Ariad Pharma adds activist investor to its board

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Activist investor Alexander J. Denner has been named to a two-year term on the board of Cambridge biotech Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., the company said Friday.

Denner, a protege of Carl C. Icahn and veteran of many battles with biotechnology managers, recently founded his own hedge fund, Sarissa Capital Management of Greenwich, Conn. The fund bought a 6.2 percent stake in Ariad last October, according to a regulatory filing, and Denner has been agitating for a seat on Ariad’s board.

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