DURHAM – Mike Andriole, a longtime veteran executive at Eli Lilly, is the new CEO at Durham-based pharmaceutical firm Chimerix.

Andriole had been chief business officer and chief financial officer at the company. He replaces Mike Sherman, who retired as CEO and is now chair of the company’s board.

“I have worked closely with Mike Sherman for six years to bring new medicines to patients facing a potential life-threatening illness. During our time at Chimerix and our prior company, we have led teams resulting in two product approvals that have meaningfully advanced the standard of care in their respective indications,” said Andriole in the announcement made Tuesday.

Chimerix reports loss but CEO sees progress in drugs targeting brain tumors

“Mike’s planned retirement follows a pivotal transition period at Chimerix in which we evolved the Company into an oncology focused organization with a proven management team. Importantly, we have secured a strong balance sheet and are executing the Phase 3 ACTION trial for ONC201 as a treatment for H3 K27M-mutant glioma. In addition, we are accelerating the development of ONC206, which has shown early signals of activity that may expand the reach of our imipridone platform to a much broader patient population. I look forward to continuing to lead Chimerix as we work to make these treatments available to patients as quickly as possible with a particular focus on the organization’s launch readiness for ONC201.”

The drug targets brain tumors.

Andriole joined Chimerix in 2019.

Current board chair Martha Demski will become the lead independent director of the board.

The changes take effect Aug. 1

At-a-glance: The new CEO

Mr. Andriole joined Chimerix in 2019 as Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Since that time, he has supervised strategic planning, new product planning, corporate development, project management, market research, finance and accounting. Prior to joining Chimerix, Mr. Andriole served as Chief Financial Officer of Endocyte, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing targeted treatments for prostate and other cancers, where, in partnership with Mr. Sherman, he was instrumental in managing the company through a series of strategic transactions which began at a point in time when the organization had a negative enterprise value and culminated in its sale to Novartis for $2.1 billion.

Prior to joining Endocyte, Mr. Andriole spent 16 years at Eli Lilly and Company in a range of financial, marketing and global business development roles, including participation on leadership teams of two commercial product launches which eventually generated more than $5 billion in annual revenue.

During his more than 20-year biopharmaceutical career, Mr. Andriole has held leadership roles in the planning, development, or acquisition of nine programs that have garnered regulatory approvals spanning oncology, neuroscience, and infectious disease.

Mr. Andriole earned a BSBA from Xavier University’s Williams College of Business and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Source: Chimerix