Biotech highflier Myogen ( MYOG) has just disclosed the resignation of a key executive in the equivalent of a regulatory footnote. In an 8-K report filed earlier this week, Myogen revealed that founder Michael Bristow has vacated his post as chief science and medical officer of the company. Bristow will now serve as a scientific adviser while collecting the same $100,000 salary for as few as four hours of work per week. The move will permit him to focus on a newer biotech venture. Over the years, Bristow has always been listed as a high-ranking officer -- second only to the CEO at times -- of the company that he founded 10 years ago. Even so, Myogen simply announced Bristow's departure among "other events" in a recent filing devoted primarily to explaining the company's discretionary bonus program. Myogen had previously disclosed that Bristow might resign when announcing a business agreement with Bristow's new company in a separate 8-K filing last fall. Bristow is now free to spend more time on that new company, known as Arca Discovery. Even as chief science and medical officer of Myogen, Bristow had to work only eight hours a week. Myogen failed to return telephone calls from TheStreet.com this week seeking information about Bristow's responsibilities at the company and who, if anyone, will be assuming them. In the meantime, Myogen's stock has taken another big bounce. The shares, which have more than quadrupled over the past year, jumped 5.3% to $38.77 on Thursday following news about an upcoming drug presentation.
Locking in Profits
Nevertheless, Bristow has sold plenty of Myogen stock himself. To be fair, he did reveal his plans in advance. Back in late August, he and four other Myogen executives -- including the CEO -- adopted prearranged trading plans to cut their stake in the company. They announced their intentions just one week after the company's stock rocketed nearly 70% in a single day on positive results from a drug trial.