Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Names CEOs to Lead Ironwood and Cyclerion, Effective Upon Upcoming Separation
8 January 2019 - - US-based commercial biotech company Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: IRWD) board of directors has appointed chief executive officers of Ironwood and Cyclerion, effective at the time of Ironwood's planned separation which is on track to be completed in the first half of 2019, the company said.

Last May, Ironwood's board authorised an intent to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies.

Industry veteran Mark Mallon will become CEO and a director of Ironwood, a gastrointestinal healthcare company.

Mallon is joining Ironwood effective immediately as executive senior advisor, working closely with Peter Hecht, founding CEO of Ironwood, through the separation.

Peter Hecht will become CEO and a director of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (Cyclerion), the soluble guanylate cyclase biotechnology business focused on the development of five sGC stimulators targeting the treatment of serious and orphan diseases.

Mallon joins Ironwood following a distinguished 24-year career at AstraZeneca where he held a variety of senior executive positions.

He most recently served as a member of its executive committee, reporting to the CEO, as executive vice president of global product and portfolio strategy leading global marketing, commercial operations, pricing and market access, medical affairs and corporate affairs for AstraZeneca's USD 18bn pharmaceutical business.

Mallon has a strong track record of success building industry-leading businesses in the US and globally.

Prior to his most recent role, he launched AstraZeneca's emerging market strategy and led its multi-bn-dollar international business, including in China where AstraZeneca was the second largest and fastest growing multinational pharmaceutical company.

In his leadership roles at AstraZeneca, including president of AstraZeneca China, chief operating officer of AstraZeneca Japan, vice president of US sales and marketing operations and president of AstraZeneca Italy, Mallon delivered several best-in-class new product launches.

He is also widely renowned for building GI franchises, earned from his time leading the US commercial and drug development programmes for all AstraZeneca GI products.

Peter Hecht has served as Ironwood's CEO and director since co-founding the company in 1998.

Under his leadership, Ironwood has grown from nine Ph.D. scientists to a commercial biotechnology company that discovered and developed and is now commercializing Linzess (linaclotide) the branded prescription market leader in its class.

Additionally, during his tenure the company has pioneered new areas of science, delivered a development portfolio with seven promising drug candidates, and established a valuable network of global partnerships.

Prior to founding Ironwood, Hecht was a research fellow at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, an affiliate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley as well as a B.S. in mathematics and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University.

Ironwood is on track to complete the separation in the first half of 2019, subject to customary conditions, including a favorable opinion with respect to the tax-free nature of the transaction, and final approval of Ironwood's board of directors.