At the end of this month, the company announced in October, Yves Rosconi is out the door as Theratechnologies boss. Never let it be said that the man doesn’t know how to make an exit.
On Remembrance Day, November 11th, Theratechnologies got marketing approval for Egrifta, a treatment that has been shown to reduce excess visceral abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy, from the FDA. This made the Montreal based company “one of the very few Canadian biotechnology companies to have successfully discovered, developed and brought a drug to the market on our own” as the press release noted.
Theratechnologies achievement triggered a milestone payment of $25-million from EMD Serono Inc. a German based Merck affiliate. As Rosconi pointed out to industry mag Bioworld Today, the money will cover the company’s burn rate for the entire year. Investors seemed to like the news; after trading 3,450,164 shares on Thursday, Theratechnologies was up $.50 cents to $5.50. The stock was as low as $1.25 in early 2009.
There’s little doubt that some investors believe Egrifta may have more general applications as a weight loss drug, but the company is quick to play down these notions, pointing out the drug is “not indicated for weight-loss management”. The weight of increased expectations, however, clearly falls on John-Michel Huss, who will assume the role of CEO on December 1st. Huss brings an international flavor to the fledgling Canadian stock, having had a twenty year career in Germany, Canada, Switzerland and France, on top of sporting a US MBA. Huss, incidentally, got his start twenty years ago at company called Merck.