July 2, 2018 / 10:57 AM / 4 months ago

Lundbeck looks to boost drug range with new CEO

COPENHAGEN, July 2 (Reuters) - Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck has picked Deborah Dunsire as its new chief executive after former CEO Kaare Schultz was poached by Teva last year.

Dunsire will take the helm at a time where Lundbeck is looking to make up for declining sales of older drugs whose patents have expired and face generic competition.

Lundbeck’s share price more than tripled under Schultz, who returned the company to profit by cutting costs.

With the financial turn around completed, Dunsire will focus more on developing new products, or the drug pipeline, chairman Lars Rasmussen told Reuters.

“There is no guarantee that what is in the pipeline also comes to the market. Deborah understands how difficult this is,” he said.

Lundbeck specialises in neurological and psychological diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s.

Dunsire, 56, trained as medical doctor and has held management positions in various biotech and pharmaceutical companies like Xtuit Pharmaceuticals and Millenium.

“I think my challenge is to build sustainability into the future and make sure Lundbeck is well-prepared for the next decade of growth,” Dunsire, who will start in the role on Sept 1, told Reuters.

“Clearly there is going to be some organic growth, there’s some very interesting things in the pipeline, but I would never rule out that there will be external assets that we may look to acquire or partner,” she added.

Shares traded down 3 percent at 1000 GMT on Monday, underperforming Copenhagen’s benchmark index which was 0.6 percent down. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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