BIO names longtime Amicus head John Crowley as its new CEO

BIO names longtime Amicus head John Crowley as its new CEO

The Biotech Innovation Organization on Tuesday named Amicus Therapeutics co-founder and longtime leader John Crowley as its new CEO, taking over a spot interim chief Rachel King has held for the past 14 months.

BIO’s decision to name Crowley, who will assume the role effective March 4, as permanent CEO comes just over a year after the tumultuous exit of Michelle McMurry-Heath, who left the organization after reportedly clashing with its board amid lagging staff morale and financial problems.

Crowley will take the reins at a time when the industry group is challenging the U.S. government on at least two fronts: The newly granted drug pricing power bestowed to Medicare under the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Federal Trade Commission’s more aggressive stance toward biopharmaceutical deals.

Crowley has experience not only lobbying for the industry before Congress, but advocating for rare disease research and leading one of its companies, Amicus, for nearly two decades. 

In a statement, Ted Love, BIO’s board chair and the former CEO of Global Blood Therapeutics, praised Crowley’s “unwavering commitment to patients.”

“He possesses a lifelong dedication to service, whether fighting for his country, wisely negotiating on behalf of our companies in Congress, or advocating in hospitals on behalf of his children and patients with rare disease,” Love said in a statement.

Crowley pivoted from financial consulting to the pharmaceutical industry after two of his children were born with a rare disorder called Pompe disease. After working in a management role at Bristol Myers Squibb, he ran a biotech known as Novazyme, which successfully developed a treatment for Pompe now marketed by Sanofi. The story was recounted in a book and later, the motion picture “Extraordinary Measures.”

He joined Amicus in 2005 and served as its CEO through 2022 when he transitioned to a role as the company’s executive chairman. During that time the New Jersey-based company won approval for two rare-disease drugs, Galafold for Fabry disease and Pombiliti for Pompe.

That journey wasn’t without its setbacks. The Food and Drug Administration hesitated to approve Galafold approval because of limited data, but later reversed course and cleared it, a turnaround linked to a meeting between Crowley and former President Donald Trump.

Amicus also still isn’t turning a profit. In 2022, it recorded a loss of $237 million on $329 million in product revenue.

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