Two Vertex executives are stepping down
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Friday that its chief legal officer and chief commercial officer are leaving the company.
The Cambridge biotechnology company said its chief legal officer, Ty Howton, is leaving and will be replaced by Kenneth Horton, who will take the additional title of executive vice president and report directly to Vertex chief executive Jeffrey Leiden.
In addition, Nancy Wysenski, the company’s chief commercial officer, is retiring. Wysenski, 54, built the company’s first team to support the approval and launch of Vertex’s early medicines. A search is underway to fill her post, the company said.
Vertex spokesman Zachry Barber said the departures were “completely unrelated” to a jump in the company’s stock last month after it released strong clinical trial results for a cystic fibrosis treatment in development. That news sent the stock soaring 55 percent in a day, but Vertex later said the results -- while still positive -- had been overstated.
Wysenski was among several Vertex executives and directors who profited from the stock’s move, netting an estimated $8.8 million in stock sales in the days following release of the flawed report.
Vertex said the sales had been pre-planned. But US Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, this week wrote to the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission citing concerns about the transactions. He asked the SEC to report back to him by June 28 on whether it will investigate the matter.Beth Healy can be reached at email@example.com.