Elan picks Hasler for leading role


IRISH BIOTECH group Elan has named Hans Peter Hasler as chief operating officer.

Mr Hasler, who has been a non-executive director at Elan since September last year, will assume the new leadership role on October 1st and will stand down from the board.

He worked with Biogen, Elan’s partner in the Tysbari drug programme for multiple sclerosis, in several roles between 2001 and 2009, ultimately as chief operating officer responsible for all commercial operations, business development, medical affairs and Biogen International.

His appointment comes as updated figures show 14 new cases of the often fatal side-effect of Elan’s blockbuster MS therapy.

Elan and its partner in Tysabri reported 14 new incidences of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) by MS patients on the drug, bringing to 285 the total number of Tysabri patients to have contracted the disease.

Sixty-two of those have died as a result, including three new cases in the most recent figures.

Geographically, the breakdown of PML cases is 169 in Europe, 102 in the US and four elsewhere.