March 7, 2017 / 2:37 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Hedge fund Sarissa seeks to replace majority of Innoviva's board

(Adds details, shares)

March 7 (Reuters) - Innoviva Inc said activist investor Sarissa Capital Management LP had nominated four directors to replace a majority of the drug company's board.

The company's shares were up 3.1 percent at $12 in early trading on Tuesday.

Innoviva, formerly Theravance Inc, urged shareholders to vote for its recommended seven nominees at the 2017 annual meeting.

The company said it expected the meeting would be held in the later part of April.

Sarissa Capital Management LP, a hedge fund run by billionaire investor Carl Icahn's former healthcare lieutenant, owns 2.72 percent stake in Innoviva, according to Reuters data.

Innoviva has a partnership with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline Plc, and the companies submitted an application in November to market their new three-in-one inhaled lung drug for U.S. approval.

Innoviva and GSK already have other respiratory medicines in the market. (Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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