SAN DIEGO, Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) today announced that, at the request of the Board of Directors, Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer, has retired from the company, including its Board of Directors. Dr. Harry F. Hixson, a director of Arena since 2004, has been appointed to serve as interim Chief Executive Officer and interim principal financial officer. Arena will immediately initiate a search for a new chief executive officer.
"I leave Arena proud of the accomplishments made by our employees in advancing healthcare and science," said Mr. Lief. "I look forward to watching the company transition through its next phase of development."
"Jack has contributed in many ways since co-founding Arena in 1997, including overseeing the approval and commercial launch of the company's internally discovered and developed drug BELVIQ, and the development of a robust clinical stage pipeline and productive research platform," said Dr. Hixson. "We thank Jack and wish him great success in his future endeavors."
Arena also reported that it is conducting an ongoing evaluation of its programs and operations, and intends to provide details regarding its 2016 financial plan later this year.
Dr. Hixson served as the Chairman of the board of directors of Sequenom, Inc., a genomics company, fromJanuary 2003 to March 2015, and as its Chief Executive Officer from September 2009 to June 2014. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of BrainCells Inc., a drug discovery and development company, from 2004 to 2005, as Chief Executive Officer of Elitra Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 1998 to 2003, and in various management positions with Amgen Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 1985 to 1991, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Hixson holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Physical Biochemistry from Purdue University.
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena embraces the challenge of improving health by seeking to bring innovative medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors to patients. Arena's focus is discovering, developing and commercializing drugs to address unmet medical needs, and BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) is Arena's first internally discovered drug approved for marketing. Arena's US operations are located in San Diego, California, and its operations outside of the United States, including its commercial manufacturing facility, are located in Zofingen, Switzerland. For more information, visit Arena's website at www.arenapharm.com.