Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., co-founder of Alexion, is being promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Chief Global Operations Officer. Martin Mackay, Ph.D. will be joining Alexion as Executive Vice President, Global Head of R&D, and Saqib Islam, J.D. has joined Alexion as Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Portfolio Officer. All three executives will report directly to Leonard Bell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alexion.
The arrivals of Dr. Mackay and Mr. Islam will help to broaden Alexion’s portfolio of transformative ultra-orphan therapeutic candidates and accelerate the development of these candidates into approved products. The promotion of Dr. Squinto to his new position will support these initiatives, and also improve and expand critical processes in manufacturing, quality and corporate project management.
Growing to Serve More Patients, with More Disorders, in More Countries
Alexion currently serves patients in nearly 50 countries with Soliris® (eculizumab), the Company’s first approved product. Soliris is approved for patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in the US, European Union, Japan and other territories as the first and only treatment indicated for this debilitating and life-threatening ultra-rare blood disease. Soliris is also approved for patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) in the US and European Union as the first and only treatment indicated for this life-threatening and ultra-rare, genetic disease. As it continues the global introductions of Soliris in PNH and aHUS, the Company is developing the most robust pipeline in its history, with five highly innovative therapeutic candidates at various stages of development across nine severe and life-threatening disorders that are also ultra-rare.
Stephen Squinto, Ph.D.
Dr. Squinto, co-founder of Alexion along with Dr. Bell, has helped to grow the Company from a start-up to a global organization with 1,500 employees around the world. Dr. Squinto continues to serve as a key member of the executive leadership team, having risen to Executive Vice President and Head of R&D in 2007, and subsequently leading the development of Soliris through its approval in aHUS. Most recently, Dr. Squinto has driven the expansion of Alexion’s R&D pipeline to now comprise five highly innovative therapeutic candidates. In his new position of Chief Global Operations Officer, Dr. Squinto will increasingly focus his activities on leadership of the Company’s critical technical operations and quality organizations. Dr. Squinto will commence his new duties at Alexion in mid-May.
“Steve’s deep experience, strong technical background and excellent leadership skills, position him well to lead the critical expansions in our global manufacturing and quality organizations,” said Dr. Bell. “Additionally, Steve’s leadership in the development of a corporate project management organization will serve as a critical underpinning for our global growth across many vital functions and projects.”
Martin Mackay, Ph.D.
Dr. Mackay brings to Alexion more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development on a global scale. In his position, Dr. Mackay will focus on continuing to build and improve Alexion’s global research and development organization with a goal of accelerating the simultaneous development of multiple drug candidates in debilitating and life-threatening ultra-rare disorders across a range of therapeutic areas. Most recently, Dr. Mackay served as President, Research and Development at AstraZeneca, reporting directly to the CEO, where he led all R&D functions on a global basis, including discovery research, clinical development, regulatory affairs and key related R&D functions. Prior to AstraZeneca, Dr. Mackay held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, rising to the position of President, Head of Pfizer Pharmatherapeutics, R&D, where he reported to the CEO and Chairman, overseeing all aspects of discovery and development of therapies across nine therapeutic areas. Earlier in his career, Dr. Mackay worked in the CIBA organization (now Novartis) and held positions within academia. He received his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Mackay will join Alexion in mid-May.
“I am excited to be joining Alexion at a time when the company is developing the most robust pipeline in its history. With an exclusive focus on transformative therapies, we can bring hope to an increasing number of patients with a wide range of life-threatening ultra-rare disorders,” said Dr. Mackay.
“Martin’s passion to help patients, and his world-class experience in building and leading talented R&D organizations across multiple therapeutic areas, will help Alexion to reach the next levels in our mission to bring additional breakthrough therapies to individuals and families suffering from devastating and ultra-rare conditions,” said Dr. Bell.
Mr. Islam brings to Alexion 18 years of experience in global business management, with a focus on business development, strategic decision-making and planning, and capital markets. In his new position, he will focus on both executing our corporate growth strategies as well as contributing to our assessment and management of our global operations. Mr. Islam has an extensive background in the healthcare banking sector, having held positions of increasing responsibility in the investment banking divisions of Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and most recently, Credit Suisse Securities, where he served as Managing Director, Head of Healthcare and Diversified Industrials Capital Markets. Earlier in his career, at The Boston Consulting Group, Mr. Islam had provided strategic analysis and advice to client firms across diverse industry segments. Mr. Islam received his Bachelor’s degree from McGill University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
“Alexion offers an unmatched combination of a unique and highly respected track record within the ultra-orphan space, substantial global resources, and an entrepreneurial determination to serve even more patients with severe, ultra-rare disorders,” said Mr. Islam. “I look forward to helping Alexion to continue growing into a leadership position on the global healthcare stage.”
“Saqib’s experience within healthcare and across other key industries will be invaluable as we enter the next phase of leading the Alexion organization to maximize our opportunities to serve patients,” said Dr. Bell. “He will play a central role as we continue to grow our global organization to serve more patients with additional severe and ultra-rare disorders.”