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Protein Design Names a New CEO

Mark McDade, a co-founder of Corixa, will leave a private company for the new post.

Protein Design Labs

(PDLI) - Get PDL BioPharma, Inc. Report

has named a new CEO, six months after the biotech firm's last leader resigned unexpectedly.

The Fremont, Calif.-based company named Mark McDade as its new chief executive Tuesday. He will also serve on PDL's board of directors. McDade replaced interim CEO Dick Ebersole, who took over the company reins in May following the departure of Larry Korn.

Protein Design Labs is best known as a drug technology company that licenses its know-how to other firms. But the company is now trying to use this technology to develop its own drugs, albeit with decidedly mixed results so far. Two cancer drug candidates, Zamyl and Remitogen, have been stung with poor test results. An experimental psoriasis drug, Zenapax, has also failed to meet expectations.

PDL shares were up 5%, to $9.28, in early Tuesday trading. The stock has fallen 72% this year.

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McDade has been CEO of

Signature BioSciences

, a privately held, San Francisco-based biotech firm that is also making the transition from technology to drug development. Prior to that, McDade was co-founder and held various executive posts at



, a Seattle-based biotech firm.

McDade joins PDL on Dec. 2, the company said.