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Head of Lilly's oncology biz resigns

Takes on CEO position at Savient

INDIANAPOLIS — John Johnson is bidding Eli Lilly adieu.

Johnson, who served as SVP and president of the drug maker's oncology business — whose portfolio includes Alimta (pemetrexed) and Gemzar (gemcitabine hydrochloride) — resigned, effective Jan. 28. Johnson is taking on the chief executive role at specialty biopharmaceutical company Savient, effective Jan. 31. Savient is best known for its chronic gout treatment Krystexxa (pegloticase), which received regulatory approval in September 2010.

Johnson said that his role at Savient will focus on successfully launching Krystexxa on a global scale.

"I am thrilled to be joining Savient at this exciting time," Johnson said. "Krystexxa is a product that has potential to make a significant difference in the lives of patients around the world. I look forward to working with the dedicated and talented Savient employees to bring relief to those adult patients suffering from chronic gout refractory to conventional therapy."

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