Billionaire Athira backer Ric Kayne suspends activist campaign — but shareholders can still vote for him

Following the ouster of Leen Kawas at the Alzheimer’s-focused biotech Athira, a minority stakeholder with ties to the former founder launched an activist attack to replace her successor. But on Monday, the billionaire investor decided to change course.

Richard “Ric” Kayne suspended his campaign to elect himself and another contender to the company’s board of directors ahead of this week’s annual shareholder meeting, Kayne announced in a letter Monday morning. Though Kayne will no longer be emphasizing the need for change, Athira shareholders are still allowed to vote for his slate of nominations.

Kayne wrote in his letter that he decided to stop the campaign because the vote would be close and, without an overwhelming mandate, felt the activist attack would prove more of a distraction than anything else.

“I fear the future with me on the Board would be very contentious and unproductive, an outcome…
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