Covid-19 Test Maker OraSure Sees New Top Lawyer Quit (Correct)

OraSure Techologies Inc., a diagnostics company that has landed US government contracts to provide coronavirus testing kits, is parting ways with its general counsel Agnieszka “Aggie” Gallagher after seven months on the job.

The company disclosed in a June 9 securities filing that Gallagher—whom OraSure hired in November—will leave as of June 25. OraSure said “organizational changes” prompted Gallagher to terminate her employment with “good reason.”

Gallagher declined a request for comment. Amy Koch, an OraSure spokeswoman, also declined to discuss Gallagher’s pending departure beyond what the Bethlehem, Pa.-based company announced in its 8-K filing.

Bloomberg News reported in January that OraSure had signed nearly $555 million worth of contracts to conduct studies and supply rapid tests for Covid-19.

OraSure announced last month its appointment of a new CEO in Carrie Eglinton Manner. She succeeded interim CEO Nancy Gagliano, who will remain a board member after taking over April 1 from former CEO Stephen Tang. OraSure also said last month it would end its pursuit of “strategic alternatives” to boost shareholder value, such as a sale of the company or major investment.

Under the terms of her contract with OraSure, Gallagher can terminate her employment with “good reason” if there is a “material change in employee’s reporting obligation from the CEO to another employee of the company.”

Gallagher joined OraSure last year after spending more than a year as chief ethics and compliance officer for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company looking to use RNA interference technology to develop treatments for certain diseases, including Covid-19. In March, Alnylam sued Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., claiming that both pharmaceutical companies infringed on its patents in making vaccines for Covid-19.

Alnylam hired Gallagher in late 2020 from her role as general counsel and compliance chief for ViiV Healthcare Ltd., a company owned by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC. Gallagher spent more than three years at ViiV and another three working for GSK.

Gallagher, gallagher/”>a native of Poland, began her legal career as an associate at White & Case in New York and Warsaw. She moved in-house in 2000 to Pfizer, where she spent most of the next decade before moving on to brief stints at Medtronic PLC and Sandoz AG. GSK hired her in 2013.

While Gallagher was not one of Alnylam’s five highest-paid executives last year, according to a proxy statement filed by the Cambridge, Mass.-based company, she did make OraSure’s most recent summary compensation table.

OraSure has paid at least $1.3 million to Gallagher for eight months of work. The company noted in its most recent proxy statement filed in April that its new general counsel received $1 million in stock and options awards after coming aboard last Nov. 26, as well as nearly $267,500 in cash. She currently owns more than $300,000 in OraSure stock, according to Bloomberg data.

Jack Jerrett, Gallagher’s predecessor as OraSure’s legal chief, had a pay package of almost $1.5 million last year. OraSure gave him $855,000 in stock awards, nearly $423,700 in base salary, and a roughly $169,500 bonus, according to its proxy filing. Jerrett retired Dec. 31 but continued to serve as a consultant to OraSure through Feb. 28 of this year, per his retirement agreement with the company.

Bloomberg data shows that Jerrett still owns almost $415,000 in company stock. OraSure, which also makes home DNA tests and produced the first rapid test for HIV approved for use in the US, hired Jerrett more than two decades ago.

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