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Agios (AGIO) Assigns Ex-Celgene Executive to CEO Position

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Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AGIO - Free Report) announced that it has appointed Dr. Jacqualyn Fouse as the company’s new chief executive officer (CEO) effective Feb 1, 2019. She will succeed Dr. David Schenkein, the current CEO.

Following this shuffle, Dr. Schenkein will now join as the chairman on the directorial board of directors and also serve as a member of the science & technology committee board.

Dr. Fouse comes in with a baggage of vast experience, having led various organizations over the years. Most recently, she served as the president and chief operating officer of Celgene Corporation (CELG - Free Report) before quitting the house last June. She has also been a member of Agios’ board since December 2017. No wonder, this played an instrumental role in her selection for assuming the new role.

Shares of Agios have surged 41.9% so far this year, comparing favorably with the industry’s rally of 15.8%.

Notably, Dr. Schenkein held office as the company’s CEO since 2009. During his tenure, Agios evolved from a pure research organization to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with two approved products in its portfolio and has visibly made a strong pipeline progress.

In July 2018, the FDA approved Agios’ leukemia drug Tibsovo (ivosidenib) for treating adult patients suffering relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a susceptible isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (IDH-1) mutation. A regulatory filing for the drug in the EU is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018 for the same indication.

Agios’ first commercialized drug Idhifa was approved last August for administering in adult patients with relapsed or refractory AML or R/R AML and an IDH2 mutation. Idhifa is owned by Agios’ partner Celgene while the former is entitled to receive royalties on the drug’s net sales. Idhifa is under review in the EU for the same disease.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Agios currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Two better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector are Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (EGRX - Free Report) and Quidel Corporation (QDEL - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Eagle Pharmaceuticals’ earnings estimates have moved 13.6% north for 2018 and 10.2% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has gained 25.3% year to date.

Quidel’s earnings estimates have been revised 8.8% upward for 2018 and 9% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has soared 72.9% so far this year.

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