BRUSSELS Feb 20 (Reuters) - Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB said on Thursday that it would appoint the head of its biopharma brands unit as the new chief executive to replace incumbent CEO Roch Doliveux at the start of next year.
Jean-Christophe Tellier, who joined the company in 2011 after holding management positions at Ipsen and Novartis, will become CEO-elect at the start of March and his appointment will be put to shareholders on April 24.
Doliveux, who became the CEO of UCB in 2005, oversaw the group's transition into new products to make up for the patent expiry of its main blockbuster, epilepsy drug Keppra, and resultant generic competition.
He will remain CEO until Jan 1, 2015.
UCB's future is now based on three medicines, Cimzia, to treat bowel disorder Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis, Neupro, for Parkinson's disease and restless leg syndrome and epilepsy drug Vimpat.
The biopharma brands and solutions division looks after these products, particularly in the United States and Europe. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)