Amarin announced Wednesday that it has named its first chief commercial officer, Mark Salyer, previously of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Salyer, who officially joined the drugmaker Monday, was EVP and GM of Teva’s respiratory business.
Salyer joins Amarin as it awaits results from a pivotal trial, REDUCE-IT. The study will reveal whether fish-oil pill Vascepa reduces cardiovascular events like heart attacks in patients with high triglycerides who are already taking a statin.
Building on the success of Vascepa — regardless of whether there’s positive data on the horizon — is his current remit, Salyer said. “We have a great story to tell with or without the data.” He noted that Amarin’s “landmark results” are set to arrive sometime in 2018.
“We need to start planning for success now,” he said. “It’s not something you start executing two weeks prior to the results.”
Vascepa saw sales of $44 million in the second quarter of 2017, compared to $32 million in the same three-month period a year ago.
For Salyer, the jump from managing Teva’s respiratory portfolio to leading Amarin’s commercial activities comes down to the culture at his new destination. “I’ve been so impressed by the people here,” he said. “The depth of knowledge here is excellent — and in a relatively small organization. That’s rare to find in pharma these days.”
When asked what he’s learned through a storied career in pharma, Salyer stressed “to listen more, to really “spend a lot of time listening to what customers have to say.” To that end, Salyer said his main focus at Amarin will be to “build the business through a community of people.”
His philosophy on teamwork is simple: “Hire wicked-smart people and devise a strategy with those people. When the strategy is clear, execution becomes the strategy.”