Vectura CEO Will Downie and Chief Financial Officer Paul Fry have stepped down from their roles with the company following the £1 billion ($1.31 billion) takeover by Philip Morris International, reports The Times.
PMI acquired Vectura last year as part of the company’s “beyond nicotine” strategy. This move caused controversy in the healthcare industry as Vectura is a producer of inhalers and medicines for smoking-related conditions. Critics said the takeover represented a conflict of interest.
Following the takeover, Vectura was banned from many pharmaceutical industry conferences due to the company’s new ties to the tobacco industry.
The tobacco industry’s involvement in pharmaceutical businesses is facing increasing scrutiny. In March, the World Health Organization said it would deny an emergency use listing to Medicago’s Convifenz Covid-19 vaccine, because of the company’s tobacco ties.
PMI owns a minority stake in Medicago, which now faces pressure to seek a different shareholder.