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Circassia brings in top Pfizer exec as new chief operating officer

Jonathan Emms, who will officially join in September, arrives at a time when Circassia is transitioning into a more commercially-focused business

Circassia Pharmaceuticals - Circassia brings in top Pfizer exec as new chief operating officer
Emms oversaw the launch of Serevent and Spiriva – two huge COPD drugs

Circassia Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:CIR) has hired one of Pfizer’s top executives to become its first chief operating officer.

Jonathan Emms, who has held a number of senior positions at both Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK), will join the respiratory drug specialist next month.

Upon his arrival, Circassia’s long-serving senior vice president of R&D, Rod Hafner, will step down from the board, although he will remain a “key member” of the senior management team.

READ: Circassia gets double shot in the arm from US regulators

The boardroom changes come as Circassia transitions into a more commercially-focused company, following the recent regulatory approvals for two of its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatments – Duaklir and Tudorza.

“With our preparations well advanced for the forthcoming US launch of Duaklir, the ongoing establishment of our new Chinese sales team in the marketplace and our growing commercial presence in Europe, we look forward to Jonathan leading our commercial strategy,” said chief executive Steve Harris.

“At the same time, we thank Rod for his major contribution to the company, managing Circassia's input into the successful Duaklir NDA and Tudorza sNDA and leading our R&D activities over many years.”

Emms added: “I am impressed with the team's ambition and clear drive to build a highly successful specialty pharmaceutical business, and am certain that with my international commercial experience and knowledge of the respiratory market I can make a significant contribution helping Circassia achieve its goal.”

Shares were up 1.8% to 19.5p in early deals on Monday.

Quick facts: Circassia Group PLC

Price: 25 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £94.23 m

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