Inspire Pharmaceuticals has hired a former executive at Immunex as its executive vice president for corporate development and general counsel.

The position is a new one.

Barry Pea was named to the post on Wednesday. He will oversee corporate strategic planning and business development as well as legal affairs, the company said.

“Given the current business environment, and our expanded technology and licensing opportunities, adding Barry’s expertise and strong leadership skills to our team will be instrumental in taking Inspire to the next level of growth and success,” said Christy Shaffer, Inspire’s CEO, in a statement.

Pea served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for Immunex Corporation before joining Inspire. He played a leadership role in negotiating the merger of Immunex and Amgen, the largest merger in biotechnology history. He also has worked at Burroughs Wellcome and at Glaxo Wellcomne. He is a graduate of Duke law school.