GREENWICH, Conn., Feb. 13, 2018 -- Sarissa Capital Management LP announced today that Sarissa Capital has entered into an agreement with Innoviva, Inc. (NASDAQ: INVA) to reconstitute the entire board of directors as follows:
- Effective immediately Jules Haimovitz, Sarah Schlesinger, M.D. and Mark DiPaolo will be added to the Innoviva board, joining recently added Sarissa designees George Bickerstaff, III and Odysseas Kostas, M.D.
- Effective as of the upcoming stockholder meeting, the Innoviva board will consist of five directors: Jules Haimovitz, Sarah Schlesinger, M.D., Mark DiPaolo, George Bickerstaff, III and Odysseas Kostas, M.D.
Mark DiPaolo and Odysseas Kostas, M.D. are principals of Sarissa Capital. Jules Haimovitz, Sarah Schlesinger, M.D. and George Bickerstaff, III served together on the board of directors of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and were instrumental in the turnaround efforts at ARIAD which culminated in the sale of the company for over $5 billion last year. Sarissa Capital was one of ARIAD's largest shareholders and Alex Denner, Ph.D., Sarissa Capital's founder and Chief Investment Officer, was the chairman of ARIAD at the time of its sale.
Mark DiPaolo of Sarissa Capital stated, "We are extremely pleased with this outcome at Innoviva, and we are excited to work with the new board which will be focused on optimizing capital allocation for the benefit of all stockholders. We commend the outgoing board for its demonstration of professionalism and support during this transition period."
This outcome is the result of a proxy contest Sarissa Capital waged in connection with Innoviva's 2017 annual stockholder meeting and Sarissa Capital's necessary subsequent litigation against Innoviva. In December 2017, Sarissa Capital prevailed in its litigation when the Delaware Court ruled that Innoviva breached its agreement with Sarissa Capital to add George Bickerstaff and Odysseas Kostas, M.D. to the board and ordered Innoviva to add them to the board immediately. Following that ruling, Sarissa engaged in discussions with Innoviva that resulted in the termination of CEO Mike Aguiar and this reconstitution of the board of directors.
SOURCE Sarissa Capital Management LP