Alexion Pharmaceuticals co-founder Stephen Squinto to retire Jan. 1

MarketsAssociated Press

Alexion Pharmaceuticals has named Senior Vice President Julie O'Neill to replace company co-founder Stephen Squinto when the executive vice president and chief global operations officer retires Jan. 1

O'Neill currently oversees global manufacturing operations and serves as Alexion's general manager for Ireland. She joined the company last February.

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Squinto founded Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 1992 with company chairman and CEO Dr. Leonard Bell. The Cheshire, Connecticut, company makes Soliris, which is approved to treat a rare, life-threatening blood disorder called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. It also is approved for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, which often leads to kidney failure and death.

Alexion shares climbed 58 cents to $194.39 Monday morning while broader trading indexes also advanced slightly. The stock had climbed 46 percent so far this year, as of Friday's close.