The latest: Innovative drug maker Everest Medicines Ltd. (1952.HK) on Monday announced the appointment of Luo Yongqing, formerly president and general manager of Greater China for Brii Biosciences Ltd. (2137.HK), as its new CEO effective immediately.
Looking up: Luo worked for two years at Brii Biosciences, and before that was global vice president and general manager of China for U.S. pharma company Gilead (GILD.US), where he helped build the company’s China business. During his time at Gilead he led the clinical development, registration approval and successful launch of eight innovative products in China.
Take Note: Luo was not the top decision maker at Brii Biosciences, and his leadership skills will be tested as he moves to become the CEO of another listed pharmaceutical company.
Digging Deeper: Everest Medicines has gone through a recent turbulent period, announcing its loss widened by 74.4% year-on-year to 668 million yuan ($95.4 million) in the first half of 2022, followed by the surprise resignation of its CEO two days later. Before those announcements, the company transferred exclusive rights for its only China-approved product, the breast cancer treatment Sacituzumab Govitecan, to Gilead in mid-August for the Greater China region, South Korea and some Southeast Asian countries. As Everest’s new helmsman, Luo will need to deliver results for the company’s Covid-19 mRNA vaccine and other drugs as soon as possible to earn back investor confidence.
Market Reaction: Everest Medicines’ shares closed down 4.5% to HK$8.96 at the midday break on Monday, marking a new low since its 2020 IPO. Brii Biosciences also plunged 6.3% to HK$6.28, close to the stock’s 52-week low.
Translation by Jony Ho
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