Monmouth Junction, N.J.-based Insmed, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel inhalation therapeutics for patients suffering from serious orphan lung diseases, has appointed Will Lewis president and CEO, effective immediately.
Lewis also has been appointed to the company's board of directors. He succeeds Tim Whitten, who has resigned as president and CEO. In addition, Donald J. Hayden, Jr., who was appointed executive chairman in May, will return to his role as chairman, effective immediately.
Lewis has more than 20 years of executive experience in the pharmaceutical and finance industries, both in the U.S. and internationally. He was a co-founder, president and chief financial officer of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, where he played a pivotal role in re-orienting the company's strategy to focus on orphan disease indications, enabling Aegerion to go public in one of the top IPOs of 2010. Prior to Aegerion, Lewis spent more than a decade in investment banking at JP Morgan, Robertson Stephens and Wells Fargo, involved in domestic and international capital raising and advisory work valued at more than $20 billion. He began his career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency.
"Will has worked closely with the Insmed board and management team as an advisor to the company during the past several months,” said Hayden. “I am confident he will successfully lead Insmed in its efforts to fully realize the potential our lead compound, ARIKACE, holds for patients suffering from serious orphan diseases of the lung.”
"Insmed is approaching an important inflection point as it transitions from late-stage development of ARIKACE through to registration and commercialization," said Lewis. "Our late-stage clinical trials, including our pivotal phase III trial in CF patients, are enrolling patients quickly, and we believe this speaks to the need for and interest in ARIKACE. We believe this novel therapy has the potential to improve the lives of patients who battle CF-related Pseudomonas lung infections and non-TB mycobacteria lung infections, both high-growth orphan disease populations. Our focus in the near term will be to prepare the company for commercialization of ARIKACE in Europe and the U.S. as quickly as possible, for the benefit of both patients and Insmed shareholders."