Arena Pharmaceuticals has announced that, at the request of the board of directors, company President and CEO Jack Lief has retired from the company, including the board. Dr. Harry Hixson, a director of Arena since 2004, has been appointed to serve as interim chief executive officer and interim principal financial officer. Arena will immediately initiate a search for a new chief executive.
“Jack has contributed in many ways since co-founding Arena in 1997, including overseeing the approval and commercial launch of the company’s internally discovered and developed drug Belviq, and the development of a robust clinical stage pipeline and productive research platform,” said Hixson.
Arena also reported that it is conducting an ongoing evaluation of its programs and operations, and intends to provide details regarding its 2016 financial plan later this year.
Hixson was the chairman of the board of directors of Sequenom, a genomics company, from January 2003 to March 2015, and chief executive officer from September 2009 to June 2014. He previously was chief executive officer of BrainCells, a drug discovery and development company, from 2004 to 2005; chief executive officer of Elitra Pharmaceuticals from 1998 to 2003; and he worked in various management positions with Amgen from 1985 to 1991, most recently as president and chief operating officer.