US generics company Andrx, currently in the throes of an investigation into its manufacturing procedures by the Food and Drug Administration, announced the resignation of chief financial officer John Hanson.
The company would not comment on the reasons for Mr Hanson's departure. He will be replaced on an interim basis by the company's former CFO, Angelo Malahias, who currently serves as Andrx' president.
Earlier this month Andrx had a hold placed on the approval all of its new marketing applications after a routine FDA inspection in May uncovered violations in Good Manufacturing Practice at its facility in Davie, Florida.
Andrx shares slumped nearly 4 per cent on the news of Hanson's resignation yesterday as investors, already jittery about the FDA actions, responded to the news. The stock closed at $15.60, down from a 52 week high of $24.47.
The impact on the share price reflects a nervousness that surrounds this type of FDA investigation, which has affected a number of companies in the last few months. These include the FDA's probe into vaccine manufacturing at Chiron's UK facility, which led to a suspension of flu vaccine production, as well as a halt on the production of two drugs at GlaxoSmithKline after violations were found at plants in the US and Puerto Rico.
But the most damaging example is that of genric manufacturer Able Laboratories, which was forced to undertake a complete product recall and stop manufacturing in May after serious quality control issues were found at its main production plant. Both the EO and an interim replacement walked out, and the firm eventually was forced to sell off its assets and file for bankruptcy protection.
Andrx said at the time the FDA probe was announced that the agency had issued a list of problematic areas following the inspection, and the company had filed a detailed response, including a proposed plan to correct its deficiencies. The FDA has not yet responded to the plan.