POZEN Inc. (NASDAQ: POZN), a pharmaceutical company committed to developing medicine that transforms lives, today announced that John R. Plachetka, Pharm.D., its founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President is retiring, effective immediately. Dr. Plachetka has also resigned from the Board of Directors of POZEN and has withdrawn as a nominee for election as a director at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
Arthur Kirsch, who has served as an independent director since 2004, has been appointed to serve as Chairman of POZEN's Board of Directors.
Mr. Kirsch stated "John's contributions as founder, inventor, and chief scientist of POZEN will be hard to replace. He has been the driving force in POZEN's development for nearly 20 years and we respect his decision to retire. All of the management team and the Board of Directors thank him for his long service as our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer."
The Board of Directors has appointed Adrian Adams to replace Dr. Plachetka as POZEN's Chief Executive Officer and has also appointed Mr. Adams to serve on the Board of Directors, effective immediately.
"I want to express my gratitude to all the POZEN employees with whom I've worked, who brought two outstanding drugs to market, Treximet ® and VIMOVO ®, and who moved YOSPRALA™ into a position where it should be ready for commercialization next year," stated Dr. Plachetka. "Now, it is time to move POZEN to the next level and I am very pleased that Adrian and his team have agreed to assume this responsibility. All of the shareholders of POZEN should be very happy that a man of his talent and accomplishments has the confidence in POZEN and YOSPRALA to assume this responsibility. I wish him and POZEN all the best."
Mr. Adams is a highly qualified pharmaceutical executive with over 30 years of experience in the industry and a reputation for growing organizations by excellence in commercialization and by executing on business development opportunities that deliver compelling growth and value for shareholders. He most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, until its acquisition by Endo International plc in January 2015. Prior to joining Auxilium, Mr. Adams served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neurologix, Inc., a company focused on development of multiple innovative gene therapies for disorders of the brain and central nervous system. Prior to that Mr. Adams served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he oversaw the commercialization and development of prescription pharmaceutical products and led the company through a strategic acquisition by global pharmaceutical leader Merck & Co., Inc. Prior to Inspire, Mr. Adams served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sepracor Inc. until its acquisition by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Prior to joining Sepracor, Mr. Adams was President and Chief Executive Officer of Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its acquisition by Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Adams has also held general management and senior international and national marketing positions at SmithKline Beecham, Novartis and ICI (now part of AstraZeneca).