Elan critic Ib Sonderby stepped up his fight against the company's management by proposing four new directors for its board. The nominations come after an extended period of criticism from Sonderby, about everything from Elan management's lack of industry know-how to alleged conflicts of interest and insider dealmaking.
Among those chosen are Larry Fritz, a biotech entrepreneur who started the company that developed Tysabri, Elan's multiple sclerosis drug; and Jens Bager, a Danish pharma executive. "The appointment of these highly qualified individuals...is critical to the future of Elan and an important part of stemming the Company's multiyear loss of value," Sonderby said in a statement on his website, SaveElan.com.
The board picks have "relevant, industry-specific governance and leadership experience" and aren't "aligned with each other or with any one individual's interests, including Mr. Sonderby's," the statement said.
Elan has struck back against Sonderby--and two directors who want to launch an independent investigation of the conflicts allegations--by disclosing details about the deals Sonderby and others have questioned, and confirming that it hired a U.S. law firm to audit its corporate governance.