Axovant Sciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of dementia, announced that David Hung, MD, has been named chief executive Oofficer of Axovant Sciences, effective April 7, 2017.Hung, who also joined Axovant’s board of directors, succeeds founding CEO Vivek Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy will continue to serve on Axovant’s board of directors and will lead parent company and majority owner Roivant Sciences as its full-time CEO.

Hung brings more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the life sciences industry. He was the founder, president, and CEO of Medivation through its acquisition by Pfizer for approximately $14 billion in September 2016.

“I can think of no one better suited to serve at the helm of Axovant than David Hung,” says Ramaswamy in a release. “We were not searching for a new CEO at Axovant, but following the acquisition of Medivation I approached David about taking a role with us after the MINDSET study. David decided that he wanted to join us now. I have enjoyed a close professional and personal relationship with David over the last ten years, and I am truly thrilled that Axovant is in capable hands as I transition full-time to my role as CEO of Roivant.”

Hung says, “I am excited by the opportunity to lead Axovant to become a leader in neurology. Vivek and his team have done an incredible job of building Axovant over the past two years. I am especially excited by the MINDSET study and the opportunity to build a world-leading and highly innovative neurology pipeline over the next decade. While I am proud of my accomplishments at Medivation, I aspire to even greater lasting accomplishments here at Axovant.”

Hung founded Medivation in 2003 and served as president and CEO through its acquisition by Pfizer in 2016. During his tenure as CEO, Medivation achieved FDA approval for XTANDI (enzalutamide) as a treatment for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Prior to his founding and leadership experiences with Medivation, Hung served as president and CEO at ProDuct Health Inc, from 1999 until its acquisition by Cytyc Corporation in 2001, and was vice president of new projects as well as lead discovery and development at Chiron Corporation.

Hung completed clinical fellowships in hematology, oncology, and transfusion medicine as well as basic science research fellowships in molecular biology at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Hung received an MD Alpha Omega Alpha from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, and an AB in Biology summa cum laude from Harvard College.

Appointment of President and Chief Operating Officer

Axovant Sciences also announced the appointment of Marion McCourt as president and COO

McCourt served as COO of Medivation from February 2016 through its acquisition by Pfizer. Prior to joining Medivation, McCourt served as vice president, commercial operations, U.S., at Amgen. Prior to that, she also served as vice president and general manager of the Bone Health & Primary Care Business Unit at Amgen.

Before joining Amgen, McCourt served in numerous positions of increasing responsibility at AstraZeneca, including as COO of AstraZeneca U.S., where she was responsible for all US commercial functions, medical affairs, business development, finance, human resources, legal, operations, and corporate affairs. McCourt holds a BS in Biology from Lafayette College.

“We are pleased to have Marion join our leadership team,” says. Hung. “She was a key member of my leadership team at Medivation and has a long track record of operating successful businesses. We expect Marion to play a critical role in preparing Axovant for the next stage of its growth as a company with a deep development pipeline and the potential to launch multiple commercial products targeting some of the world’s greatest unmet medical needs.”

Expansion of Board of Directors

In addition, Axovant Sciences announced the appointment of two new members to the company’s board of directors. Kathryn “Kate” E. Falberg and William Anthony “Tony” Vernon have joined as independent directors. Falberg and Vernon previously served as directors of Medivation through its acquisition by Pfizer.

Falberg has previously served as the CFO of major biopharmaceutical companies including Amgen and Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Falberg served as CFO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals from December 2009 to March 2014. From 2001 through 2009, Falberg served on the boards of directors of numerous biopharmaceutical companies. From 1995 to 2001, Falberg served in positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen including ultimately as CFO. Falberg also serves on the boards of BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Aimmune Therapeutics, aTyr Pharma, and The Trade Desk. Falberg received an MBA in Finance and BA in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a certified public accountant, inactive.

Vernon served as the CEO of the Kraft Foods Group from 2012 to 2014. From 2009 to 2011, Vernon served as the president of Kraft Foods North America and as an executive vice president of Kraft Foods. From 2006 to 2009, Vernon served as the healthcare industry partner for Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity firm. From 1982 to 2005, Vernon worked for Johnson & Johnson in a variety of leadership roles, including as company group chairman of DePuy Orthopaedics, president of Centocor Biologics, president of McNeil Consumer Products and Nutritionals, and president of The Johnson & Johnson-Merck Joint Venture. Vernon currently serves on the boards of NovoCure, Intersect ENT, and WhiteWave Foods. Vernon holds a BA in history from Lawrence University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Axovant recently completed enrollment for the MINDSET study. In total, the study randomized 1,315 patients on a stable background therapy of donepezil to treatment with either once-daily 35 mg intepirdine or placebo. The company expects topline results from the MINDSET study in late September 2017.