Hantson takes over the top job at the $27 billion biotech company after serving as CEO of Baxalta, which he helped sell to Shire for $32 billion.
At Alexion, Hantson replaces interim CEO David Brennan, who was called into the job last December following the forced exits of CEO David Hallal and CFO Vikas Sinha. The executives resigned from Alexion during an internal probe looking into allegations of improper sales practices tied to the company's top-selling drug Soliris.
Prior to Baxalta, Hanson ran the Baxter BioScience, a $6 billion global business unit of Baxter where he oversaw the development and launch of 13 new products. That drug development experience will be tested at Alexion, which is struggling to shore up a pipeline amidst concerns about a disappointing $8.4 billion acquisition of Synageva Biopharma and the long-term growth of Soliris.
"I am honored and proud to join Alexion, an innovator and pioneer in rare diseases and a company that shares my commitment to serving patients and families," said Hantson, in a statement. "I believe Alexion is in a strong position to continue to advance the science and build upon its global capabilities to serve even more patients with devastating and rare diseases in over 50 markets."
Alexion shares are down 2.5% this year. The stock closed Friday at $119.26.
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