Carl Icahn has ratcheted up his bid to shake up the board of San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals. His latest move came Wednesday when he said in a letter to Amylin that board chairman Joseph Cook should resign. Here is an excerpt from the letter via Bloomberg News:

“You have been the chairman and/or CEO during the time that an enormous amount of stockholder value has been destroyed,” Icahn said in the letter. “Having two major stockholders both independently decide to run a proxy fight against the same board is rare. It dramatically shows how stockholders have lost faith in the Amylin board’s ability to run the company.”

The two major stockholders Icahn is referring to are himself (he has an 8 percent stake in the company) and Eastbourne Capital Management, which owns 12.5 percent of Amylin’s shares. In February, Eastbourne launched a push to oust board members.

Today, Reuters reported that RiskMetrics Group Inc., a shareholder advisory service, said Amylin’s creditors could force the company to accelerate hundreds of millions of dollars in debt payments if there is a change of control on its board.

Icahn, a famed corporate raider who made his name with takeover bids of some of America’s biggest companies (including TWA and Texaco), has in recent years focused on the pharmaceutical industry.

DAVID WASHBURN

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