Al­ny­lam’s John Maraganore isn’t the on­ly CEO to leave his post; CRISPR’s chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer takes the helm at a pro­tein degra­da­tion play­er

John Maraganore

The de­par­ture of a num­ber of CEOs is the pre­vail­ing theme that kicks off this week’s in­stall­ment: In a stun­ner, Al­ny­lam CEO John Maraganore an­nounced that Yvonne Green­street will be his suc­ces­sor at the end of the year. Maraganore, the Cam­bridge, MA biotech’s found­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive since 2002 who has helped in­vig­o­rate the RNAi space, will step in­to a con­sult­ing role un­til March 31 and main­tain his pres­ence in the com­pa­ny as a mem­ber of the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

Yvonne Green­street

Maraganore told our John Car­roll a cou­ple years back that re­tire­ment wasn’t on the ta­ble, but in­stead Al­ny­lam will be led by Green­street, who re­placed cur­rent Sage CEO Bar­ry Greene as the com­pa­ny’s pres­i­dent in Au­gust 2020 and is al­so COO.

This week, Al­ny­lam un­spooled pos­i­tive da­ta for what the biotech hopes will be­come its fourth RNAi ap­proval with its drug vutrisir­an for polyneu­ropa­thy as­so­ci­at­ed with hered­i­tary transthyretin-me­di­at­ed (hAT­TR) amy­loi­do­sis. Lumasir­an (mar­ket­ed as Oxlu­mo) was ap­proved in No­vem­ber 2020.

Bar­ry Labinger

Mean­while, the search is un­der­way for a per­ma­nent CEO to re­place Bar­ry Labinger at can­cer-fo­cused Check­mate Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, while board mem­ber Alan Fuhrman steps up to the plate on an in­ter­im ba­sis. Labinger suc­ceed­ed founder and cur­rent CSO Art Krieg in De­cem­ber 2018 and steered Check­mate to a $75 mil­lion IPO in Ju­ly 2020 with a heavy re­liance on its TLR9 ag­o­nist vidu­tolimod (CMP-001), but the stock price has dwin­dled sig­nif­i­cant­ly since its Nas­daq de­but. Fuhrman, the CFO for Am­plyx from 2017-20, is a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors at Spring­Works Ther­a­peu­tics and Es­pe­ri­on.

Julie East­land

Start­ing Nov. 8, there will al­so be a change at the top of South San Fran­cis­co T cell en­gager biotech Har­poon Ther­a­peu­tics, with Julie East­land suc­ceed­ing Jer­ry McMa­hon as CEO. McMa­hon, who an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion this week, had been Har­poon’s chief ex­ec­u­tive since De­cem­ber 2016 and presided over a com­pa­ny in de­cline af­ter its prostate can­cer can­di­date HPN424 mas­sive­ly un­der­whelmed in a Phase I/IIa study, gut­ting the stock price. Be­fore ac­cept­ing her first CEO job, East­land held dual roles as COO and CFO at Re­Code Ther­a­peu­tics and cur­rent­ly has board seats at Gray­bug Vi­sion and Dy­navax.

Last­ly in this group, Jed Latkin has re­signed from his three-pronged re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of CEO, CFO and COO at Dublin, OH-based Navidea Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, a biotech con­cen­trat­ing on pre­ci­sion im­mun­odi­ag­nos­tic agents. Navidea has set up an Of­fice of the CEO un­til a suc­ces­sor is named, com­prised of three board mem­bers and two ex­ecs: chair­man Alexan­der Cap­pel­lo, vice chair John Scott, Thomas Farb (who was just ap­point­ed to the board with Ag­niesz­ka Win­kler ef­fec­tive Oct. 7), CMO Michael Rosol, and VP of fi­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion Eri­ka Eves.


Philippe Drou­et

CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Philippe Drou­et has ex­it­ed stage left to take on the CEO job at Bio­Th­eryX, a pro­tein degra­da­tion out­fit based in San Diego that gath­ered up a Se­ries E round in May. Drou­et didn’t stick around at CRISPR for very long — he was named CCO in Feb­ru­ary af­ter five years at Mer­ck, where he had been in­te­gral to the launch of Keytru­da as the drug gi­ant’s SVP, on­col­o­gy glob­al mar­ket­ing & mar­ket ac­cess. While with No­var­tis, Drou­et wore sev­er­al hats, from head of on­col­o­gy mar­ket­ing in Cana­da to VP of the US hema­tol­ogy fran­chise.

Jens Lind­berg

→ Swedish on­col­o­gy play­er Medi­vir has tapped As­traZeneca alum Jens Lind­berg as CEO while Mag­nus Chris­tensen stays on as in­ter­im CEO un­til Lind­berg takes over “with­in six months,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Lind­berg, the act­ing CEO and VP of com­mer­cial at Sedana Med­ical, held a se­ries of posts in near­ly a quar­ter cen­tu­ry at As­traZeneca that cul­mi­nat­ed in his role as VP of on­col­o­gy in the Nordic-Baltic re­gion. There’s been a re­volv­ing door late­ly at the top spot at Medi­vir af­ter Uli Hack­sell re­placed Chris­tine Lind in 2018 and the com­pa­ny slashed 60 oth­er jobs in the process. In Sep­tem­ber 2020, Yil­maz Mahshid be­came Medi­vir’s CEO but bolt­ed abrupt­ly to take the CFO job at Egetis Ther­a­peu­tics.

Es­s­ra Rid­ha

→ The FDA’s ap­proval of Fab­razyme in March forced lentivi­ral gene ther­a­py out­fit Avro­bio to go back to the draw­ing board with its own Fab­ry dis­ease drug, so it would seem the pro­mo­tion of Es­s­ra Rid­ha to CMO is an im­por­tant step to­ward giv­ing AVR-RD-01 the stur­dy foot­ing it needs. Pri­or to her pre­vi­ous re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as Avro­bio’s VP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, Rid­ha was se­nior med­ical di­rec­tor, clin­i­cal sci­ences, gene edit­ed cell ther­a­py dur­ing al­most two years at Sang­amo. She al­so had a three-year run at Glax­o­SmithK­line, tak­ing on the role of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor, cell & gene ther­a­py, rare dis­eases.

Loret­ta Itri

→ In an­oth­er case of the band get­ting back to­geth­er, Loret­ta Itri has been named CMO at Aa­di Bio­science, which re­verse merged with Aer­pio Ther­a­peu­tics in May and where ex-Im­munomedics CEO Be­hzad Ag­haz­adeh is a board mem­ber. Like Aa­di’s new­ly-ar­rived COO, Bren­dan De­laney, Itri is an Im­munomedics alum, hav­ing been CMO when Gilead opened up the pock­et­book to pur­chase the biotech for $21 bil­lion last year. She’s al­so served as EVP of glob­al health sci­ences and reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs at The Med­i­cines Com­pa­ny.

Daphne Kary­das

→ Be­gin­ning its odyssey to solve the tran­scrip­tion fac­tor puz­zle with an $82 mil­lion Se­ries A in May, Third Rock biotech Flare Ther­a­peu­tics has se­lect­ed Daphne Kary­das as COO and CFO, while Michaela Bow­den gets the nod as SVP of bi­ol­o­gy and trans­la­tion. Kary­das is an Al­ler­gan alum in cor­po­rate fi­nan­cial plan­ning and in­vestor re­la­tions who just com­plet­ed a year as CFO of Syn­dax Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, and Bow­den spent the last three years at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb, leav­ing the drug gi­ant as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of trans­la­tion­al bi­ol­o­gy.

Ot­tavio Vi­to­lo

→ Low­ell, MA neu­ro biotech Al­cy­one Ther­a­peu­tics broke through in June with a $23 mil­lion Se­ries A and a game plan to tack­le Rett syn­drome out of the gates. CEO PJ Anand has now sur­round­ed him­self with four new ex­ecs in this ef­fort, with CMO and glob­al head of R&D Ot­tavio Vi­to­lo lead­ing off. The for­mer head of neu­ro­mus­cu­lar clin­i­cal re­search at Pfiz­er, Vi­to­lio co-found­ed Vitem Ther­a­peu­tics and was CMO and R&D chief at Rel­ma­da Ther­a­peu­tics from 2018-20.

Who else is join­ing Vi­to­lo? Cred­it Su­isse and Cowen vet Ravi Mehro­tra (CFO and head of strat­e­gy) re­cent­ly worked with Umer Raf­fat and Josh Schim­mer as se­nior man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ever­core’s health­care re­search team. Su­san D’Cos­ta (EVP and glob­al head of tech­nol­o­gy) comes to Al­cy­one from Ther­mo Fish­er, where she was se­nior di­rec­tor, tech­ni­cal pro­gram de­sign. And Rachel Salz­man (EVP of port­fo­lio, ex­ter­nal af­fairs & de­vel­op­ment) found­ed and was pres­i­dent and CEO of CNS gene ther­a­py out­fit Swan­Bio.

Stéphanie Hoff­mann-Gen­de­bi­en

Mak­ing its push in­to the Eu­ro­pean mar­ket, Amy­lyx has ap­point­ed Stéphanie Hoff­mann-Gen­de­bi­en as head, gen­er­al man­ag­er in Eu­rope, the Mid­dle East and Africa (EMEA). Hoff­mann-Gen­de­bi­en, a long­time Gen­zyme staffer, was a man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and found­ing part­ner at GH Part­ners since 2019, when she left rare dis­ease biotech Clemen­tia Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals as VP, gen­er­al man­ag­er, EMEA af­ter Ipsen snapped it up for $1.3 bil­lion. Co-led by Justin Klee and Josh Co­hen, Amy­lyx said in April that they planned on sub­mit­ting a mar­ket­ing ap­pli­ca­tion to the EMA by the end of the year for its ALS can­di­date AMX0035, and af­ter the FDA ini­tial­ly balked at an NDA, the agency did a 180 on the re­quest in Sep­tem­ber.

Pe­ter Tate

→ Fo­cus­ing on the blood-brain bar­ri­er, Travec­ta Ther­a­peu­tics named Charles Ryan pres­i­dent and CEO in June af­ter helm­ing Neu­rotrope. Ryan has now fleshed out his lead­er­ship team with a big batch of ex­ecs and board mem­bers, start­ing with CMO and head of R&D Don­ald Man­ning, a No­var­tis and Cel­gene vet who was CMO at Sh­iono­gi and then Ad­ynxx from 2012-20. Pe­ter Mil­li­gan (CFO) was pre­vi­ous­ly the fi­nance chief at Ex­elis, G&W Lab­o­ra­to­ries and most re­cent­ly Melin­ta, a role cur­rent­ly held by Su­san Blum. Pe­ter Tate (head of Sin­ga­pore op­er­a­tions and se­nior di­rec­tor, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment), a one-time Pfiz­er sci­en­tist, wrapped up a 10-year as­so­ci­a­tion with EMD Serono in 2020 as the Mer­ck KGaA sub’s as­so­ciate di­rec­tor, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal tech­nolo­gies. Pe­ter Honig jumps to Travec­ta’s sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board af­ter re­tir­ing from Pfiz­er as head of glob­al reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs and group head of de­vel­op­ment for Chi­na and Japan.

Fi­nal­ly, Ryan will oc­cu­py a seat on Travec­ta’s board of di­rec­tors along­side for­mer Al­ler­gan ex­ec June Bray, Ivan Gergel, Pas­cal Heber­ling and Bob Huang.

Deyaa Adib

→ You may re­call Tri­umvi­ra’s lead­er­ship moves in April, when the Paul Lam­mers-led T cell biotech named Tere­sa McRoberts as CFO and pro­mot­ed An­dreas Bad­er and Jon Irvin to CSO and VP of fi­nance, re­spec­tive­ly. Tri­umvi­ra has found a CMO this week, and it’s Deyaa Adib, who was just the act­ing CMO for Rain Ther­a­peu­tics and has been VP of late-stage de­vel­op­ment at Blue­print Med­i­cines. A Sanofi and Astel­las vet, Adib served as Bax­al­ta’s glob­al ther­a­peu­tics head for sol­id tu­mors. In Au­gust 2020, Tri­umvi­ra nabbed $55 mil­lion in a Se­ries A that “will give us a nice run­way to do a lot of fun stuff,” as Lam­mers said at the time, with its T cell anti­gen cou­pler (TAC) tech­nol­o­gy.

On­chilles Phar­ma has hired a slew of new faces to its lead­er­ship team with the ap­point­ments of Christo­pher Twit­ty (CSO); In­grid Joseph (SVP, pre­clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment); and So­nia Feau (di­rec­tor of bi­ol­o­gy). Twit­ty brings with him ex­pe­ri­ence from his time at Bay­er, Cell Genesys, Toca­gen and On­coSec Med­ical. Mean­while, Joseph served as VP of phar­ma­col­o­gy and tox­i­col­o­gy at Syn­thorx; se­nior di­rec­tor of phar­ma­col­o­gy and bioimag­ing at Astel­las; and di­rec­tor of on­cophar­ma­col­o­gy at Bio­gen. Last, but not least, Feau joins from On­corus, where she served as as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of im­munol­o­gy. Pri­or to that stint, Feau was with Mer­ck and Mer­ri­mack Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Robert Pant­i­ng

→ Ger­man CD­MO Rentschler Bio­phar­ma, which will have a pres­ence at the Cell and Gene Ther­a­py Cat­a­pult in the UK by next year, has ap­point­ed Robert Pant­i­ng as gen­er­al man­ag­er of Rentschler ATMP, Cen­ter of Ex­cel­lence for Cell and Gene Ther­a­py. Pri­or to Rentschler, Pant­i­ng spent a decade at Fu­ji­film Diosynth Biotech­nolo­gies, where he most re­cent­ly served as pres­i­dent for pro­gram man­age­ment and sales & op­er­a­tions plan­ning.

Bryan Jen­nings is mak­ing his way over to Noxxon Phar­ma as the com­pa­ny’s new CFO. Jen­nings brings aboard ex­pe­ri­ence from his time as CFO at Pep­ti­log­ics, KAHR Bio, Beren Ther­a­peu­tics, Ra­tio­nal Vac­cines and ChemomAb. In ad­di­tion to those stints, Jen­nings was CFO and CEO at Vista Cap­i­tal Ad­vi­sors and was with Mor­gan Stan­ley as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, head of cap­i­tal mar­kets and risk man­age­ment.

Ter­ry Coel­ho

→ Af­ter just bring­ing aboard Ma­son Free­man as EVP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment last week, Cin­Cor Phar­ma has now added Ter­ry Coel­ho to its ranks as EVP, CFO and chief busi­ness de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. Coel­ho joins the Cincin­nati-based biotech from BioDe­liv­ery Ser­vices In­ter­na­tion­al, where she served as EVP and CFO. Pri­or to that, Coel­ho was CFO of Balchem Corp, CFO and COO of Di­versey, and held lead­er­ship roles with No­var­tis.

Pep­Gen, the Boston-based Ox­ford spin­out that re­ceived $112.5 mil­lion in Se­ries B fi­nanc­ing back in Au­gust for its lead pro­grams in mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phy, has ap­point­ed Noel Don­nel­ly as CFO. Don­nel­ly has spent much of his ca­reer at Shire, where he has served as VP, R&D busi­ness and strat­e­gy and, most re­cent­ly, as head of R&D fi­nance.

Lot­ta Ferm

→ Whole Lot­ta love: Lot­ta Ferm will be an in­ter­im CFO no more at Swedish can­cer biotech Im­mu­nicum, tak­ing over on a per­ma­nent ba­sis start­ing Mon­day. Ferm ini­tial­ly took the in­ter­im job on Feb. 1 af­ter a string of CFO posts at such Swedish com­pa­nies as Medi­vir and Dok­tor24. In March, Im­mu­nicum filled its CMO va­can­cy with ex-Kiadis med­ical chief Jeroen Rovers.

David Gray

→ Pfiz­er alum David Gray has signed on to be CSO at In­scopix, a com­pa­ny out of Pa­lo Al­to fo­cused on treat­ing neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive and neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­eases us­ing its brain map­ping plat­form. Af­ter 15 years at Pfiz­er, the last three of those as a se­nior di­rec­tor in neu­ro, Gray then moved to Cerev­el as VP in charge of de­vel­op­ment for its Parkin­son’s and Alzheimer’s pro­grams.

→ New Jer­sey drug dis­cov­ery com­pa­ny Vyant Bio, fo­cused on neu­rol­o­gy and on­col­o­gy, has pegged Robert Fre­meau as CSO. Camp4 turned to Fre­meau — a for­mer sci­en­tif­ic di­rec­tor in neu­ro­science dur­ing his decade at Am­gen — to fill the role of se­nior di­rec­tor, trans­la­tion­al sci­ences, neu­roim­munol­o­gy in 2019 and lat­er be­came ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, CNS dis­cov­ery be­fore his ex­it in Jan­u­ary.

Er­ic Daniels

→ At the same time as com­plet­ing its ac­qui­si­tion of Bay­on Ther­a­peu­tics, Eye­Gate Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has tapped Bay­on’s co-founder and di­rec­tor Er­ic Daniels as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. Daniels al­so comes aboard from Oc­cuRx, where he was CEO. Pri­or to those roles, Daniels was co-founder and di­rec­tor of Oko­gen and served at Cy­tori Ther­a­peu­tics among oth­ers.

→ Swiss-based Celonic has named Alexan­dre Pasi­ni as COO, suc­ceed­ing Vikalp Mo­han — who will now be serv­ing as CBO. Pasi­ni joins the com­pa­ny af­ter a stint as COO at SaniSure. Pri­or to that, Pasi­ni spent over a decade at Lon­za in roles rang­ing from site di­rec­tor to head of glob­al bio­science op­er­a­tions.

Mo­han Bala

→ Fol­low­ing the ap­point­ment of chief man­u­fac­tur­ing of­fi­cer Tushar Mis­ra in Au­gust, Cam­bridge, MA an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gate (ADC) play­er Mer­sana Ther­a­peu­tics has in­stalled Mo­han Bala as SVP, strate­gic prod­uct plan­ning & pro­gram lead­er­ship. Fel­low Tesaro alum Bri­an De­Schuyt­ner, who once had strate­gic prod­uct plan­ning du­ties, earns a pro­mo­tion to SVP and CFO. Bala gets a fresh start here af­ter less than a year as COO at Con­stel­la­tion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, and he al­so brings Big Phar­ma cre­den­tials from J&J (Cen­to­cor), GSK and Sanofi.

Doug Gir­gen­ti has tak­en over as VP of drug de­vel­op­ment at Melin­ta Ther­a­peu­tics. Pri­or to join­ing Melin­ta, Gir­gen­ti led clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment pro­grams as se­nior med­ical di­rec­tor at Ma­gen­ta Ther­a­peu­tics. Gir­gen­ti has al­so su­per­vised glob­al de­vel­op­ment pro­grams at Wyeth/Pfiz­er and Boehringer In­gel­heim.

Dorothy Lou Bai­ley

Exo Ther­a­peu­tics has brought on Dorothy Lou Bai­ley as SVP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment and strat­e­gy. Most no­tably, Bai­ley has served as head of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment at Black­thorn Ther­a­peu­tics. With its roots in David Liu’s Har­vard lab, Exo — the ex­osite-fo­cused biotech led by CEO Michael Bruce — made the news ear­li­er this month with its $78 mil­lion Se­ries B round.

→ Pen­ny stock kid­ney dis­ease play­er Uni­cy­cive Ther­a­peu­tics, which priced its IPO at $25 mil­lion af­ter orig­i­nal­ly fil­ing for a $36 mil­lion of­fer­ing, has lined up phar­ma vet Dou­glas Jer­masek as EVP, cor­po­rate strat­e­gy. Jer­masek writes a new chap­ter at Uni­cy­cive af­ter his time at Ake­bia (then Keryx af­ter the merg­er) as SVP, mar­ket­ing and strat­e­gy, and to close out 12 years at Gen­zyme from 2014, he was Sanofi’s SVP and gen­er­al man­ag­er, head of re­nal glob­al busi­ness unit.

Pas­cal Bam­ford

Pas­cal Bam­ford is ven­tur­ing off to Akoya Bio­sciences, which start­ed a spa­tial bi­ol­o­gy part­ner­ship in June with As­traZeneca, as SVP, R&D and lab­o­ra­to­ry op­er­a­tions. Like Akoya’s COO, Fred­er­ic Pla, Bam­ford is a Ge­nom­ic Health alum, serv­ing as SVP of prod­ucts and ser­vices R&D be­fore and af­ter Ex­act Sci­ences ponied up $2.8 bil­lion to buy the com­pa­ny in the sum­mer of 2019.

→ Af­ter nab­bing reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs and CMC ex­ecs in March, San Diego on­col­o­gy play­er Ap­tose has pro­mot­ed Janet Clen­nett to VP, fi­nance and picked up Roger Davies as VP, op­er­a­tions. Clen­nett orig­i­nal­ly moved on to Ap­tose as di­rec­tor of fi­nance af­ter her time in the same ca­pac­i­ty and as act­ing CFO at ProMIS Neu­ro­sciences. With ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt at CROs (Icon) and phar­ma gi­ants (No­var­tis), Davies comes off a three-year stay with In­ter­cept in clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions.

Joshua Young

Lu­micks, a Dutch provider of sin­gle mol­e­cule and cell avid­i­ty analy­sis, has pulled in Joshua Young as VP of in­vestor re­la­tions, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and strat­e­gy. Once the head of in­vestor re­la­tions at Mer­ck KGaA, Young comes to Lu­micks af­ter a short tenure as the VP of in­vestor re­la­tions at Ever­bridge.

Tal Zaks

→ What’s next for Tal Zaks af­ter leav­ing Mod­er­na and join­ing the board at Te­va? He’ll be rolling in the Deep as he gets a spot on the strate­gic ad­vi­so­ry board at Deep Ge­nomics, Bren­dan Frey’s Toron­to-based AI and ma­chine learn­ing shop that has a boat­load of new cash in the form of a $180 mil­lion Se­ries C from Ju­ly to push its batch of RNA ther­a­pies to the clin­ic. Since Zaks’ de­par­ture as CMO, Mod­er­na has tak­en more heat for the lack of avail­abil­i­ty of its Covid-19 vac­cine in low­er- and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries, which the biotech tried to ame­lio­rate this week by ramp­ing up pro­duc­tion for the African Union.

Brent Saun­ders

Run­ning along­side its $100 mil­lion Se­ries C from ear­li­er in the week, New York an­ti-ag­ing biotech Cam­bri­an Bio­phar­ma has wel­comed one of its in­vestors, ex-Al­ler­gan CEO Brent Saun­ders, to the board of di­rec­tors. Saun­ders, who chairs the board at lit­tle-known OcuTer­ra, “hit it off” with CEO James Pey­er, as our Ja­son Mast notes. Paul Farr, a part­ner at An­thos Cap­i­tal — which co-led the round with SALT Fund — al­so takes a seat on Cam­bri­an’s board.

Scott My­ers

Scott My­ers is hav­ing him­self a week. Not on­ly has he been named chair­man at Har­poon, he has re­placed An­drew Hack as chair­man of the board at Dy­navax — since May 2020, Hack had chaired the vac­cine biotech on an in­ter­im ba­sis. My­ers, the CEO of AM­AG Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for a hot sec­ond un­til it was ac­quired by Co­vis last fall, is on the boards of Se­lec­ta Bio­sciences and Tril­li­um Ther­a­peu­tics, which Pfiz­er bought out for $2.3 bil­lion in Au­gust.

Han­nah Valan­tine

Neil Ku­mar’s crew at Bridge­Bio, which is part­ner­ing with Bris­tol My­ers to ex­plore a drug com­bo in­volv­ing Op­di­vo and SHP2 in­hibitor BBP-398, has named Han­nah Valan­tine to the board of di­rec­tors. Valan­tine, a pro­fes­sor at the Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine, was the first chief of­fi­cer for sci­en­tif­ic work­force di­ver­si­ty at the NIH from 2014-20.

Ru­pert Vessey

→ Bris­tol My­ers’ glob­al R&D chief Ru­pert Vessey has been elect­ed to the board of di­rec­tors at Nereid Ther­a­peu­tics, part of a bio­mol­e­c­u­lar con­den­sate field that al­so in­cludes Dew­point and Faze Med­i­cines. NewYork-Pres­by­ter­ian Hos­pi­tal EVP and COO Lau­ra Forese is join­ing Vessey on Nereid’s board.

→ Boston-based BY­OMass has re­cruit­ed De­clan Doogan and Stephen Hoff­man to its board of di­rec­tors. Doogan is the CMO and co-founder of Ju­ve­nes­cence, while Hoff­man most re­cent­ly served as CRO of Aer­pio Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Be­sides his stint at Ju­ve­nes­cence, Doogan is the chair­man and co-founder of Bio­haven Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and pre­vi­ous­ly worked with Pfiz­er and Amarin. Mean­while, this isn’t Hoff­man’s first board ap­point­ment. He al­so sits on the boards of Acel­Rx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Dicer­na Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Dan­forth Ad­vi­sors, and Apic Bio.

Ve­rastem On­col­o­gy has made room for Michelle Robert­son on the board of di­rec­tors. Robert­son, the CFO for Jim Mullen at Ed­i­tas Med­i­cine, has al­so been CFO for Mo­men­ta be­fore it was sold to J&J in 2020.

Bernadette Con­naughton

→ Speak­ing of Ed­i­tas, Bernadette Con­naughton has joined the board of di­rec­tors — one that al­so in­cludes C4 CEO An­drew Hirsch and the newest board mem­ber at Were­wolf Ther­a­peu­tics, Leg­end SVP Mee­ta Chat­ter­jee. Con­naughton, a long­time Bris­tol My­ers ex­ec who left in 2017 as pres­i­dent, in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal, has board seats at Sy­neos Health, Zealand Phar­ma and Halozyme.

Han­mi Sci­ence CEO Jong-yoon Lim has been tapped as a reg­is­tered di­rec­tor of Ox­ford Vacmedix. Pri­or to his cur­rent role at Han­mi Sci­ence, Lim was CEO of Han­mi Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and head of Bei­jing Han­mi Pharm.

HCW Bi­o­log­ics has brought on Lisa Giles and Gary Win­er to its board of di­rec­tors. Giles is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and CEO of Giles & As­so­ci­ates Con­sul­tan­cy and cur­rent­ly sits on the board of Mile­stone Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Ear­li­er in her ca­reer, Giles served at Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries. Mean­while, Win­er pre­vi­ous­ly served as pres­i­dent and CEO of Or­gen­tec Di­ag­nos­ti­ka. Ear­li­er in his ca­reer, Win­er held stints at Ab­bott and was VP of glob­al com­mer­cial strate­gies at Ab­b­Vie and pres­i­dent and CEO of Ab­b­Vie Japan.

Jonathan Arnold, Catal­ent’s pres­i­dent, oral and spe­cial de­liv­ery, has joined the board of di­rec­tors of AN­GUS Chem­i­cal Com­pa­ny. Pri­or to his cur­rent po­si­tion at Catal­ent, Arnold served as VP and gen­er­al man­ag­er of the com­pa­ny’s drug de­liv­ery so­lu­tions busi­ness unit. Pri­or to Catal­ent, Arnold was with Pan­theon.

Synen­dos Ther­a­peu­tics has ap­point­ed the fol­low­ing mem­bers to its sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board: Karl-Heinz Alt­mann, Anahi­ta Bassir Nia, Graeme Bilbe, Jürg Gertsch, and Kirsten Müller-Vahl. In No­vem­ber of last year, the Swiss-based start­up raised $21.85 mil­lion in Se­ries A fi­nanc­ing to de­vel­op ther­a­pies for neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders.

At the In­flec­tion Point for the Next Gen­er­a­tion of Can­cer Im­munother­a­py

While oncology researchers have long pursued the potential of cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, it was unclear whether these therapies would ever reach patients due to the complexity of manufacturing and costs of development. Fortunately, the recent successful development and regulatory approval of chimeric antigen receptor-engineered T (CAR-T) cells have demonstrated the significant benefit of these therapies to patients.

All about Omi­cron; We need more Covid an­tivi­rals; GSK snags Pfiz­er’s vac­cine ex­ec; Janet Wood­cock’s fu­ture at FDA; and more

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Usama Malik

Ex-Im­munomedics CFO charged with in­sid­er trad­ing, faces up to 20 years in prison af­ter al­leged­ly tip­ping off girl­friend and rel­a­tives of a PhI­II suc­cess

The former CFO of Immunomedics, who helped steer the company to its $21 billion buyout by Gilead last year, has been charged with insider trading, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Usama Malik tipped off his then-girlfriend and four others that a Phase III study for Trodelvy would be stopped early four days before Immunomedics publicly announced the result in April 2020, DoJ alleged in its complaint. The individuals then purchased Immunomedics shares, selling them after the news broke and Immunomedics’ stock price doubled.

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Merck's new antiviral molnupiravir (Quality Stock Arts / Shutterstock)

As Omi­cron spread looms, oral an­tivi­rals ap­pear to be one of the best de­fens­es — now we just need more

After South African scientists reported a new Covid-19 variant — dubbed Omicron by the WHO — scientists became concerned about how effective vaccines and monoclonal antibodies might be against it, which has more than 30 mutations in the spike protein.

“I think it is super worrisome,” Dartmouth professor and Adagio co-founder and CEO Tillman Gerngross told Endpoints News this weekend. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel echoed similar concerns, telling the Financial Times that experts warned him, “This is not going to be good.”

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In­cor­po­rat­ing Ex­ter­nal Da­ta in­to Clin­i­cal Tri­als: Com­par­ing Dig­i­tal Twins to Ex­ter­nal Con­trol Arms

Most drug development professionals are familiar with the nerve-racking wait for the read-out of a large trial. If it’s negative, is the investigational therapy ineffective? Or could the failure result from an unforeseen flaw in the design or execution of the protocol, rather than a lack of efficacy? The team could spend weeks analyzing data, but a definitive answer may be elusive due to insufficient power for such analyses in the already completed trial. These problems are only made worse if the trial had lower enrollment, or higher dropout than expected due to an unanticipated event like COVID-19. And if a trial is negative, the next one is likely to be larger and more costly — if it happens at all.

Ab­b­Vie tacks on a new warn­ing to Rin­voq la­bel as safe­ty frets crimp JAK class

The safety problems that continue to plague the JAK class as new data highlight some severe side effects are casting a large shadow over AbbVie’s Rinvoq.

As a result of a recent readout highlighting major adverse cardiac events (MACE), malignancy, mortality and thrombosis with Xeljanz a couple of months ago, AbbVie put out a notice late Friday afternoon that it is adding the new class risks to its label for their rival drug.

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Biospec­i­men M&A: Dis­cov­ery ac­quires Al­bert Li's he­pa­to­cyte project; PhI­II tri­al on Bay­er's Nube­qa reached pri­ma­ry end­point

Discovery Life Sciences has acquired what claims to be the Maryland-based host of the world’s largest hepatocyte inventory, known as IVAL, to help researchers select more effective and safer drug candidates in the future.

The combined companies will now serve a wider range of drug research and development scientists, according to Albert Li, who founded IVAL in 2004 and is set to join the Discovery leadership team as the CSO of pharmacology and toxicology.

Pfiz­er, Am­gen and Janssen seek fur­ther clar­i­ty on FDA's new ben­e­fit-risk guid­ance

Three top biopharma companies are seeking more details from the FDA on how the agency conducts its benefit-risk assessments for new drugs and biologics.

While Pfizer, Amgen and Janssen praised the agency for further spelling out its thinking on the subject in a new draft guidance, including a discussion of patient experience data as part of the assessment, the companies said the FDA could’ve included more specifics in the 20-page draft document.

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Re­searchers move clos­er to de­ci­pher­ing blood clots from As­traZeneca, J&J's Covid-19 vac­cines

Researchers may be nearing an answer for the mysterious and life-threatening blood clots that appeared on very rare occasions in people who received the J&J or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The new work builds on an early hypothesis researchers in Norway put forward last spring, when the cases first cropped up. They proposed the events were similar to blood clots that can occur in a small subset of patients who receive heparin, one of the most commonly used blood thinners.