Update: July 12, 2019: Gilead Sciences has named Christi Shaw as CEO of Kite Pharma, the biotech it acquired in 2017 and this year made a separate business unit. Read more here.
- Christi Shaw will leave Eli Lilly at the end of August, about two-and-a-half years after returning to the pharma to run the biomedicines division, the company said in a Thursday statement.
- Shaw started her career at Lilly, working in the sales and marketing departments through the 1990s before leaving to join Janssen and Novartis, among other drugmakers. After David Ricks was tapped as CEO in 2017, she returned to the Indianapolis-based pharma to succeed Ricks as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines. A Lilly spokesperson told BioPharma Dive they couldn't speculate on reasons for Shaw's departure.
- Patrik Jonsson, general manager of Lilly Japan, will take over Shaw's role. Lilly also said Thursday its general counsel, Mike Harrington, will retire at year's end. Harrington has been with the company since 1991, and Lilly said it is now searching for his replacement.
In those two-plus years at Lilly, Shaw oversaw — to mixed results — several new drug launches within the pharma's biomedicines unit, which focuses on immunology, neurodegeneration and pain.
For instance, Lilly was third to market in launching its migraine treatment Emgality (galcanezumab), lagging behind drugs from Amgen and Teva.
Despite that late launch, Lilly has slightly surpassed Teva in market share among that class of treatments, called CGRP inhibitors. Amgen holds about half the market while Lilly and Teva both make up roughly one quarter each, according to recent Iqvia data cited by SVB Leerink.
Emgality's recent label expansion to include cluster headaches could help differentiate the drug. But the stiff competition and heavy discounting Lilly's made to gain market share may hinder an easy road to its blockbuster ambitions for the medicine. In the first three months of 2019, Emgality posted about $14 million in global revenue.
Lilly also won approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Olumiant (baricitinib) last June. But a narrow indication and black box safety warning look set to limit the JAK inhibitor's market potential as well. Olumiant posted $82 million in sales in 2019's first quarter.
Even so, the past two years have been a period of modest revenue growth for Lilly, despite the loss of market exclusivity for the blockbuster erectile dysfunction treatment Cialis (tadalafil) last year. From 2016 to 2018, total revenue increased from $21.2 billion to $24.6 billion, and Lilly expects to keep growing this year.
The diabetes drug Trulicity (dulaglutide) has become its top-seller, jumping in global revenue from $925 million in 2016 to $3.2 billion last year.
Lilly is set to release and discuss results for the second quarter on July 30. Shares in the pharma were trading down by nearly 4% at mid-day.