AcelRx CEO Howie Rosen leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After less than two years on the job
  • Praise for Rosen
  • Vince Angotti taking over

( — Redwood City, California, February 16, 2017 — Howie Rosen, chief executive of AcelRx, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, February 16, 2017, Howard B. (Howie) Rosen leaves the post as chief executive officer at the specialty pharmaceutical company in a surprising move after less than two years on the job, effective March 05, 2017.

Rosen’s duties are taken over by Vince Angotti, most recently chief executive officer at XenoPort, Inc.

“Vince has extensive experience in marketing and commercialization of specialty and mass-market branded pharmaceuticals”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Howie Rosen said: “Vince has extensive experience in marketing and commercialization of specialty and mass-market branded pharmaceuticals, as well as in life-cycle management, business development and strategic planning, all of which will be important as we move DSUVIA™ and ZALVISO® forward.”


AcelRx said: “On February 15, 2017, Howard B. Rosen provided notice of his resignation from his position as Chief Executive Officer of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. …, effective March 5, 2017.”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“Mr. Rosen’s resignation as Chief Executive Officer was not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” AcelRx said.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since March 2014.

Chaired by Adrian Adams

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is chaired by Adrian Adams.

Adams has served as the Chairman of the AcelRx board of directors since February, 2013. Adams has been chief executive officer of Aralez Pharmaceuticals, formerly Pozen Inc., since June, 2015.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Rosen has been Chief Executive Officer of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since April 1, 2016.

Rosen serves as an Advisor of PureTech Health plc.

He served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since April 1, 2015 until April 1, 2016.

Rosen has served on the AcelRx board since 2008.

Rosen brings more than 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology leadership and strategy to AcelRx.

Previously, he was vice president, commercial strategy at Gilead Sciences, Inc. from 2004 to 2008, where his responsibilities included strategic marketing, global brand management, health economics, competitive intelligence, market research and Gilead’s overall portfolio and business planning.

Prior to joining Gilead, Rosen was president of ALZA Corporation where he was responsible for all aspects of managing ALZA as an independent 1000-person operating company within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

Previously at ALZA as vice president, product development, he was responsible for product development activities, portfolio management and corporate and new product planning.

Over his 10 years at ALZA, Rosen also had responsibilities for mergers and acquisitions, R&D planning and technology ventures.

Prior to joining ALZA, Rosen managed the west coast practice of Integral, Inc., was director, corporate development at GenPharm International, Inc. and was a consultant in the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Co.

Rosen serves on the board of directors of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACRX), Entrega, Inc., Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and ALCOBRA, LTD (NASDAQ: ADHD), where he has served as chairman since 2014.

Previously he was a member of the boards of directors of ALDEA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., CNS Therapeutics, Inc., CoTherix, Inc., NTF Therapeutics, Inc., PaxVax, Inc., Pharsight Corporation, and Pearl Therapeutics, Inc., where he served as interim president and chief executive officer from June 2010 to March 2011.

Rosen received a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated first in his class as the Henry Ford II Scholar.

Rosen has a Master of Science in chemical engineering from MIT and he graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering.

Rosen was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005.

Rosen will continue to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors, where he has served since 2008.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Howie Rosen’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the report 08.2017 ($).