Turing Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, has replaced CEO Martin Shkreli with an interim chief executive in the wake of Shkreli’s arrest and outrageous comments to hiphop magazine HipHopDX.
Ron Tilles, currently the chairman of Turing’s Board of Directors, will become the interim CEO after Shkreli resigned from the position.
“We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research-focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Tilles in a statement.
He also went on to say that Turing remains committed to “ready and affordable access” to its life-saving treatment Daraprim, which became the focus of a drug pricing debate after the company raised the price of the drug by over 5,000% this year. Shkreli had previously said that the company would lower the price by the end of the year, though hadn’t made any moves to reduce the list price. The company has said it will provide hospitals discounts of up to 50%.
Tilles has a finance and securities background, having began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1985 before moving on to other financial firms where he focused on private equity and venture capital within the pharmaceutical sector. Much like Shkreli, his expertise lies in the investment end, rather than drug development.
Shkreli, 32, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of securities fraud. Prosecutors have charged him with illegally taking funds from Retrophin to pay off investors from his previous hedge fund MSMB Capital Management. The arrest came a day after Shkreli had made a series of outrageous and crude statements during an interview with HipHopDX, discussing everything from his business practices to his $2 million purchase of a Wu-Tang Clan album.
Skreli, who prosecutors have accused of running a Ponzi-like scheme, disputed the accusations and said he successfully made good money for his investors. He also said he “expects to be fully vindicated,” according to an official statement.