Downtown Silver Spring-based United Therapeutics Corporation yesterday announced that following shareholder approval, it has officially converted to a public benefit corporation (PBC), the first PBC conversion of a public biotech or pharmaceutical company.
“We are inspired by our shareholders who recognize that caring for our patients, planet, employees, communities, and other stakeholders enhances our ability to generate strong shareholder returns,” Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics, said in a statement. “Becoming a PBC aligns United Therapeutics’ corporate structure with our foundational DNA and gives us a strong platform to advance our objectives of developing novel pharmaceutical therapies and finding a cure for end-stage organ diseases by creating an unlimited supply of transplantable organs.”
According to a UT press release, “United Therapeutics’ conversion to a PBC aligns its legal charter with its longstanding practices of improving patients’ health, enhancing employee engagement, attracting top talent, promoting healthy communities, and addressing important sustainability priorities through its use of green-building technologies, while simultaneously delivering strong shareholder returns. The company has a proven track record of value creation, along with six years of experience operating its Lung Biotechnology PBC subsidiary (the first ever PBC subsidiary of a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company), so it understands this corporate form well. This PBC conversion initiative was led by the Nominating and Governance Committee of United Therapeutics’ Board of Directors.”
Earlier this year, United Therapeutics announced the Braving NeuroBLASToma campaign, a partnership with former NFL player Devon Still created to educate the public about neuroblastoma, which is a rare childhood cancer affecting immature nerve cells called neuroblasts. UT’s DDOMAL facility, located at Spring St. and Cameron St. in downtown Silver Spring, produces Unituxin, a monoclonal antibody-based orphan drug treatment for pediatric neuroblastoma. Additionally, UT secured a secondary FDA approval in April for its Tyvaso drug, to treat patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with interstitial lung disease to improve exercise ability.