SurModics might sell pharma unit, names new chief

SurModics ($SRDX), the troubled Eden Prairie, MN-based drug-delivery company, has named Gary Maharaj president and CEO and is looking at selling its pharmaceuticals unit, according to published reports. The news comes after hedge-fund investor Ramius ripped into the competence of SurModics' management and acquired a 12 percent stake the company.

According to The Wall Street Journal, SurModics Chairman Robert Buhrmaster called Maharaj "a seasoned medical technology industry executive with proven operational and financial expertise and an outstanding track record of value creation." Buhrmaster said the SurModics is aiming to dedicate more resources to its medical device and in vitro diagnostics businesses. The pharmaceutical subsidiary includes microparticle and biodegradable implant drug delivery technologies.

Ramius Managing Director Jeffrey Smith has blamed "failed growth investments, failed acquisitions, and excessive spending" for SurModics' bad performance in the last quarter.

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