Why did Regulus Therapeutics CEO Xanthopoulos suddenly quit?
- Kleanthis Xanthopoulos has served as the CEO of San Diego-based Regulus Therapeutics for seven year. But now, he's suddenly quit—and left the company's board.
- Regulus Therapeutics focuses on mRNA drug development, and has been focusing on developing a one-shot cure for hepatitis C—though results in the latest round of trials have not been promising.
- Xanthopoulos said that he is leaving to "pursue investment opportunities in the biotechnology industry."
Regulus is taking a beating on the news, dropping more than 16% to about $11.53 over the last several days. Investors are clearly not happy and were determined to sell on the news.
Incidentally, selling is exactly what Xanthopoulos himself was doing earlier this year, when he exercised 440,000 Regulus stock options, worth 38 cents each, and then sold them in the range of $16 to $20 each.
The Regulus board of directors has already appointed Paul Grint as CEO. Grint formally served as chief medical officer, and is also now a board member. In addition, Neil Gibson, who has been serving as the chief scientific officer of Regulus, is now the president's fellow until June 30. The two will work together to form a new leadership team so that Regulus can continue to move forward with the business of mRNA drug development.