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ImClone Systems Cancer Specialist Resigns

John Mendelsohn, who discovered Erbitux, is the latest member to depart from the board.

September 16, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — John Mendelsohn, the prominent cancer specialist who discovered ImClone Systems Inc.'s star experimental drug, Erbitux, on Monday ended his official affiliation with the company as a new board was elected.

Shareholders chose a new board Monday at ImClone's annual meeting, and Mendelsohn did not seek reelection.

He had been on the board since 1998.

Mendelsohn, who is president of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, is the latest member to leave the board.

Earlier this year, board Chairman Robert F. Goldhammer and Chief Scientific Officer Harlan Waksal resigned amid federal tax and accounting investigations into the company.

Before being demoted to chief scientific officer, Waksal took over as chief executive in May 2002 after his brother Samuel resigned because he was ensnared in an insider trading scandal.

Samuel D. Waksal was accused of trying to sell his ImClone stock and instructing family members to do the same before the news became public that the Food and Drug Administration had rejected the company's application to review Erbitux.

Samuel Waksal is serving a seven-year prison term, and Erbitux's application has been refiled with the FDA.

Mendelsohn was never linked to the ImClone stock scandal. He didn't return a call seeking comment.

ImClone's acting chief executive, Dan Lynch, said Mendelsohn was stepping down because of time constraints from his role as head of M.D. Anderson but would still be available to consult with the company.

"Time doesn't allow him to do both roles properly so he is focusing on his job at M.D. Anderson," Lynch said.

ImClone shares fell 25 cents to close at $46.19 on Nasdaq.

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