ACC CEO leaving to head new biopharma company

American College of Cardiology CEO Shalom “Shal” Jacobovitz is leaving the organization in February to lead CiVi Biopharma, a privately held biopharmaceutical company founded in 2016. The ACC and CiVi Biopharma both announced the move Jan. 3 with press releases.

Cathy Gates, the COO and executive vice president of the ACC, will serve as interim CEO.

“There is no doubt that Shal is leaving a legacy that will continue to benefit the college well into the future,” Mary Norine Walsh, MD, ACC president and chair of the board, said in the release. “While he will be missed, his leadership over the last several years has ensured the ACC’s overall financial health, operational effectiveness and strategic direction are aligned to meet the needs of our members around the globe.”

Jacobovitz has served for nearly five years as the CEO of the ACC, a 52,000-member nonprofit medical society dedicated to cardiovascular care. He was previously the president of Actelion Pharmaceuticals, where he helped grow the company’s revenues from $70 million to $950 million, according to CiVi’s release.

The new biopharmaceutical company plans to initiate a phase I clinical trial this month of a long-acting PCSK9 inhibitor to treat high cholesterol. In addition, CiVi has ongoing clinical stage development programs aimed at treating severe liver disease.