WARRINGTON, Pa. (
) --Someone at
finally took the trash out.
The beleaguered drug company announced the departure Thursday night of Chief Executive Robert Capetola. Current Chairman Thomas Amick was named interim CEO.
"Bob made a significant contribution to Discovery Labs by guiding us over the past 13 years. We thank Bob and wish him all the best in his future endeavors," said Amick, in a statement that surely could not have been written with a straight face.
That's because Capetola
destroyed Discovery Labs
and bled his shareholders dry. The Food and Drug Administration's serial rejection of Discovery's infant lung drug Surfaxin is a record of futility that may never be matched. And through all the ineptitude, mismanagement and stock-price tumbles, Capetola was there, collecting paycheck after paycheck.
But no longer, which is reason for Discovery Labs' shareholders to celebrate and be optimistic about the company's future.
I called for Capetola to
last month. My only disappointment with his departure is that he's no longer a candidate for my Worst Biotech CEO of the Year award.
Now that Amick is in charge, he and the rest of the board will hopefully move quickly to find a buyer for the company. Surfaxin is dead, but the underlying technology and second-generation products have value that exceeds the company's current stock price.
Discovery Labs closed Thursday at 50 cents a share.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston
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