Sarepta CEO resigns abruptly amid tense relationship with FDA
- Sarepta Therapeutics CEO Christopher Garabedian resigned abruptly on Tuesday evening, the company reported.
- Sarepta Chief Medical Officer Ed Kaye will take over as interim CEO effective immediately.
- The timing and suddenness of the resignation suggests that Garabedian was actually pushed out by Sarepta's board of directors on Tuesday. Garabedian has been under fire from some industry observers for a reportedly strained relationship with the FDA that many believed would endanger the success of the company's investigational Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen.
While Garabedian's departure was sudden, it was by no means particularly surprising. Garabedian has been lauded as a strong patient advocate who may not have successfully built a productive relationship with the FDA. He's criticized the agency's approval process (not exactly surprising for an orphan drug company)—but what concerned many investors was the FDA's announcement last fall that the company would need to present more information regarding eteplirsen, dashing hopes for an approval some time in early 2015.
In one last gut punch to Garabedian, the market is already reacting positively to the news. Sarepta shares were up almost 5% in morning trading.
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