Malin chairman Ian Curley signals departure plans

Business veteran has overseen review of investment group’s portfolio

Ian Curley is a veteran of both Ardagh and Smurfit Kappa. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ian Curley is a veteran of both Ardagh and Smurfit Kappa. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Life sciences investment company Malin’s chairman of less than a year, Ian Curley, has signalled that he plans to step down from the board as the business hits important milestones.

The company, which held its annual general meeting in Dublin, did not give a time frame for when Mr Curley, currently executive chairman, will be succeeded by a new non-executive chairman.

Mr Curley, a former chief executive of metal and glass containers giant Ardagh and one-time chief financial officer of cardboard box maker Smurfit Kappa, was appointed to the board of Malin last July as part of a boardroom shake-up after a period of investor concern over the company’s strategy and operating costs.

The troubleshooting chairman immediately oversaw a review of the company’s portfolio and strategy that identified four “core assets”. These included stakes in: Poseida Therapeutics, which is developing a treatment for bone marrow cancer; Immunocore, whose key pipeline product is an eye cancer drug; Kymab, which is working on a treatment of eczema; and Viamet, which focuses on antifungal products.

IPO

Last month, Poseida shelved an initial public offering (IPO) as it raised $142 million (€126 million) in a funding round backed by pharma group Novartis, prompting speculation that it would most likely be sold in the next year rather than floated on the stock market.

The main treatments being developed by Poseida, Immunicore and Kymab face important milestones this year on their planned route to market.

Mr Curley became executive chairman on an interim basis last October as then chief executive, Andrew Howd, left the business. Malin plans to find a candidate with healthcare industry experience as its next non-executive chairman. This will leave Darragh Lyons, chief business and financial officer, as the company’s top executive.