Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White passes baton down to successor; Lonza CEO Marc Funk hits the exit
→ Abbott Laboratories has named a successor to CEO Miles White after he announced that he was stepping down in March after 21 years of service. Robert Ford, the company’s COO and president, will take the helm. Ford is known for his work in the $25 billion merger between St. Jude Medical into Abbott in January 2017. White will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board.
→ After snapping up Novartis’ Swiss facility, Novartis Center of Excellence, in July, Lonza has announced that their CEO, Marc Funk, is hitting the exit for “personal reasons.” Funk has been the CEO of the company for less than a year — brought onto the company back in March. In the meantime, chairman Albert Baehny will serve as interim CEO.
→ Rakuten Medical — which, back in August, received $100 million in a funding round — has welcomed Brenton Keath as CFO and Dana Johnson as general counsel and corporate secretary. Keath previously served as head of finance for Rakuten Commerce and held the role of VP of mergers & acquisitions integration at Rakuten USA. Most recently, Johnson completed a stint at Gritstone Oncology. In addition, the company appointed co-founder and general partner of DCM Ventures, David Chao, and COO and group EVP of Rakuten, Kentaro Hyakuno, as directors to the company’s board.
→ Investment group Abingworth has tapped Neil Cooper as CFO. Cooper is succeeding James Abell, who is retiring after 21 years of service. Cooper joins the company after a stint as finance director at Kennet Partners. He has previously served in roles at Robert W Baird, Baird Capital Partners Europe and Advent Venture Partners.
→ Oxford, UK-based research company Arctoris — which closed a seed funding round of £3.2 million back in September — has welcomed GSK vet Daniel Thomas as head of discovery biology. In addition, Arctoris appointed former CEO of Genomics England John Mattick to the company’s board of directors.
→ Verseau Therapeutics — which recently armed with Langer tech and $50 million to help bring their first macrophage checkpoint modulator (MCM) for the treatment of cancer to the clinic — has welcomed Tim Smith as CBO. Smith has served in roles at Dova Pharmaceuticals, IDEAYA Biosciences, Cleave Biosciences and as executive director, business development Celgene — where he helped lead the acquisition of Receptos and collaboration with Jounce Therapeutics.
→ Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals has announced that the company’s COO and head of R&D, Bruce Given, is retiring from the company. Given joined the company in 2011 and prior to that was the CEO of Leonardo Biosystems. His previous stints include CEO of Encysive Pharmaceuticals and roles at J&J, Sandoz Pharma and Schering-Plough.
→ Rubius Therapeutics — a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of red blood cell therapeutics — has named Maiken Keson-Brookes as chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Keson-Brookes most recently served as general counsel at Synlogic and prior to that was the SVP and general counsel at uniQure. Her previous stints include roles at Forum Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme and Biogen.
→ RubrYc Therapeutics — focused on cancer and autoimmune diseases — has hired Rakesh Verma as SVP, discovery & development. Before joining the company, Verma was the site-head of ARMO Biosciences and associate VP at Eli Lilly.
→ Aruna Bio — focused on the development of neural exosomes for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases — has brought on Renee Boerner as VP of regulatory affairs. Boerner joins the company from Bavarian Nordic, where she served as head of US regulatory affairs. Prior to that, she was the head of regulatory affairs at BioDelivery Sciences.
→ Liminal BioSciences — developing treatments for patients with liver, respiratory and kidney disease — has hired Moira Daniels as head of regulatory affairs and quality assurance. Daniels joins the company from UCB Pharma as their VP, head of global regulatory operations. Daniels’ previous stints include roles at AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Eli Lilly.
→ Equity firm CBC Group has appointed Kerry Blanchard as operating partner. Most recently, Blanchard served as CSO at Innovent Biologics, where he oversaw the NDA preparation and submission of the company’s PD1 antibody, sintilimab (approved in late 2018 and launched in China in 2019). Previously, Blanchard held a stint as SVP of Lilly China Drug Development and External Innovation.
→ French vaccine developer Valneva — which closed out a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline in June — has added two vaccine experts, Norman Baylor and George Siber, to its scientific advisory board. Baylor is currently the CEO of Biologics Consulting Group and is a former director of the office of vaccines research and review at the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research — facilitating the development and licensure of vaccines such as HPV and influenza. Siber is the former director at the Massachusetts Biologic Lab and EVP and CSO at Wyeth Vaccines.