SAN DIEGO, May 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) today announced that it has appointed Amit D. Munshi as President, Chief Executive Officer and interim principal financial officer, effective May 11, 2016. Mr. Munshi will also join Arena's Board of Directors following Arena's 2016 annual stockholders' meeting, which is scheduled for June 13, 2016.
Mr. Munshi brings to Arena more than 25 years of global biopharmaceutical industry experience in executive management, business development, product development and portfolio management. Harry F. Hixson, Jr., Ph.D., who has served as Arena's interim Chief Executive Officer and interim principal financial officer since October 2015 and as a director since 2004, will remain on Arena's Board of Directors.
"Amit is a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive with the diverse experience and skill set necessary to lead Arena to its next phase of growth," said Tina S. Nova, Ph.D., Arena's Lead Independent Director and Chair of its CEO Search Committee. "As a company, we have made progress in aligning our focus with our core strengths over the past several months, and the Board looks forward to Amit's leadership as we advance our therapeutic pipeline and drive toward important milestones."
"Additionally, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Dr. Hixson for his leadership of the company during this transitional phase," added Dr. Nova.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Arena at this point in the company's evolution," said Mr. Munshi. "With a strong research platform, a marketed drug and three compounds currently in Phase 2 development, I believe Arena has the potential to deliver significant value while positively impacting the lives of patients. I look forward to working with Arena's executive team and Board to advance the company."
Mr. Munshi, age 48, served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, from May 2012 to May 2016. Prior to Epirus, Mr. Munshi served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Percivia LLC, a biotechnology company, from 2011 to 2012, was a co-founder and served as Chief Business Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., from 2005 to 2010, and held multiple leadership positions at Amgen Inc. from 1997 to 2005, including General Manager, Nephrology Europe. Mr. Munshi serves on the boards of Oxeia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and Cytrellis Biosystems, Inc., both privately held companies. Mr. Munshi holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in History from the University of California, Riverside, and an M.B.A. from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Inducement Equity Award
In connection with the hiring of Mr. Munshi, the Compensation Committee of Arena's Board of Directors approved an inducement stock option grant to Mr. Munshi to purchase 3,800,000 shares of Arena common stock. The option grant will be effective on May 11, 2016, and will have an exercise price per share equal to the closing price of Arena's common stock on that date. The non-qualified stock option will have a 7-year term and will vest over four years, with 25% of the shares subject to the option vesting one year after the commencement of Mr. Munshi's employment and the remainder of the shares vesting quarterly over the following three years in equal installments, subject to Mr. Munshi's continued service with Arena through the applicable vesting dates. The vesting of the option is subject to acceleration in certain circumstances as provided in Mr. Munshi's employment and severance agreements. The stock option grant is subject to the terms and conditions of Arena's 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan, as amended, and the stock option agreement pursuant to which the option is granted.
The stock option is granted as an inducement material to Mr. Munshi entering into employment with Arena in accordance with NASDAQ listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena embraces the challenge of improving health by seeking to bring innovative medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors to patients. Arena's focus is discovering, developing and commercializing drugs to address unmet medical needs, and BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) is Arena's first internally discovered drug approved for marketing. Arena's US operations are located in San Diego, California, and its operations outside of the United States, including its commercial manufacturing facility, are located in Zofingen, Switzerland. For more information, visit Arena's website at www.arenapharm.com.
Arena Pharmaceuticals® and Arena® are registered service marks of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. BELVIQ® is a registered trademark of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include statements about the timing and significance of Mr. Munshi's appointment as an executive officer and director; Mr. Munshi's experience and skill set and ability to lead Arena; Arena's growth, pipeline, future milestones and potential, including in delivering value and impacting lives; the timing and terms of Mr. Munshi's equity award; embracing the challenge of improving health and seeking to bring innovative medicines to patients; and Arena's focus, plans, goals, strategy, expectations, research and development programs, and ability to discover and develop compounds and commercialize drugs. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may differ materially from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: having adequate funds and other resources and their effective use; enrollment in the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials of APD334 and ralinepag is competitive and challenging, and their progress, completion and results are uncertain; recruiting and retaining effective management and other key employees; risks related to commercializing drugs, including regulatory, product supply, marketing and use; the focus, efforts and decisions of collaborators; the entry into, modification or termination of collaborative arrangements, and risks related to relying on such arrangements; the timing and receipt of payments from others; the risk that Arena's revenues are based in part on estimates, judgment and accounting policies, and incorrect estimates or disagreement regarding estimates or accounting policies may result in changes to Arena's guidance or previously reported results; the timing and outcome of regulatory review is uncertain, and lorcaserin may not receive any additional marketing approvals; regulatory decisions in one territory may impact other regulatory decisions and Arena's business prospects; reimbursement and pricing decisions; the timing, success and cost of Arena's research and development; results of clinical trials and other studies are subject to different interpretations and may not be predictive of future results; clinical trials and other studies may not proceed at the time or in the manner expected or at all; unexpected or unfavorable new data; nonclinical and clinical data is voluminous and detailed, and regulatory agencies may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently and reach different conclusions than Arena or others, request additional information, have additional recommendations or change their guidance or requirements before or after approval; data and other information related to any of Arena's research and development may not meet regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for (or Arena or a collaborator may not pursue) further research and development, regulatory review or approval or continued marketing; intellectual property rights; and satisfactory resolution of litigation or other disagreements. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's forward-looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Arena's judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be required under applicable law.
Contact: Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Craig M. Audet, Ph.D., Senior Vice President,
Operations & Head of Global Regulatory Affairs
858.453.7200, ext. 1612
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SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.