Axovant COO McCourt jumped from sinking biotech right into Regeneron's top commercial post

Regeneron
New Regeneron commercial head Marion McCourt has worked at AstraZeneca, Amgen, Medivation and Axovant. (Regeneron)

Beleaguered biotech Axovant announced Monday that President and COO Marion McCourt would be departing “to pursue another opportunity” as part of a larger executive shakeup that also claimed CEO David Hung. And as it turns out, McCourt's opportunity is with Regeneron.

The New York biotech this week publicly named (PDF) McCourt as its new SVP and commercial head. She’ll lead “all aspects” of product commercialization for Regeneron's already approved drugs, as well as its development-stage pipeline, the company said.

RELATED: After a string of failures, Axovant CEO Hung resigns, along with a host of others

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McCourt will be replacing Bob Terifay, who early last month resigned as commercial EVP. He’ll officially retire from the company on July 31 after a medical leave of absence wraps up.

As CEO Len Schleifer pointed out in a statement, McCourt has an opportunity to make a big impact at her new employer, considering that the company boasts 15 late-stage programs that could land new approvals or indications.

“Marion will play a critical role in shaping Regeneron's future and ensuring our innovative medicines reach patients in need," he said.

She’ll also be responsible for steering blockbuster and lead drug Eylea through potential competition down the line, as well as keeping it churning out double-digit growth more than six years after its first approval. To do that, she’ll need to help the product push further into diabetic eye diseases, an area management says remains relatively untapped.

RELATED: Regeneron's Eylea still sitting pretty even after new data from would-be rivals Roche, Novartis: analyst

Plus, she'll be tasked with the ongoing launch of three drugs Regeneron shares with Sanofi:

  1. Cholesterol-fighter Praluent, which entered the market to great fanfare only to come up against serious payer obstacles.
  2. Dupixent, the atopic dermatitis drug that's already catching on.
  3. Kevzara, a rheumatoid arthritis product that's competing in an already-crowded field.

McCourt has plenty of commercial experience to draw on in her new role, though. After kicking off her career with 12 years at AstraZeneca, she went on to serve as VP of Amgen’s U.S. commercial operations and VP and general manager of its bone health and primary care business units. She also held a C-suite post at Medivation until Pfizer bought it out, at which time she joined then-Medivation CEO Hung in jumping over to Axovant.

In addition to Hung and McCourt, Axovant directors Kate Falberg, Tony Vernon and Patrick Machado also left the company Monday.