Morris Laster ends role as BiolineRX director

Laster resigned as CEO at the end of 2009 and sold a block of shares in the drug development company.

BiolineRX Ltd. (TASE:BLRX) director Dr. Morris Laster is resigning his post, have already resigned as CEO of the drug development company at the end of 2009.

In the summons for a general shareholders meeting on August 17, BiolineRX listed the directors up for reelection: chairman Dr. Aharon Schwartz, VP strategic business planning and new ventures at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA); Dr. Rafael Hofstein, former president and CEO of Hadasit - the Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah Medical Organization; Yakov Friedman, who has been on the board for three years; and CEO Dr. Kinneret Savitsky. Laster's name is not on the list.

Laster declined to respond to questions from "Globes" on the matter.

The process of Laster's departure apparently began several weeks ago, when BiolineRX signed an out-license to Cypress Bioscience Inc. (Nasdaq: CYBP) for the company's BL-1020 drug for the treatment of schizophrenia in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The deal could be worth as much as $365 million. BiolineRX will get an up-front payment of $30 million. The schizophrenia market is worth $13 billion.

Right after the announcement of the deal, Laster sold BiolineRX shares at a 27% premium on the market price, and reduced his stake in the company to 2.2% (1.9% fully diluted). There were investors who expressed surprise by sale by a party at interest in the company so soon after such an important deal, and the sale put pressure on the shares. The timing of the share might be because of the announcement removed the block on the sale of shares by Laster, and he simply took advantage of the opportunity.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 13, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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