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Ariad Adds Activist Investor Alex Denner of Sarissa to Board

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) Inc., the cancer-drug maker that’s lost 58 percent of its value in the last year, added activist investor Alex Denner to its board.

Ariad will also add a second new director to be agreed on with Denner, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said today in the statement. Once the agreed-upon director is added the board will have 10 members.

Denner’s Sarissa Capital Management LP is Ariad’s second-largest stockholder, with 12 million shares, or about 6.5 percent of the company. Denner started buying the stock and asked for board representation in October, after Ariad shares plunged on regulators’ concerns over its cancer drug, Iclusig.

“The agreement we reached offers the opportunity to immediately work together with the existing board to maximize the potential of Iclusig and the pipeline of cancer medicines and to build value for all shareholders,” Denner said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at mtirrell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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