Always chasing the newest science, Schond Greenway joins MindMed; Mirati fills key vacancy with ex-Arena finance chief
From cell therapy to precision medicine, Schond Greenway has hopped from one burgeoning research area to the next throughout his career. Now he’s heading off to another: psychedelic therapy.
MindMed tapped Greenway as CFO on Monday, as CEO Robert Barrow guides the company through what he called “an exciting point in our growth.” The New York-based psychedelics company was the second to ever go public on an American exchange, behind Compass Pathways. And this year, Barrow’s lining up “numerous near-term milestones ahead across our pipeline.”
“My focus has always been, across all the different companies that I’ve actually tried to be a part of, it’s really focusing on those companies that are looking to have a new paradigm to treating their particular subsector,” Greenway said.
So when a recruiter approached him about the opening at MindMed, he was intrigued. MindMed is one of several companies developing modified psychedelics in search of new and better therapies for mental health. One of their programs, Project Lucy, involves a hallucinogenic dosing of LSD to treat anxiety, administered by a therapist.
Greenway didn’t start out in the pharma industry. He received an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business in 1998, and was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley when he helped lead an IPO for an interesting biotech out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
“One thing led to another, and I ended up leaving the world of investment banking and jumping over to the client side,” he said.
That company was Durect Corporation, a spinout from the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Alza Corporation. And he hasn’t turned back.
Greenway’s résumé boasts a long list of biotech and healthcare-focused roles, including at Barclays Capital, Mesoblast and Halozyme. Most recently, he was CFO at Avalo Therapeutics, a small-cap biotech company focused on precision therapies in immunology, immuno-oncology and rare genetic disease. He stepped down in February, just weeks before the company conducted layoffs and shrank the pipeline.
When asked about the current bear market, he said, “This may be one of the more challenging biotech markets in recent memory … But all that said, it’s always important to remain active on the outreach front, which is what we will continue to do, whether it’s in person or virtually, or at an investor meeting or at a medical science meeting.”
With multiple milestones ahead, Greenway said he hopes to avoid a “bunker” mentality.
“Some companies will kind of get more insular,” he said. “I think it’s always much more important to continue to be out ahead, be out in front, ensure that the Street understands what our value proposition is and continue to execute.” — Nicole DeFeudis
→ As the David Meek era began at Mirati, two key members of the senior leadership parted ways shortly thereafter. COO and principal financial officer Daniel Faga — who’s now the interim CEO of AnaptysBio — and CMO Joseph Leveque both left the company on Oct. 28, and now the biotech waging a KRAS battle with Amgen has welcomed Laurie Stelzer as CFO. A Shire vet who was finance chief at Arena Pharmaceuticals before Pfizer snapped it up for $6.7 billion, Stelzer was CFO at Halozyme from 2015-20. Chief accounting officer Vickie Reed, who had been pinch-hitting as interim principal financial officer, is slated to retire “later this year.”
And with Longitude Capital’s David Hirsch stepping down from the board at Poseida, Mirati president and R&D chief Charles Baum enters as a new member of the San Diego cell and gene therapy player’s board. Baum, the founder and CEO of Mirati until Meek took over, is the chairman of OncoMyx Therapeutics.
→ Kanya Rajangam’s next destination has been revealed after her resignation from Nkarta, and she’s staying in the NK cell therapy arena, joining Tim Lu’s Endpoints 11 honoree Senti Bio as chief medical and development officer in July. Rajangam became CMO of Nkarta in November 2018 and will hand the reins to David Shook, who gets the bump from senior medical director to VP, clinical development. A month ago, Nkarta touted positive data for its two lead off-the-shelf NK cell therapies, helping shares recover from its nadir the previous session.
→ Doug Treco has resigned as CEO of UK monoclonal antibody biotech Alchemab “for personal reasons,” passing the baton to Young Kwon, who just arrived as chief financial and operating officer in November 2021. Kwon left Biogen in 2011 to become VP, business development at Momenta, steadily climbing to chief financial and business officer before J&J forked over $6.5 billion for the company in 2020. RA Capital led the way on Alchemab’s $82 million Series A raise last spring.
→ It’s been more than three years since Katrine Bosley made her surprise exit as Editas CEO, but she’s now jumping into the venture capital side of things — joining London-based early-stage investor Advent Life Sciences as venture partner. Bosley made an abrupt exit from Editas right as the company was heading into its first-in-human trial. Since then, Bosley has been advising biotechs such as Galapagos and Genocea on their boards and as chair of Michael Gilman’s Arrakis.
Joining Bosley at Advent as general partners are: Dominic Schmidt, formerly of Syncona (who will be based in the UK) and Satish Jindal, most recently the CEO of investment fund BioMotiv (who will be based in Boston, like Bosley).
→ Precision BioSciences unveiled data at ASH in December for its lead candidate PBCAR0191 that all but reaffirmed the standard durability concerns with allogeneic CAR-Ts that rivals like CRISPR Therapeutics and Allogene had grappled with in the past. This week the Durham, NC biotech has poached Juli Blanche from Bristol Myers Squibb, naming her chief people officer. Blanche, a talent acquisition exec at Celgene, stuck around after the buyout and had just been promoted to SVP and HR business partner, global commercialization several months ago at the pharma giant.
→ Jesper Høiland is retiring as global chief commercial officer of Ascendis Pharma “to return to Denmark with his family,” according to a release. Høiland steered the US commercial efforts for Ascendis’ pediatric growth hormone deficiency drug, approved in August 2021 and marketed as Skytrofa, and we covered the 30-year Novo Nordisk vet’s appointment at Peer Review in May 2020 after his three-year run as president and CEO of Radius Health.
As Høiland bids farewell, the Copenhagen biotech has promoted Joe Kelly to head of US commercial, endocrinology and Scott Holmes to head of global commercial strategy, endocrinology, both brand new positions. Kelly became VP of sales at Ascendis in September 2020 and, like Høiland, held posts at Radius Health and Novo Nordisk. Holmes, whose 12 years at Celgene ended in 2018 as head of commercial excellence, North America, had been Ascendis’ VP, commercial analytics ever since.
→ Gary Glick’s new biotech Odyssey Therapeutics, bursting onto the scene with a $218 million Series A back in December which was co-led by OrbiMed and SR One, has made Jeff Leiden chairman of the board. The ex-chief and current executive chairman at Vertex recently stepped down as chairman of Tmunity, Carl June’s CAR-T play which has essentially kept mum since two patient deaths rattled the company nearly a year ago.
In another Vertex connection, Odyssey has locked in Darryl Patrick as EVP of non-clinical development. Following his 20 years with Merck Research Laboratories, Patrick was VP, non-clinical development and VP, exploratory development for Vertex from 2004-11.
→ We’re seeing movement on the Maraganore Meter again, as John Maraganore grabs another post-Alnylam gig as strategic advisor for Chroma Medicine, the Atlas-backed gene editing startup that raised the curtain in November 2021 with $125 million in financing. The biotech bigwigs don’t stop there at Chroma, as former Novartis and Celgene business development exec George Golumbeski takes his seat on the board of directors. Golumbeski, a partner at DROIA Ventures, chairs the boards of Shattuck Labs and Carrick Therapeutics and is on the board at Sage and MorphoSys.
→ Noubar Afeyan has been named chairman of the board at one of his Flagship companies, Rubius Therapeutics, whose stock has plummeted further even when the red blood cell biotech tried to play up data at AACR in April. Afeyan unveiled another company on Thursday as protein upstart ProFound Therapeutics made its debut with $75 million at their disposal.
→ Xavier Avat has joined Linda Marbán’s crew at Duchenne biotech Capricor Therapeutics as CBO. Avat took charge of Latin America operations and then led the Sovaldi launch in almost seven years at Gilead. Since leaving Santen Pharmaceutical in 2017, he had been SVP, global corporate strategy and new initiatives at Irvine, CA medtech Edwards Lifesciences.
→ Versant–backed Stablix — Tony Kingsley’s post-Scholar Rock landing spot — has ushered in Eddine Saiah as CSO and promoted co-founder Kevin Sprott to COO. Saiah had held the same post to close out seven years at Navitor Pharmaceuticals, while Sprott had been Stablix’s SVP of drug discovery before shifting to the C-suite. Among other investors, New Enterprise Associates and Cormorant Asset Management chipped in on the New York biotech’s $63 million Series A in June 2021.
→ Seoul-based Genexine is reeling in Neil Warma as president and CEO. Warma joins Genexine after a stint as general manager of I-Mab Biopharma US. Prior to that, Warma held a nearly decade-long career as president, CEO and director of Opexa Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, Warma served as president, CEO and director of Viron Therapeutics, co-founded MedExact, and served in roles at Novartis.
→ With its non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis drug brensocatib advancing to Phase III, Insmed has elevated Drayton Wise to chief commercial officer, leading the way on commercialization strategies for its refractory MAC lung disease treatment Arikayce. Wise joined Insmed in 2014 after 15 years at Novartis, and he had served as head of US and general manager of Arikayce since November 2019. To conclude his tenure at the pharma giant, he was national director, cystic fibrosis sales & account management.
→ Cardio and metabolic disease player Anthos Therapeutics has added Drew Young into the fold as chief commercial officer and head of patient experience. Young had two separate stints with Bristol Myers (1991-2001 and 2005-11), and in the latter, he took on such roles as business director, CV/metabolics for the northeast US region. He then moved on to Biogen and EMD Serono before a brief stay as Horizon’s group VP and general manager, gout business unit.
→ Led by ex-Black Diamond CSO Christopher Roberts and concentrating on beta-propeller proteins to treat cancer, Civetta Therapeutics has made a pair of moves with Jesse Smith as CSO and Sue Ashwell as SVP of chemistry. Smith spent eight years at Epizyme before jumping to Omega Therapeutics in 2018 as SVP of early discovery, and most recently he was SVP of biology at Remix Therapeutics. After 10 years with AstraZeneca, Ashwell was senior director in medicinal chemistry with Forma Therapeutics. Before this new post at Civetta, Ashwell had been head of medicinal chemistry at UCB by way of Ra Pharmaceuticals.
→ Backed by Andreessen Horowitz and beefing up its pipeline by dusting off an old Amgen drug last year, BioAge Labs has given business chief Peng Leong additional responsibilities as head of brain aging. Before jumping on board at BioAge in 2019, Leong also held the CBO post at Kazia Therapeutics, and among earlier roles, he was head of general medicine business development during his time at Merck KGaA. BioAge will get some stout competition in the anti-aging space from Rick Klausner’s Altos Labs, which will be helmed by ex-GSK R&D chief Hal Barron.
→ Focused on Dravet syndrome and other types of epilepsy, Epygenix Therapeutics out of Paramus, NJ has selected Lorianne Masuoka as CMO. From 2017-19, Masuoka — the ex-medical chief of Nektar and Cubist Pharmaceuticals — was CMO of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, which garnered its first FDA approval with Ztalmy (ganaxolone) for seizures associated with CDKL5 deficiency disorder (CDD) in March. Masuoka is also a board member at Opiant Pharmaceuticals.
→ Looking to separate themselves from other DNA sequencing peers with a $276 million Series C round last summer, San Diego-based Element Biosciences has installed Mark Aitkenhead as chief commercial officer. After Thermo Fisher acquired Invitrogen in 2014, Aitkenhead was the CRO titan’s global commercial leader for the clinical next generation sequencing (NGS) division and, to round out his tenure, the general manager for cellular analysis instrumentation.
→ Beckley Psytech, the “toad venom” psychedelics player out of Oxford that scored an $80 million Series B last August, has appointed Laura Trespidi as chief development officer. Part of Bob Duggan’s team at Summit Therapeutics as SVP, CMC, supply chain and technical operations, Trespidi also brings CMC experience from Shire, where she worked from 2007-14.
→ Arian Pano has signed on to be CMO of Salubris Biotherapeutics, a Gaithersburg, MD biotech whose lead asset JK07 is in Phase I trials for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Pano comes to Salubris from Kiniksa, where he was chief clinical development officer, and earlier he took on the roles of SVP, clinical development, US country head and global head of safety simultaneously at Galapagos.
→ Multispecific drug developer Tentarix Biotherapeutics, which launched in October 2021 with a $50 million Series A, has filled a number of positions, starting with Brady Johnson, who climbs aboard as SVP, finance and operations after seven years as VP, finance and principal accounting officer at Cidara Therapeutics. Oyster Point Pharma chairman and ex-Hyperion CEO Donald Santel has been named chairman at Tentarix, while Tom Bumol — the executive director of the Allen Institute for Immunology who retired from Eli Lilly after 35 years in 2017 — has also been elected to the board. Finally, Tentarix has set up a scientific advisory board consisting of Bumol, Brian Kuhlman and John Teijaro.
→ Tuning out the market mayhem with a $123 million IPO in February, Gaithersburg, MD-based CAR-T developer Arcellx has lined up Michelle Gilson as CFO. A Jefferies and Goldman Sachs alum, Gilson makes the leap to biotech after four years as senior equity research analyst and managing director for Canaccord Genuity.
→ Gilead antiviral vet Kenneth Cundy has been named CSO of Anebulo Pharmaceuticals, which started listing on Nasdaq in May 2021 and is focused on cannabinoid overdose and substance abuse disorder. Cundy left Gilead in 2000 and then had a 14-year run at XenoPort, where he rose to CSO. Since 2014, he had been chief scientist at mitochrondria-driven CohBar.
→ Organ-on-a-chip company CN Bio has tapped Paul Brooks as CBO. Brooks joins the Cambridge, UK-based company from Horizon Discovery, serving as head of business operations & managing director. Prior to that, Brooks was with Sigma-Aldrich — which was later acquired by Merck Group to form MilliporeSigma, where he served as head of discovery research services & general manager. Before that, Brooks was CCO, executive director and board member of Oxford Genetics.
→ There’s Big Pharma and then there’s Small Pharma. The London-based company — focused on the development of short-acting psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health conditions — has brought in Alastair Riddell as COO. Riddell takes over from Marie Layzell, who will be transitioning to the role of chief manufacturing and development officer. Riddell makes his way to Small Pharma with experience from Pharmagene (CEO), Paradigm Therapeutics (CEO), Stem Cell Sciences (CEO) and Feedback (chairman).
→ On the heels of raking in $381 million at the start of this month with Catalio Nexus Fund III, Catalio Capital Management has picked up Chau Khuong as general partner. Khuong said goodbye to OrbiMed after nearly 20 years as a private equity partner at the VC, and he’s been a board member at a plethora of biotechs, including current board seats at Galecto and Fusion Pharmaceuticals.
→ San Francisco-based Shasqi has ushered in Steve Abella as CMO and Scott Wieland as SVP of clinical development. Abella hops aboard Shasqi after serving as CMO at Vida Development Sciences and BioClin Therapeutics. Prior to that, Abella was senior director at Gilead and executive director at Amgen.
Meanwhile, Wieland most recently served as EVP of development at nanomedicine company Nanobiotix and jumpstarted his career leading the behavioral pharmacology lab at CoCensys.
→ San Diego cancer player Erasca has bolstered its clinical team with Shannon Morris (SVP of clinical development) and Amy Grekowicz Parker (VP of clinical operations). Morris, a GSK alum who was VP of clinical development at G1 Therapeutics, held that same title at Istari Oncology until this latest move to Erasca. During Parker’s time at Pfizer, she was involved in the NDAs for Sutent and PARP inhibitor Talzenna, and she recently served as VP of clinical operations for Oncternal Therapeutics. Erasca has also tapped Big Pharma vet John Lo as senior commercial advisor and member of the research, development, and commercial advisory board.
→ Radiopharmaceuticals-focused NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes has signed on Monica Andersen as VP, human resources. Most recently, Andersen served in the same role over at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Covidien. Prior to those stints, Andersen was VP, human resources at First Data Resources, Western Union and General Electric Company, among others.
→ We have some board changes to sift through at Amarin, where recently retired Eli Lilly exec Chito Zulueta and Prettybrook managing partner Erin Enright have clinched spots and Merck cardiovascular vet Per Wold-Olsen has been named chairman. David Stack and Joe Zakrzewski, who were board members for the past decade, are retiring after Amarin’s annual meeting in June.
→ William Heiden has succeeded Paulo Costa as chairman of the board at MacroGenics. Heiden, the president and CEO of AMAG Pharmaceuticals from 2012-20, also holds a board seat at Atara Biotherapeutics and is chairman of Third Pole Therapeutics.
→ Roger Perlmutter has expanded the board of directors at Eikon Therapeutics by bringing in Robin Washington. The Alphabet board member who retired as CFO of Gilead in 2019, Washington will hold a board seat at Eikon alongside Perlmutter, ex-Merck chief Ken Frazier and Foresite’s Jim Tananbaum, among others.
→ ContraFect president, CEO and chairman Roger Pomerantz has been named vice chairman of Israeli immunotherapy biotech Enlivex. Pomerantz, the one-time global head of infectious diseases for J&J and a former Merck exec, also led Seres Therapeutics from 2014-19.
→ Amid a huge shakeup at the top, the acquisition of Novosteo and a pending name change to Quince Therapeutics, Cortexyme has opened up space for Philip Low on the board of directors. Low’s appointment comes after its unconventional approach to Alzheimer’s flopped, leading to layoffs and the departures of senior leadership, including founding CEO Casey Lynch. Low, a Purdue professor since 1976, has either founded or co-founded such biotechs as Umoja Biopharma, Endocyte, and yes, Novosteo.
→ Bucking the bear market trend with a $140 million SPAC deal to catapult its subsidiary Scilex to Nasdaq, Sorrento Therapeutics has added Tammy Reilly to the board of directors. Now the managing partner of the advisory firm she founded, TRDx, Reilly closed out her 15 years at Roche in 2005 as EVP for oncology and dermatology.
→ Praxis Precision Medicines has elected Jill DeSimone to the board of directors as its clinical hold continues with its epilepsy drug PRAX-222. DeSimone just left Merck after eight years as president of US oncology and spent 32 years at Bristol Myers.
→ Former Heron Pharmaceuticals CFO Robert Hoffman is taking over the reins as the Antibe Therapeutics’ new chair of its board of directors. Hoffman has served on Antibe’s board since late 2020. Prior to his stint at Heron, Hoffman had a long career at Arena Pharmaceuticals, culminating in his title of CFO. Currently, Hoffman is president, CEO and chairman of Kintara Therapeutics and sits on the boards of ASLAN Pharmaceuticals and FibroBiologics.
In addition, the company announced the appointments of Walt Macnee, outgoing chair, and CSO, director and founder John Wallace as vice chairs.
→ Dallas-based Nanoscope Therapeutics is bringing in Naveed Shams and Thomas Ciulla as advisors to the company’s board and management. Shams most recently served as CSO of ProQR Therapeutics and was the former president and CEO of Santen. Shams, in his career, has also had stints at Novartis and Genentech/Roche. Ciulla currently serves as CMO and chief development officer of Clearside Biomedical and formerly had gigs at Spark Therapeutics and Ophthotech.
→ Irish biotech RemedyBio is welcoming Sophie Papa (CMO at Enara Bio); Simon Chowdhury (visiting fellow at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Institute); and Luke O’Neill (chair of biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin) to the team with the creation of the company’s scientific advisory board.