- Posted by ISPE Boston
- On January 28, 2019
The separation of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals into two independent, publicly traded companies, Ironwood and Cyclerion Therapeutics, first announced in May 2018, is on track to be completed during the first half of 2019; and both companies have named women to lead their new boards of directors.
Julie McHugh will serve as chair of the new Ironwood board, which will continue to be comprised of nine members. Ms. McHugh brings 28 years of senior leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including as chief operating officer of Endo Health Solutions, chief executive officer of Nora Therapeutics, group chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s world virology business unit, and president of Centocor. While at Johnson & Johnson, Ms. McHugh oversaw the development and launch of multiple products including Remicade (infliximab), Prezista (darunavir) and Intelence (etravirine). She also led the marketing communications for Prilosec (omeprazole) at Astra-Merck. Ms. McHugh has served on the Ironwood board since 2014.
Marsha Fanucci will serve as chair of the new Cyclerion board, also comprised of nine members. Ms. Fanucci brings a track-record of overseeing strategies for growth and profitability at biopharmaceutical companies and a long career of leadership in public company finance, most recently serving in executive roles at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, including chief financial officer, vice president of finance and corporate strategy, and vice president of corporate development and strategy. Prior to Millennium, Ms. Fanucci was vice president of corporate development and strategy at Genzyme. She has served on the Ironwood board since 2009.
Following the separation, Ironwood intends to become a leading GI-focused healthcare company, building upon its commercial success to-date with Linzess (linaclotide) used to treat irritable bowel syndrome; and advancing its late-stage, first-in-category development candidates for persistent GERD and abdominal pain. Cyclerion expects to advance a robust portfolio of five soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator programs for the treatment of serious and orphan diseases, harnessing its deep expertise in cyclic guanosine monophosphate pharmacology. (Source: Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Website, 24 January, 2019)