Somebody call Tasty and have him put a positive spin of this pathetic letter from the COB.
Letter from Chairman of the Board of Directors
Dear Fellow Shareholders,
As a formerly practicing internal medicine physician of close to ten years, I look at Vascepa and the results of the REDUCE-IT trial (and the supportive data from the JELIS and RESPECT-EPA trials in Japan) and am impressed. The ability of Vascepa when added to statins to reduce cardiovascular events is powerful. And cardiovascular disease, despite the widespread use of statins, remains the leading cause of death worldwide, a debilitating disease and a massive expenditure for global health systems. Yet, the number of patients taking Vascepa is small. Amarin has tremendous potential, but we are not there yet.
I write this letter being on the board of Amarin for a few months. I would love to tell you from where I now sit that all the shareholder frustrations over the last few years regarding stock performance, capital allocation decisions, lack of accountability from leadership, and other issues, were completely misguided and all that is needed to turn Amarin around will be easy and quick, but I cannot. That is the state of Amarin that the old board (en masse) and later the CEO left when they unexpectedly resigned soon after the shareholder meeting. There is a lot of work to be done, and it will take time.
Notably, as pointed out on the first quarter earnings call, our commercialization of Vazkepa in Europe is behind schedule and not where we want it to be. Rather than making the same mistakes over and over, Amarin needs to learn from prior mistakes, in particular the lessons from our failure to obtain reimbursement in Germany. (We are evaluating options for a path forward in Germany.) The need to learn applies not only to reimbursement negotiations but also to our cost infrastructure. We should have an infrastructure that matches on-the-ground realities. Amarin needs to be nimble and, as a small company with a commercial cardiovascular drug, willing to think outside the box.
We, the new board, are working with urgency to right the wrongs. Among the many immediate actions that we have taken include:
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Appointing an interim CEO, Aaron Berg, who shares our passion to fix Amarin and get Vascepa to patients. He is working collaboratively with the board to effect immediate changes in strategy and operations. Meanwhile, the board has commenced a CEO search to expeditiously fill the permanent role.
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Further optimizing our spending to match our operating expenses with the revenue opportunities in the U.S. and Europe.
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Reviewing our cash spend to defend our balance sheet in various scenarios, with the expectation that our current cash coffers provide sufficient runway to fund our European launch activities.
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Maximizing the profitability of our U.S. branded franchise in the face of increasing generic competition.
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Listening and communicating with fellow shareholders, the owners of the company, more frequently. We have not done enough and will improve.
The board continues to believe that Amarin’s stock is meaningfully undervalued and does not reflect the potential of Vascepa to both improve cardiovascular outcomes for patients and create significant savings for payors – a unique proposition for a drug.
The path to progress at Amarin will take time, and the journey will have its bumps along the way. Nevertheless, the board is working tirelessly to turn the company around at this critical junction. We are passionate about the impact Vascepa can have on cardiovascular disease worldwide, and we are optimistic about the future of Amarin.
Thank you for your continued support of Amarin and its important mission.
Odysseas Kostas, M.D.
Chairman of the Board of Directors