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

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.

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.