The Worst Biotech CEO of 2012 Is...
BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The Worst Biotech CEO of 2012 award goes to Jim Bianco of Cell Therapeutics (CTIC) !
(Cue wild applause)
Bianco, a longtime worst biotech CEO nominee, broke through this year and finally shoved his way into loser's circle by managing to engineer a 77% drop in his company's price despite finally winning European approval for the its lymphoma drug.
In many ways, TheStreet's biotechnology readers are (dis)honoring Bianco for a lifetime of investor bamboozlement and self-enrichment. The numbers that define Bianco's career as chief executive of Cell Therapeutics are stunning: Total losses of more than $1.7 billion, a 99.99999999% drop in the value of company shares and total compensation for him and his hand-picked team of executive cronies in the tens of millions of dollars.
Bianco wins this year's Worst Biotech CEO Award with 37% of the record-breaking 30,239 total votes cast.
With Bianco's coronation, the Nance Trophy stays in Seattle, where it was won last year by Dendreon's (DNDN) now-departed CEO Mitch Gold.
The runner-up with 31% of votes cast was Jon Stonehouse of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) . Steven King of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) and Stephen Simes of BioSante Pharmaceuticals (BPAX) rounded out the Worst Biotech CEO polling with 16% of votes cast each.
This year's voting was not without controversy. The 30,239 votes cast came from 24,782 people. Mobs of zombies, some wheeling recently deceased people on gurneys, were seen entering polling place in Tustin, Calif. near the headquarters of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals. Witnesses on the scene said die-hard Peregrine supporters from the iHub message board were directing the zombies to vote for anyone but Peregrine CEO King.
Soon after polls closed yesterday afternoon, election officials were inundated by demands that Amarin (AMRN) CEO Joe Zakrzewski be immediately installed as the Permanently Worst Biotech CEO Of All Time Plus An Additional 1,000 Years.
Meantime, in a pre-emptive bid to win the Worst Biotech CEO for 2013, BioCryst CEO Stonehouse announced Friday the firing of 50% of the company's workforce in order to preserve enough cash to pay his salary. BioCryst will also re-focus its research efforts on early-stage and unproven drugs for hereditary angioedema and hepatitis C even though scores of competitors in each disease class are about dozen years in the lead.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.