- Kåre Schulz was rumored to be the CEO-in-waiting at Novo Nordisk, but unexpectedly left the company last week. Now, we know a bit more about why: He's taking on a new role as CEO of the struggling Lundbeck, which just posted a first quarter loss of $4.8 million.
- Lundbeck shares were up 25% on the news that Schulz was taking over as CEO.
- Schulz will be replacing Ulf Winberg, who stepped down in a scandal last year after violating Lundbeck's conflict of interest policies.
Lundbeck focuses on CNS drugs and has had a long history of success. But the recent patent expiry of Abilify (aripiprazole) and the introduction of generic aripiprazole last week have presented generic pressure on promising products like a newer, longer-acting version of Abilify.
However, Lundbeck is future-focused, with several new brands being positioned as major revenue generators, including Abilify Maintena (despite its generic challenges); Onfi, for epilepsy; and Brintellix, a new antidepressant that shows a great deal of promise and has generated quick physician and patient uptake.
Still, Schultz has his work cut out for him.