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Vectura senior executives step down

April 6, 2022

A picture taken on August 21, 2018 shows the research and development campus of Philip Morris International, in Neuchatel, western Switzerland. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Two top executives of Vectura, the inhaler maker acquired by Philip Morris International (PMI) last year, have stepped down from the company.

Will Downie and Paul Fry, chief executive and chief financial officer respectively, left the company at the end of March, after presiding over the completion of the one-billion-pound takeover.

Jorge Insuasty, chief life sciences officer at PMI, said: “Since joining Vectura, Will and Paul have developed Vectura into a leading inhaled therapeutic products company. The respect and esteem with which Vectura employees hold them is rightly high, and we thank Will and Paul for their leadership and stewardship of the company.”

For PMI, which fought off private equity firm Carlyle Group for the buyout of Vectura, the acquisition has been part of its strategic plan to grow a pipeline of inhaled therapeutics and respiratory drug delivery Beyond Nicotine. The IQOS maker has set itself a target of at least $1 billion in net revenue from its Beyond Nicotine products by 2025.

Meanwhile, PMI is reportedly planning to develop ‘cannabinoid products’ with Vectura and Danish company Fertin Pharma, which it acquired last year. The company also plans to roll out medical cannabis to treat heart attacks and chronic pain, the Telegraph reported.

PMI has created an autonomous unit, Vectura Fertin Pharma, bringing together Vectura and Fertin, both now operating as wholly owned subsidiaries of Vectura Fertin Pharma, maintaining their own leadership teams.