Amylin picks ex-Novartis exec as chairman

Amylin Pharmaceuticals has tapped a new chairman to help navigate the post-proxy-fight turmoil at the company. Three months after a three-way proxy battle claimed its previous chairman Joseph Cook, Amylin chose Paulo Costa to head up its board. Costa, who previously ran Novartis' U.S. operations, will take over an ongoing battle to better market Amylin's diabetes treatment Byetta--and its efforts to get a follow-up drug approved by FDA.

Analysts welcomed Costa's appointment, saying that his experience in running a large company will come in handy at Amylin. James R. Gavin III, who heads up the company's corporate governance committee, said Costa will lend a "fresh perspective," and that his operational and commercial experience will be "invaluable."

Costa has served on Amylin's board since May, in the same board election that delivered two seats to dissident shareholders Eastbourne Capital and Icahn Group. Costa was tapped by the company along with former Icos Corp. chairman Paul Clark; Eastbourne and Icahn Ushered Kathleen Behrens and Alexander Donos onto the board.

- read the story in the San Diego Union-Tribune