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Dissident slate of nominees elected to QLT board

A researcher mixes a chemicals at QLT labs in Vancouver in this file photo.

JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/GLOBE AND MAIL

Eye drug company QLT Inc. said Monday a slate of seven directors nominated by a dissident shareholder have been elected to the company's board.

The company also said Jason Aryeh, founder and managing general partner of hedge fund JALAA Equities LP, was appointed as QLT's new chairman.

"The company's new directors are anxious to begin working with all of QLT's exceptional and loyal employees to grow the company as we positively affect the lives of our patients," Mr. Aryeh said in a statement.

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NB Public Equity Komplementar ApS of Denmark, also known as Nordic Biotech, had nominated the new directors.

The investment firm is QLT's second largest shareholder with a roughly 15 per cent stake in the firm. Axial Capital Management is QLT's largest shareholder with roughly 18 per cent.

In addition to Mr. Aryeh, the company said the board now includes Stephen Sabba, Jeffrey Meckler, John Kozarich, Geoffrey Cox, John Thomas Jr. and Kathryn Falberg.

Both the dissident shareholder and management had nominated Ms. Falberg, the only director to be re-elected to the board.

QLT has been struggling to find a commercially viable successor to its main product, Visudyne, which is a treatment for a common form of age-related blindness.

Ahead of the shareholder vote at the annual meeting, the company had said its key priorities were developing a new treatment for inherited retinal diseases that is already in advanced regulatory stages, as well as a punctal plug drug delivery platform.

The company also planned a $75-million to $100-million share repurchase program through a modified Dutch auction in the third quarter.

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