Generics giant Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA) has named Richard Francis, the CEO of gene therapy company Purespring Therapeutics, as its leader. Purespring Therapeutics is one of the first adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy companies focused on kidney disease.
Francis is also the CEO of the cardiotherapy-focused firm Forcefield Therapeutics, and an operating partner for Syncona Investment Management Ltd.
Teva Pharmaceuticals’s current chief executive Kåre Schultz will retire on December 31, 2022.
Francis was the division head and CEO of Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis (NYSE:NVS), from 2014 to 2019. Before that, he worked at Biogen (Nasdaq:BIIB) for more than 12 years, eventually becoming the president and senior vice president of Biogen, U.S. At Biogen, he was responsible for the commercialization of the multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) in 2013. Sales of the drug reached $3.84 billion in 2020, but have fallen since following the introduction of Tecfidera generics.
Francis has also worked at Sanofi and Wyeth.
In all, Francis has more than 25 years of experience in the pharma industry.
Francis will assume the CEO role on January 1, 2023.
“I look forward to leveraging my background and years of pharmaceutical experience to build on Teva’s strong fundamentals and to write the next exciting chapter for Teva, focusing on building a solid pathway to deliver long-term growth,” Francis said in a news release.
In mid-day trading, TEVA shares were down about one point to $8.64.
Earlier this year, Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed that it would pay more than $4 billion to settle thousands of U.S. opioid lawsuits.
The company acquired Allergan’s generic business, which included opioids, in 2017.
In 2018, Teva moved its U.S. headquarters from Pennsylvania to Parsippany-Troy Hills, North Jersey.
In early November, a Boston federal jury ruled that Eli Lilly must pay Teva $176.5 million, concluding that Lilly’s migraine drug Emgality infringed three Teva patents.