Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKCA) has named Alex Howarth its new chief operating officer. He was most recently president at Lycera. His experience also includes positions at moksha8, Vitae Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK). Howarth joins Boston-based Akcea following a corporate shakeup in September that led to the departure of three executives. The rare disease drug developer has two drugs on the market, inotersen (Tegsedi) and volanesorsen (Waylivra).