Business Irish

Saturday 25 February 2017

Where are they now?: Tom Lynch

ROISIN BURKE

TOM Lynch effected a remarkable recovery at Irish drug firm Amarin that may now bear multibillion-dollar fruit.

Originally from Belfast, he started out as an accountant in Dublin in 1980, becoming partner at KPMG in 1990. He left and founded the firm that became contraceptives maker Warner Chilcott in 1994. When Galen acquired it in 1999, Lynch joined its board.

He held senior roles at Elan, including CFO and executive vice-president 1993-2002 and senior adviser from 2002 to 2004.

He had been chairman at Nasdaq-listed Amarin since 2000. Towards the end of 2007, it hit a crisis. A drug it had hoped would be a revolutionary treatment for Huntington's disease proved ineffective. The share price subsequently collapsed. Lynch was asked to take over as CEO and sort things out.

"It was a terrible time, Lehmans collapsed, the financial crisis started and the markets were closed," Lynch recalls. Nonetheless he managed to refocus Amarin on heart disease treatment instead, and raise $100m in funding.

He stepped down as CEO late last year and from the board in October last.

Last month Amarin's shares soared by 60 per cent, as trial data suggested it may have a blockbuster cardiac treatment drug. Lynch's 3 per cent shares there should enrich him for his part in this success.

He is chairman of Swedish firm ChronTech Pharma. He also chairs Irish National Opera and Queen's University Belfast Foundation.

He is an economics graduate from Queen's University.

Sunday Independent

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