Af­ter sev­en months of search­ing, Lan­dos hires a CEO; Mar­ty Du­vall re-emerges from ill-fat­ed On­copep­tides tenure

Gre­go­ry Oakes

Lan­dos Bio­phar­ma has land­ed a new CEO af­ter sev­en months of be­ing led by an in­ter­im chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Gre­go­ry Oakes took the helm of the au­toim­mune biotech this month, bring­ing with him near­ly 30 years of in­dus­try chops, most re­cent­ly as pres­i­dent of Vi­for Phar­ma’s North Amer­i­ca di­vi­sion and, be­fore that, VP at Cel­gene. Oakes al­so spent a bet­ter part of the 2010s at No­var­tis, mak­ing his way up to head of bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for gener­ics di­vi­sion San­doz.

He as­sumes the top post as Lan­dos fig­ures out its fu­ture path, about 18 months af­ter land­ing on Nas­daq. A “com­plete re­view of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment plans” will oc­cur by year’s end, the biotech said this week. Tim Mayleben, the ex-Es­pe­ri­on CEO, had been in­ter­im chief since Josep Bas­saganya-Ri­era’s de­par­ture in No­vem­ber 2021.

“We are ex­cit­ed to lever­age Greg’s strong back­ground in in­flam­ma­tion and im­munol­o­gy as we re­fine and fi­nal­ize de­vel­op­ments plans for our three clin­i­cal-stage prod­uct can­di­dates – omi­lan­cor, NX-13 and LABP-104,” chair­man Chris Garabe­di­an said in a state­ment.

Lan­dos has eval­u­at­ed omi­lan­cor and NX-13 in the clin­ic for ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis and Crohn’s dis­ease. LABP-104 has al­so been test­ed in the clin­ic for lu­pus and rheuma­toid arthri­tis.

Oakes will al­so be tasked with turn­ing around a com­pa­ny with lit­tle stock $LABP val­ue re­main­ing — go­ing from a peak of $15 last Sep­tem­ber to un­der $1 to­day — and rel­a­tive­ly few funds in the bank. Lan­dos had $73.8 mil­lion at the end of March, just enough to keep the lights on in­to the sec­ond half of 2023, as of a May up­date.

Kyle LaHu­cik

Mar­ty Du­vall

→ We see it all the time in sports: Just be­cause a head coach hits a snag with one team doesn’t mean that coach isn’t be­ing court­ed else­where. So it is with Mar­ty Du­vall, the ex-Toca­gen CEO who has signed on to be chief ex­ec­u­tive at lit­tle-known ADC biotech Ang­iex. Du­vall presided over On­copep­tides when the Swedish biotech de­cid­ed to yank its mul­ti­ple myelo­ma drug Pepax­to from the US mar­ket in Oc­to­ber 2021, send­ing the com­pa­ny in­to a tail­spin. Du­vall left On­copep­tides more than a year in­to the job in No­vem­ber, lead­ing to the re­turn of Jakob Lind­berg as CEO — and the pos­si­ble state­side re­turn of Pepax­to it­self af­ter an un­ex­plained change of heart about the with­draw­al in Jan­u­ary. On Thurs­day, CHMP de­liv­ered a unan­i­mous­ly pos­i­tive opin­ion on Pepax­ti in the EU, set­ting the stage for the EMA’s fi­nal de­ci­sion. Chaired by Iain Dukes, Ang­iex fo­cus­es on nu­clear-de­liv­ered an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gates, or ND-AD­Cs.

Arati Prab­hakar

→ The White House has nom­i­nat­ed Arati Prab­hakar as the next di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy Pol­i­cy (OSTP), the first woman and woman of col­or to be so nom­i­nat­ed. The po­si­tion, which re­quires Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion, was pre­vi­ous­ly filled by Er­ic Lan­der, the found­ing di­rec­tor of the Broad In­sti­tute who re­signed his post in Feb­ru­ary short­ly af­ter nu­mer­ous ac­counts piled up re­gard­ing his pat­tern of bul­ly­ing and dis­parag­ing staff. The White House bridged the gap by coax­ing Fran­cis Collins out of re­tire­ment be­fore nom­i­nat­ing Prab­hakar, the head of DARPA from 2012-17 and the Na­tion­al In­sti­tute of Stan­dards and Tech­nol­o­gy from 1993-97.

Stephen Gould

→ It didn’t es­cape the litany of biotechs scal­ing back their work­forces, but an­ti­body-fo­cused Atre­ca has shored up its se­nior lead­er­ship with Stephen Gould as CSO. Gould capped a 16-year ca­reer with Genen­tech by spend­ing the last year as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, trans­la­tion­al on­col­o­gy be­fore ven­tur­ing off to Cal­i­for­nia-based Atre­ca, which de­cid­ed to chop 25% of its staff ear­li­er this month in a re­struc­tur­ing that is ex­pect­ed to keep the train on the tracks through 2023. Phase Ib da­ta are ex­pect­ed for its lead mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body can­di­date ATRC-101 — both as a monother­a­py and in com­bi­na­tion with Mer­ck’s Keytru­da — by year’s end.

John Stuben­rauch

→ Al­ready do­ing a trepak dance over its $167 mil­lion Se­ries C round from March, Bob Nelsen-backed mR­NA play­er Nut­crack­er Ther­a­peu­tics has wel­comed a trio of lead­ers to the stage. John Stuben­rauch, who had a long ca­reer in Mer­ck’s man­u­fac­tur­ing di­vi­sion from 1996-2015, climbs aboard as COO af­ter spend­ing a year at Gilead as VP of bi­o­log­ics com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions (he had been SVP of man­u­fac­tur­ing for Im­munomedics be­fore the buy­out).

Ge­off Nos­rati, now Nut­crack­er’s CBO, had filled the same po­si­tion at Im­munoScape and was SVP of strat­e­gy and cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment with Aduro Biotech. Fi­nal­ly, Ian Wiener has been named gen­er­al coun­sel, end­ing a near­ly 30-year as­so­ci­a­tion with Los An­ge­les-based Irell & Manel­la.

Tanya Hay­den

→ Ham­pered by a CRL this week for its urea cy­cle dis­or­der drug AC­ER-001 “be­cause the fa­cil­i­ty was not ready for in­spec­tion,” Ac­er Ther­a­peu­tics has nonethe­less pro­mot­ed Tanya Hay­den to COO. Be­fore leap­ing to Ac­er in June 2021 as VP of pro­gram and strate­gic al­liance man­age­ment, Hay­den was head of op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence at Lon­za’s Bend, OR cam­pus, which the CD­MO gi­ant pur­chased through its ac­qui­si­tion of Bend Re­search in 2017. Hay­den’s pre­de­ces­sor, Har­ry Palmin, will fo­cus sole­ly on his CFO du­ties.

Fil­ip­po Pet­ti

Fil­ip­po Pet­ti is turn­ing in his keys as CEO and CFO of Bel­gium com­pa­ny Celyad On­col­o­gy to pur­sue oth­er op­por­tu­ni­ties. Celyad’s chair­man and co-founder Michel Lussier will serve as in­ter­im CEO un­til the com­pa­ny can find a per­ma­nent re­place­ment. Tak­ing over for Lussier will be Hilde Windels, who has been named chair of the com­pa­ny’s board.

Pet­ti’s de­par­ture fol­lows the re­cent rough patch Celyad faced in Feb­ru­ary af­ter two pa­tients died in a tri­al for its lead can­di­date for col­orec­tal can­cer.

Michael Kauff­man

Michael Kauff­man is mak­ing his way over to Is­rael-based SIRT­Lab Cor­po­ra­tion. The co-founder and for­mer CEO of Karyopharm is tak­ing up the man­tle of CMO and will al­so co-chair the com­pa­ny’s board of di­rec­tors. Pri­or to his stint at Karyopharm, Kauff­man was CMO of Onyx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, CEO of EPIC Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and held a va­ri­ety of roles at Mil­len­ni­um Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Bio­gen.

Liq­uidia, which has been in an on­go­ing tus­sle with Unit­ed Ther­a­peu­tics over its com­pet­ing pul­monary ar­te­r­i­al hy­per­ten­sion drugs, has lined up Ra­jeev Sag­gar as CMO, tak­ing over for Tushar Shah on Ju­ly 18. Sag­gar, the for­mer in­ter­im chief of the pul­monary crit­i­cal care di­vi­sion of The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona Col­lege of Med­i­cine — Phoenix, was re­cent­ly VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for Ther­a­vance Bio­phar­ma. In No­vem­ber 2021, Liq­uidia re­ceived a “ten­ta­tive ap­proval” with its in­hala­tion pow­der for PAH, named Yutrepia, and then its stock tum­bled when Unit­ed nabbed an ac­tu­al ap­proval for Ty­va­so DPI in May, all while get­ting en­tan­gled in a patent dis­pute that Unit­ed lost in March.

Ben Yerxa

Ben Yerxa has been named per­ma­nent CEO of Opus Ge­net­ics, a gene ther­a­py play from Lux­tur­na ar­chi­tect Jean Ben­nett that kicked things off with $19 mil­lion in seed fund­ing last Sep­tem­ber. Yerxa, the act­ing CEO at the reti­nal dis­ease biotech since its de­but, has al­so been CEO of The Foun­da­tion Fight­ing Blind­ness and the Reti­nal De­gen­er­a­tion Fund. He al­so co-found­ed En­visia Ther­a­peu­tics and has board seats at such com­pa­nies as Spar­ingVi­sion and Nacu­ity Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

With this move, The Foun­da­tion Fight­ing Blind­ness el­e­vat­ed Ja­son Men­zo to CEO and Rus­sell Kel­ley to man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the RD Fund.

EMD Serono tells Peer Re­view that Dan Zol­nierz has been named glob­al brand lead for Mer­ck KGaA’s mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis drug evo­bru­ti­nib, a Bru­ton’s ty­ro­sine ki­nase (BTK) in­hibitor. In 2016, Zol­nierz start­ed out as a mem­ber of the Maven­clad launch team, and two years ago, EMD Serono pro­mot­ed him to neu­rol­o­gy & im­munol­o­gy (N&I) busi­ness unit di­rec­tor for the UK and Ire­land.

Eu­an Men­zies

Jim Datin has re­tired af­ter nine years as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Durham, NC-based CRO BioAg­i­lytix and has been suc­ceed­ed by Eu­an Men­zies, who will al­so be chair­man. Men­zies has al­so been chair­man and CEO of Bio­clin­i­ca (which merged with ERT to form Clario) and the CEO of Vertafore. His ap­point­ment comes af­ter BioAg­i­lytix ap­point­ed two sci­en­tif­ic of­fi­cers — ex-Genen­tech sci­en­tist Lynn Ka­men and Michelle Miller — and added for­mer Lab­corp CEO David King to the board of di­rec­tors.

Ni­na De­Loren­zo

→ Trav­el­ing down a new road af­ter run­ning in­to trou­ble with the De­part­ment of Jus­tice over its opi­oid ad­dic­tion drug — lead­ing to jail time for ex-CEO Shaun Thax­terIn­di­v­ior has se­lect­ed Big Phar­ma vet Ni­na De­Loren­zo as chief glob­al im­pact of­fi­cer. De­Loren­zo comes from a place that’s had its own share of tri­als and tribu­la­tions, Emer­gent BioSo­lu­tions, where she was SVP of glob­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­lic af­fairs. Ear­li­er, she held pub­lic af­fairs roles at Mer­ck and Pfiz­er; was VP, in­ter­na­tion­al gov­ern­ment af­fairs for Ab­b­Vie; and was chief of staff, ex­ter­nal af­fairs for Sanofi.

Ig­or Ma­tushan­sky

→ There are changes aplen­ty at are­navi­ral im­munother­a­py play­er Hookipa Phar­ma, a month re­moved from Chris­tine Bak­er’s pro­mo­tion to COO. Ig­or Ma­tushan­sky, Hookipa’s CMO and glob­al head of R&D since 2017, will step away from these po­si­tions on June 30, but he’ll main­tain a pres­ence at the biotech as chair­man of the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

Ad­di­tion­al­ly, head of im­muno-on­col­o­gy Ka­tia Schlienger has earned a pro­mo­tion to EVP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. In her most re­cent stop at Mer­ck, Schlienger was se­nior di­rec­tor, clin­i­cal re­search, late de­vel­op­ment on­col­o­gy (GI tu­mors). And Ro­man Neci­na, who took on the role of chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer at Hookipa in 2019 af­ter a short stay at Take­da, has now shift­ed to chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer.

Mark Strobeck

→ Iron de­fi­cien­cy out­fit Rock­well Med­ical is cy­cling through an­oth­er CEO as Rus­sell El­li­son ex­its stage left on June 30. He’ll be re­placed on Ju­ly 1 by Aqui­lo Part­ners man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mark Strobeck, the ex-COO of Zy­la Life Sci­ences and then As­ser­tio Ther­a­peu­tics af­ter the two com­pa­nies merged in 2020. El­li­son be­came chief ex­ec­u­tive in April 2020 af­ter the de­par­ture of Stu­art Paul, and the Paul era fol­lowed the ac­ri­mo­nious fir­ing of Rock­well Med­ical founder Robert Chioi­ni, who re­fused to step down and then sued the com­pa­ny. Chioi­ni would be­come CEO of SQI Di­ag­nos­tics in the sum­mer of 2020, but he was gone with­in nine months.

→ Swedish kid­ney can­cer biotech On­core­na has tapped one of its founders, Bör­je Har­alds­son, as CEO. A long­time pro­fes­sor with the Sahlgren­s­ka Acad­e­my at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Gothen­burg, Har­alds­son led glob­al pro­gram teams at No­var­tis for is­cal­imab — a com­pound that CEO Vas Narasimhan played up, on­ly to see it land with a thud in the kid­ney trans­plant in­di­ca­tion — and ianalum­ab.

Cori Bargmann

Cori Bargmann is step­ping away from her role as head of sci­ence at the Chan Zucker­berg Ini­tia­tive (CZI) to re­turn to her lab at The Rock­e­feller Uni­ver­si­ty. Bargmann is hand­ing the reins over to Stephen Quake, a pro­fes­sor of bio­engi­neer­ing and pro­fes­sor of ap­plied physics at Stan­ford. Quake for­mer­ly served as co-pres­i­dent of the Chan Zucker­berg Bio­hub in San Fran­cis­co and most re­cent­ly served as pres­i­dent of the CZ Bio­hub Net­work.

Bargmann will stay on as a dis­tin­guished fel­low and head of sci­ence emeri­ta at CZI un­til the end of the year be­fore join­ing CZI’s sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

Car­rie Melvin

Car­rie Melvin has been named the first COO at Virid­i­an Ther­a­peu­tics, which re­brand­ed from mi­Ra­gen last year and is tack­ling thy­roid eye dis­ease with its lead pro­gram VRDN-001. Melvin had been SVP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment op­er­a­tions at X4 Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals since Au­gust 2020. She was al­so VP of glob­al clin­i­cal sci­ences and de­liv­ery, on­col­o­gy at GSK af­ter its ac­qui­si­tion of Tesaro, where she was VP of clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions.

Alek­san­dra Ri­zo

→ With Faye Feller tak­ing over as CMO of Geron Cor­po­ra­tion on Ju­ly 9, cur­rent CMO Alek­san­dra Ri­zo will take on a con­sul­tant role as se­nior med­ical and reg­u­la­to­ry ad­vi­sor. Feller has been with Geron since 2019, serv­ing as the ime­tel­stat mak­er’s VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Pri­or to join­ing Geron, Feller was a med­ical leader in the hema­tol­ogy pro­gram at Janssen.

→ Fac­ing reg­u­la­to­ry bar­ri­cades in the PI3K class with its Ky­owa Kirin-part­nered drug zan­delis­ib, MEI Phar­ma has se­lect­ed Anne Frese as chief peo­ple of­fi­cer. The ex-VP of hu­man re­sources at Bel­licum and Arti­va Ther­a­peu­tics, Frese just com­plet­ed a brief stay as chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer with Vy­ripharm En­ter­pris­es.

Shaw­na Wolver­ton

→ San Fran­cis­co-based Bench­ling, which last year pulled in a $200 mil­lion Se­ries E in April and a $100 mil­lion Se­ries F in No­vem­ber for its R&D cloud plat­form, has ap­point­ed Shaw­na Wolver­ton as chief prod­uct of­fi­cer and Stu­art Kerst as head of rev­enue op­er­a­tions. Wolver­ton brings ex­pe­ri­ence from Zen­desk and Sales­force, while Kerst most re­cent­ly served as VP of glob­al field op­er­a­tions at Work­day.

Aditya Khosla

→ De­vel­op­ing AI-based ther­a­pies for GI dis­eases, specif­i­cal­ly in­flam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­ease, It­er­a­tive Scopes has ap­point­ed Aditya Khosla as chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer. Khosla co-found­ed and was CTO of PathAI, which just teamed up with GSK in April on a NASH/on­col­o­gy drug dis­cov­ery al­liance.

Robert Deni­son

→ Dig­i­tal health com­pa­ny Con­geni­ca is lock­ing in Robert Deni­son as CEO. Deni­son joined the com­pa­ny in Sep­tem­ber 2019 as chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer. Pri­or to join­ing the Cam­bridge, UK-based com­pa­ny, Deni­son was VP of tech­nol­o­gy at Ab­cam and chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer at Sum­mit Me­dia.

Herve Berdou

→ In­di­an drug man­u­fac­tur­er Pi­ra­mal Phar­ma So­lu­tions — which has been busy open­ing and up­dat­ing its fa­cil­i­ties across the globe — has tapped Herve Berdou as COO. Berdou makes his way to the Mum­bai-based com­pa­ny from Lon­za, where he served as glob­al head of op­er­a­tions, cell and gene tech­nolo­gies. Pri­or to that, Berdou was with As­traZeneca, Med­Im­mune and No­var­tis.

Maryam Ab­dul-Ka­reem

→ Un­spool­ing da­ta at this month’s AS­CO for a BC­MA CAR-T that’s pit­ting it­self against J&J/Leg­end’s Carvyk­ti in mul­ti­ple myelo­ma, Ar­cel­lx has brought on Maryam Ab­dul-Ka­reem as gen­er­al coun­sel. Ab­dul-Ka­reem had been deputy gen­er­al coun­sel at Kin­nate Bio­phar­ma af­ter sev­en years of le­gal roles with As­traZeneca, in­clud­ing as­sis­tant gen­er­al coun­sel, cor­po­rate.

Frank Scholz is up­ping his role at ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals-fo­cused North­Star Med­ical Tech­nolo­gies, be­ing pro­mot­ed to the po­si­tion of pres­i­dent and COO. When Scholz hopped aboard last June, he start­ed as SVP and COO. Scholz came to the com­pa­ny from Al­ix­Part­ners, where he served as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. Be­fore that, Scholz had a six-year gig with Mallinck­rodt.

Chris Hor­vath

→ To the Cross­roads of Amer­i­ca we go, and with the ra­dio­phar­ma fren­zy show­ing no signs of abat­ing, In­di­anapo­lis-based Point Bio­phar­ma has en­list­ed Chris Hor­vath as EVP, com­mer­cial. Hor­vath brings ex­pe­ri­ence in the space from No­var­tis’ Ad­vanced Ac­cel­er­a­tor Ap­pli­ca­tions, where he was VP, head of US sales and mar­ket­ing, prostate can­cer fran­chise, ra­di­oli­gand ther­a­py. He’s al­so held mar­ket­ing po­si­tions at Janssen, Mer­ck (with Keytru­da), Den­dreon (with Provenge) and Bay­er (with daro­lu­tamide and the ra­dio­phar­ma drug Xofi­go).

Kevin Litwiler

→ Led by Ar­ray Bio­phar­ma co-founder Tony Pis­co­pio, Boul­der, CO can­cer play­er OnKure Ther­a­peu­tics has re­cruit­ed a for­mer Ar­ray col­league, Kevin Litwiler, as SVP of DMPK and clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy. Litwiler spent 19 years at Ar­ray be­fore Pfiz­er’s $11.4 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion in 2019, and af­ter the buy­out, he was the phar­ma gi­ant’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy glob­al prod­uct de­vel­op­ment.

Amer­i­can Gene Tech­nolo­gies has named Jeff Boyle as CSO. Boyle joins the com­pa­ny from El­lume USA, where he helped or­ga­nize the con­struc­tion of the com­pa­ny’s au­to­mat­ed man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty for Covid-19 home tests in part­ner­ship with the De­part­ment of De­fense. Pri­or to that, Boyle was with Qi­a­gen.

→ San Diego-based Tryp Ther­a­peu­tics has added on Sid Tauben­feld as COO. Tauben­feld most re­cent­ly served as CEO of Tikun Olam Phar­ma and has served as a health­care an­a­lyst at com­pa­nies like Scopia Cap­i­tal, RH Cap­i­tal and Paw Part­ners.

Saman­tha Truex

→ DNA dam­age spe­cial­ist and No­var­tis part­ner Ar­tios has added Saman­tha Truex to the board of di­rec­tors. The for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive at Quench Bio, Truex is now CEO of Up­stream Bio, which set sail with $200 mil­lion in fi­nanc­ing ear­li­er this month. Up­stream’s lead mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body is an Astel­las castoff named UPB-101.

→ For­mer GSK and Sanofi ex­ec Anne Whitak­er has been named chair of the board at ALS biotech QurAlis. Whitak­er, who led the US car­dio­vas­cu­lar, meta­bol­ic and urol­o­gy busi­ness to con­clude her 19 years at GSK, still chairs the board of Aera­mi Ther­a­peu­tics, the com­pa­ny she helmed from 2018-20.

Vik Ba­jaj

Ver­i­ly co-founder and ex-CSO Vik Ba­jaj is slid­ing in­to the board of di­rec­tors at Quan­tum-Si. Ba­jaj cur­rent­ly serves as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Fore­site Cap­i­tal and pre­vi­ous­ly served as CSO of Grail.

Doug Fam­brough has clinched his spot on the board of di­rec­tors at On­corus, led by Mod­er­na on­col­o­gy vet Ted Ash­burn. Fam­brough was CEO of Dicer­na from 2010 un­til No­vo Nordisk pur­chased the RNAi biotech for $3.3 bil­lion in late 2021.

Don­na Am­brosi­no

Don­na Am­brosi­no and Big Phar­ma alum Ralf Clemens are walk­ing over to Clover Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, join­ing the com­pa­ny’s board of di­rec­tors. Am­brosi­no is on Clover’s vac­cine sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board and she had pre­vi­ous­ly served as CEO of Noso­co­mi­al Vac­cine Cor­po­ra­tion. Clemens, the chair of Val­ne­va’s SAB and a mem­ber of the SAB at Cure­Vac, joins the board as a vet­er­an ex­ec­u­tive from GSK, No­var­tis Vac­cines, and Take­da.

William Kaelin has joined the board of di­rec­tors at IconOVir Bio, which just brought in John Huynh as chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer a cou­ple weeks ago. The 2019 No­bel Prize re­cip­i­ent is a pro­fes­sor in the De­part­ment of Med­i­cine at Dana-Far­ber and at Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal.

Jill Quigley has been elect­ed to the board of di­rec­tors at Chemomab Ther­a­peu­tics, the Pe­ter Thiel-backed Is­raeli biotech study­ing CM-101 in mul­ti­ple in­di­ca­tions, in­clud­ing pri­ma­ry scle­ros­ing cholan­gi­tis. Quigley left Pas­sage Bio in Jan­u­ary af­ter three years as COO and is a board mem­ber at Terns Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Derek Graf con­tributed to this edi­tion.

UP­DAT­ED: In a fresh dis­ap­point­ment, Am­gen spot­lights a ma­jor safe­ty is­sue with KRAS com­bo

Amgen had hoped that its latest study matching its landmark KRAS G12C drug Lumakras with checkpoint inhibitors would open up its treatment horizons and expand its commercial potential. Instead, the combo spurred safety issues that blunted efficacy and forced the pharma giant to alter course on its treatment strategy, once again disappointing analysts who have been tracking the drug’s faltering sales and limited therapeutic reach.

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Ad­dress­ing the ‘Ca­pac­i­ty Crunch’ with a Scal­able Plat­form Process Ap­proach

The field of gene therapy has been diligently moving forward over the past several decades to bring potentially life-saving treatments to patients with genetic diseases. In addition to two approved adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapies, there are more than 250 AAV gene therapies in various clinical trial stages.1 AAV vectors remain the most frequently used vector for delivering therapeutic transgenes to target tissues due to their demonstrated and lasting clinical efficacy and extensive safety track record. As AAV therapies advance through clinical trials and into commercialization, many biotech companies are turning to contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) to prepare their programs for late-stage clinical and commercial scale manufacturing. Given the scope and scale of the manufacturing needs that will accompany regulatory approvals for these assets, CDMOs continue to expand their capacity to meet the needs of increasing prevalent patient populations. However, despite rapid growth, projected gene therapy manufacturing demands still outpace the collective capacity of the CDMO industry.

A $5B Pfiz­er buy­out? Am­gen, Gilead head­line M&A Thurs­day; Al­ny­lam's AT­TR sweep; An­drew Lo's rare dis­ease quest; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

One of the cool things about adding EndpointsPharma to the daily roster is that my colleagues can now dedicate time to tracking quarterly updates and tuning into calls with Big Pharma companies. Check out their dispatch from the Q2 earnings below.

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Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Break­ing: Pfiz­er in hot pur­suit of a $5B buy­out of Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics — re­port

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has vowed to leave no stone unturned in the search for new biotech deals, and the BD team is not letting him down.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Pfizer is in the final stages of acquiring Global Blood Therapeutics for $5 billion. According to the Journal report, though, Pfizer is not the only buyer at the deal table and while the pharma giant may be close to clinching it, there are no guarantees it will continue.

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Bob Bradway, Amgen CEO (Justin Kase Conder/AP Images for Amgen)

UP­DAT­ED: Am­gen chief Brad­way nabs a rare dis­ease play­er in $4B buy­out as the M&A tem­po ac­cel­er­ates

Amgen CEO Bob Bradway is bellying up to the M&A table today, scooping up the newly anointed commercial biotech ChemoCentryx $CCXI and its recently approved rare disease drug for $3.7 billion out of the cash stockpile. The deal comes in at $52 a share — a hefty increase over the $24.11 close yesterday.

Bradway and the Amgen team get a drug called Tavneos (avacopan) in the deal, a complement factor C5a inhibitor OK’d to treat anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-vasculitis, an autoimmune disease which can be lethal.

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George Yancopoulos, Regeneron president and CSO (Brendan McDermid/Reuters/Alamy)

George Yan­copou­los says he's on the trail of the holy grail: ‘This could rep­re­sent the next break­through for im­munother­a­py’

Two of the most outspoken — and successful — drug developers in biotech say they’ve collected early-stage clinical data that are pointing them down the trail to the holy grail in cancer immunotherapy R&D.

While analysts largely busied themselves today with chronicling the ongoing success of Regeneron’s two big cash cows — Dupixent and Eylea — chief scientist George Yancopoulos and CEO Len Schleifer used the Q2 call to spotlight their early success with a combination of the “homegrown” PSMAxCD28 costimulatory bispecific antibody REGN5678 in combination with their PD-1 checkpoint Libtayo. The presentation comes just weeks after Regeneron completed a deal to gather all rights to the PD-1 that had been in Sanofi’s hands. And the two top execs are unstinting in their praise of the potential of a whole set of costimulatory pipeline projects which they say may finally deliver the long-awaited next-level approach to broadening the immunotherapy field of drugs.

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(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

US de­clares mon­key­pox a na­tion­al health emer­gency, as new drug­mak­ers con­sid­er en­ter­ing vac­cine race

Rising monkeypox cases have put the US on high alert as it announces a national health emergency, which grants the government more power in its response.

The news comes as Bavarian Nordic continues to fill orders for its Jynneos vaccine and other companies – including Moderna – consider jumping into the vaccine race. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the US has allowed around 20 million doses of smallpox vaccine in its stockpile to expire.

Vlad Coric, Biohaven CEO

Bio­haven touts surge in Nurtec sales ahead of Pfiz­er takeover

Forget buyer’s remorse, Pfizer is likely feeling pretty good about its $11.6 billion Biohaven takeover deal following reports of a 57% sales boost for migraine med Nurtec.

Biohaven reported in Q2 results on Friday that it’s cleared the necessary antitrust hurdles to move forward with the sale of its calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) assets to Pfizer. However, because the company is “focused on workstreams related to the closing” of the deal, it did not host a call with analysts and investors.

Pharma ads are showing up on cooler screens at retail pharmacies, including Walgreens and CVS, under a new OptimizeRx deal (OptimizeRx)

Phar­ma brands chill in the phar­ma­cy re­tail aisle with new style ads on re­frig­er­a­tion screens

Want a prescription drug with that soda? While not directly possible, ads for pharma brands now running on beverage and snack cooler screens at pharmacy retailers may at least inspire customers to think about it.

OptimizeRx is hooking up with Cooler Screens media company to bring prescription drug advertising to refrigerator front doors at pharmacies including Walgreens, CVS and Kroger.

The “point of dispense” ads show a full-door image on the cooler doors when a shopper is 12 feet away, but shrinks down to a smaller banner-sized ad so that the refrigerator contents can be seen when a person gets closer. The doors — which have to be specially installed by Cooler Screens — can detect when a person is nearby, how long a person “dwells” in front of the ad and if they do or don’t open the door.

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