. With a background in venture capital and investment banking, Fenimore joined the growing biotech in the early 2000s as vice president of financial planning and analysis, eventually working his way up to senior vice president. In his current role, Landry is co-leading the company’s international expansion strategy, as well as overseeing its SEC reporting and financial reporting.
Why it matters: The CFO transition comes on the heels of two recent FDA approvals for Regeneron — including one for a newer version of its eye disease medication Eylea and another for Veopoz, its drug for the rare disease CHAPLE in adult and pediatric patients 1 year of age and older. The condition is said to impact fewer than 10 patients in the U.S. and fewer than 100 around the globe. Regeneron priced the treatment at over $30,000 per single-use vial and plans to launch by the third quarter.
On a second-quarter earnings call, the company’s CEO Leonard Schleifer noted the potential of those medications and Regeneron’s “increasingly diversified revenue streams,” among positive signs for expected long-term growth.
As Fenimore takes over the CFO role in February, he will be tasked with helping maintain the momentum from those medications — a role he said he’s well prepared to tackle.
“I’m honored to step into the chief financial officer role at Regeneron, where I will work to implement a consistent and shared vision for our continued growth and diversification as a global biopharmaceutical leader,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to progress our mission of turning science into much-needed medicines for people around the world.”
The C-suite change comes amid a broader reshuffling at the biotech after one of its board members Marc Tessier-Lavigne retired last week due to “due to potential conflicts that may arise as he becomes more involved with other companies.” Tessier-Lavigne resigned from his post as president of Stanford University earlier this year after an investigation cleared him of research misconduct but found flaws in several of his scientific papers. Kathryn Guarini, former chief information officer at IBM, and Dr. David Schenkein, a general partner and co-lead of the life sciences team at Google Ventures, joined the board Sept. 8.