Innovate CEO Chris Prior leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about a year in the position
  • Sandeep Laumas taking over
  • Prior kept it short and said 23 words

(exechange) — Raleigh, North Carolina, February 22, 2019 — Chris Prior, chief executive of Innovate, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Innovate Biopharmaceuticals Inc. in a news release published on Friday, February 22, 2019 and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, Christopher P. (Chris) Prior has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the clinical stage biotechnology company, after about a year in the role, effective February 19, 2019.

Chris Prior’s duties were taken over by Sandeep Laumas, currently Executive Chairman of Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

Chris Prior’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Chief Medical Officer.

“To pursue other opportunities”

The management change is explained as follows. Innovate said: “Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. …, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, announced the departure of the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Christopher Prior, Ph. D, in order to pursue other opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information regarding Chris Prior’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the post abruptly and without an understandable explanation.


Innovate said: “On February 18, 2019, Christopher P. Prior, Ph.D., the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors … of Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. …, resigned as Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company, effective February 19, 2019.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.’s share price of 95 percent since April 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Prior served as the Chief Executive Officer and a Director at Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. since January 29, 2018 until February 19, 2019.

Prior joined Private Innovate as its chief executive officer in 2015 and became the Company’s chief executive officer and a member of the Company’s board of directors in connection with the completion of the Merger.

From April 2008 to October 2014, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Phasebio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company.

Prior to that, he founded Principia Pharmaceutical Corporation, a company that develops biopharmaceutical products for chronic diseases, where he served as President, and BioRexis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company developing diabetes candidates and novel therapeutic agents, where he served as the President and Chief Scientific Officer.

During the course of his 30-year career, he has generated more than 25 INDs and achieved four product approvals from the FDA. Dr. Prior received his Bachelor of Science, with honors, in Chemistry from the University of London, and received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Columbia University.

Prior also completed a research fellowship at The Rockefeller Medical Institute in New York.

Prior is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and is the author of numerous publications and patents focused on the development of therapeutics.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Innovate and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 8.2019 ($).