→ After a months-long hunt, Allergan $AGN has locked in Matthew Walsh as the successor of outgoing CFO Maria Teresa Hilado, who announced the desire to retire in September. Most recently CFO at outsourcing company Catalent, Walsh — also named EVP — is tasked with unlocking growth potential even as Allergan contends with the imminent generic competition facing its Restasis franchise. “Matt brings to Allergan a unique combination of skills, including a technical background, a deep understanding of the healthcare industry, a rich experience across financial disciplines, and the ability to lead complex health care organizations,” said CEO Brent Saunders in a statement. “I’m pleased to welcome Matt to our team and look forward to partnering with him as we continue to drive strong financial performance and deploy our capital to increase shareholder return over the short- and long-term.”
→ An investigational antiviral product to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lung infections showed some promising data in a Phase IIa clinical trial. The drug, made by British biotech ReViral, ticked off primary and secondary endpoints, reducing viral load and improving clinical systems like mucus levels. The next step is to begin testing the drug, called RV521, in infants, according to a company statement. RV521 is a small molecule antiviral fusion inhibitor, meaning it prevents the virus from replicating by blocking it from entering the host cell. There are about 30 million RSV infections per year around the globe. Most healthy patients recover on their own from RSV, which has similar symptoms as a common cold. But the infection can be fatal in premature babies, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
→ A top R&D exec on Genentech’s Tecentriq crew has jumped ship to join Houston-based Bellicum as its chief medical officer. William Grossman had led “the global clinical development of Tecentriq in gastrointestinal cancers and of cancer immunotherapy combinations across all solid tumor types.” He joins Bellicum on the heels of a clinical hold for the company’s leading cell therapy.
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