Vertex Pharmaceuticals Announces Transition in Company Leadership
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 5, 2009 - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
The board of directors of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) today appointed Matthew Emmens President, and announced that he will transition to President, CEO and Chairman in May 2009 upon Dr. Joshua Boger's retirement. Mr. Emmens has been a Vertex director since 2004, and previously served as CEO of Astra Merck, Inc., and of Shire plc where he continues as Chairman. Dr. Boger, who founded Vertex in 1989, will retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer of Vertex on May 23, 2009. Dr. Boger and Mr. Emmens will work closely together during the leadership transition period. Charles Sanders, M.D., Vertex's Chairman, will remain as lead director on Vertex's board, following Mr. Emmens' appointment as Chairman. Dr. Boger, 57, will also remain an active member of the board.
“It is a great privilege to be asked to lead Vertex at this important time in the Company's evolution. I look forward to working with Joshua to enable a smooth transition as the Company prepares for its next stage of growth, and the commercial launch of important medicines for serious diseases. We have a rare opportunity to create a world class commercial enterprise that complements Vertex's excellence in R&D innovation,” said Mr. Emmens. “In the area of hepatitis C, and also in cystic fibrosis, Vertex has the potential to transform patients' lives and build tremendous value, and together with the employees my goal is to make this vision a reality.”
Dr. Boger commented, “I founded Vertex in 1989 with a vision to pursue a new approach in drug discovery and develop medicines that would fundamentally change the treatment of serious diseases. I am very proud of what Vertex has accomplished, and we now stand on the cusp of great clinical and medical success. I welcome Matt, and have great confidence in his extensive experience leading companies through launches of breakthrough products, to take the reins and guide Vertex as we bring our innovations to patients.”
Acknowledging Dr. Boger's leadership since his founding of the Company, and the potential of medicines now in late-stage development, Vertex's Chairman Dr. Sanders said: “The board recognizes Joshua for the inspiration he has provided to Vertex, its employees, shareholders and patients and their families for the past 20 years. His commitment to making a difference in the lives of patients, and his track record of scientific and medical advances has generated breakthrough product opportunities and significant value for shareholders. Joshua is a true scientific and business visionary, and also a leader for many people connected to the biopharmaceutical industry. We look forward to his continuing active role in guiding the direction of Vertex.”
Mr. Emmens, 57, has 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry having worked at Shire plc, Merck KGaA, Astra Merck, Inc., and Merck & Co. Most recently, Mr. Emmens was CEO of Shire plc, where he continues to serve as Chairman of the Board. Prior to joining Shire in 2003, Mr. Emmens served as a Board Member and President of Merck KGaA's global prescription pharmaceuticals business while living in Frankfurt, Germany. Mr. Emmens also held various positions of increasing responsibility at Merck & Co. and later served as CEO of Astra Merck, Inc., the independent joint venture.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a global biotechnology company committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases. The Company's strategy is to commercialize its products both independently and in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies. Vertex's product pipeline is focused on viral diseases, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, cancer, pain and cystic fibrosis. Vertex co-discovered the HIV protease inhibitor, Lexiva, with GlaxoSmithKline.
Lexiva is a registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.
Contact: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Jane Kramer, 617-444-6924
Patricia Farrell, 617-444-6533
Michael Partridge, 617-444-6108
Lora Pike, 617-444-6755
Posted: February 2009