Ultra-rare drug specialist Alexion Pharmaceuticals is broadening and strengthening its executive leadership with two new hires and a promotion.

Stephen Squinto, co-founder of Alexion, is being promoted to the newly created position of executive VP, chief global operations officer.

Martin Mackay, formerly head of R&D at AstraZeneca, will be joining Alexion as executive VP, global head of R&D.

Saqib Islam has joined Alexion as senior VP, chief strategy and portfolio officer. All three executives will report directly to Leonard Bell, chief executive of Alexion.