As law­suit car­ries on against Guardant Health, CFO shake­up hits Il­lu­mi­na; Pfiz­er-backed biotech taps CEO to lead pur­suit of gene ther­a­py 2.0

Joy­deep Goswa­mi

Sam Samad is out as CFO of Il­lu­mi­na as chief strat­e­gy and cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Joy­deep Goswa­mi slides in for him on an in­ter­im ba­sis start­ing Ju­ly 8. Goswa­mi joined Fran­cis deS­ouza’s crew in 2019 as SVP of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment and strate­gic plan­ning af­ter his time as pres­i­dent of Ther­mo Fish­er’s clin­i­cal next-gen­er­a­tion se­quenc­ing (NGS) and on­col­o­gy busi­ness unit.

Guardant Health, a pri­ma­ry liq­uid biop­sy screen­ing test com­peti­tor, filed a mo­tion to dis­miss Il­lu­mi­na’s case against the com­pa­ny in late May. Its co-founders and co-CEOs, Helmy El­toukhy and Ami­rAli Ta­lasaz, are for­mer staffers at Il­lu­mi­na, which is al­leg­ing that the pair in­fringed on in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty to de­vel­op Guardant’s tech­nol­o­gy.

“Il­lu­mi­na’s law­suit friv­o­lous­ly chal­lenges our own­er­ship and au­thor­ship of our in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty, which is the back­bone of our vi­tal work,” Guardant Health gen­er­al coun­sel John Sa­ia said in a March state­ment.

→ Swiss gene ther­a­py play­er An­jar­i­um Bio­sciences jumped in­to the gene ther­a­py 2.0 fray with a Se­ries A in Sep­tem­ber 2021 that fea­tured con­tri­bu­tions from Abing­worth, Gimv and Pfiz­er’s ven­ture arm, and this week Stephen Yoo has hitched a ride as CEO. Yoo held clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment posts at Med­Im­mune/As­traZeneca be­fore tak­ing the CMO job at Re­genxbio, and since 2019 he was CMO and at Third Har­mon­ic Bio, a role present­ly oc­cu­pied by Ed­ward Con­ner.

Mar­tin Hu­ber

→ Mass­a­chu­setts sol­id tu­mor biotech Xilio Ther­a­peu­tics has pro­mot­ed Mar­tin Hu­ber to pres­i­dent of the com­pa­ny. Even with his new role, Hu­ber will still main­tain re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as pres­i­dent of R&D. Hu­ber joined Xilio af­ter a stint as SVP and CMO of Tesaro (ac­quired by GSK). Ear­li­er on in his ca­reer, Hu­ber was SVP, on­col­o­gy clin­i­cal re­search at Mer­ck and held roles at Scher­ing-Plough, Roche and Rhone-Poulenc Ror­er. Hu­ber cur­rent­ly sits on the boards of Mer­sana Ther­a­peu­tics and Syn­dax Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

In ad­di­tion to Hu­ber’s pro­mo­tion, Xilio is pulling out some seats on its board for for­mer Alex­ion and Bio­gen CFO Paul Clan­cy as chair (suc­ceed­ing Dan Lynch, who is tran­si­tion­ing to strate­gic ad­vi­sor of the com­pa­ny) and Sur­face On­col­o­gy CEO Robert Ross.

David Gilman

→ With for­mer Rafael Hold­ings boss Ameet Mallik run­ning the show, ADC Ther­a­peu­tics has in­stalled David Gilman as chief busi­ness & strat­e­gy of­fi­cer. Gilman spent his short snip­pet of time at No­var­tis On­col­o­gy as glob­al head of port­fo­lio strat­e­gy and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, over­lap­ping with Mallik’s run as head of US op­er­a­tions. Gilman even­tu­al­ly left No­var­tis in 2019 to be­come a part­ner at ClearView Health­care Part­ners.

An­drea Pirzkall

Replimune phased out An­drea Pirzkall’s po­si­tion in 2021 af­ter a year on the job “with­out cause,” but she has since resur­faced at San Fran­cis­co-based Ash­er Bio as CMO. Be­fore her stint at Replimune, Pirzkall was BeiGene’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and al­so spent a decade at Genen­tech. Ash­er Bio gar­nered the sup­port of Third Rock and RA Cap­i­tal with its $108 mil­lion Se­ries B last Sep­tem­ber as it de­vel­ops its lead can­di­date, a CD8-tar­get­ing IL-2.

Feng Ren

Alex Zha­voronkov’s glob­al AI play­er In­sil­i­co Med­i­cine — which days ago added a ro­bot­ics lab to the com­pa­ny with a fresh in­jec­tion of $60 mil­lionis bump­ing up their CMO Feng Ren in­to the role of co-CEO. Ren will be in charge of the de­vel­op­ment side of things as the com­pa­ny be­gins test­ing more of their drugs in hu­mans while Zha­voronkov will han­dle the AI por­tion of the com­pa­ny. Ren, a Har­vard grad, joined the com­pa­ny last Feb­ru­ary af­ter a stint in Shang­hai. Ear­li­er in his ca­reer, Ren spent 11 years with GSK R&D Chi­na, cul­mi­nat­ing in his role as head of chem­istry.

Kel­ley Deal­hoy

De­ci­phera sang the re­struc­tur­ing blues af­ter a late-stage tri­al fail with Qin­lock last fall, send­ing 35% of its work­force pack­ing in a move that CEO Steve Ho­ert­er hopes will keep the lights on through 2024. As they press for­ward, Big Phar­ma vet Kel­ley Deal­hoy has stepped in as CBO. In a to­tal of 10 years with No­var­tis, Deal­hoy held such roles as VP of US busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal di­vi­sion, glob­al head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and M&A for the con­sumer di­vi­sion, and more re­cent­ly, VP of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for the on­col­o­gy di­vi­sion.

Col­in Mc­Crack­en

Col­in Mc­Crack­en is mo­sey­ing down to syn­thet­ic bio com­pa­ny Evonetix to take over the reins as CEO. Mc­Crack­en joins the Cam­bridge, UK-based com­pa­ny from Flu­idigm, where he served as SVP and CCO. Pri­or to that stint, Mc­Crack­en had gigs at Ther­mo Fish­er (VP and gen­er­al man­ag­er and VP of sales); Life Tech­nolo­gies (VP and head of Eu­ro­pean sales); and Qi­a­gen (na­tion­al sales man­ag­er).

The heat is on … and then it wasn’t, when Heat Bio re­brand­ed to NightHawk Bio­sciences in April. NightHawk has tapped Stephan Kutzer as in­ter­im CEO of its CD­MO sub­sidiary Scor­pi­on Bi­o­log­i­cal Ser­vices, which will be build­ing a new bio­man­u­fac­tur­ing site in the Lit­tle Ap­ple of Man­hat­tan, KS. Af­ter 18 years at Lon­za, 10 of those as pres­i­dent, di­vi­sion­al CEO and COO of the phar­ma biotech & cus­tomer man­u­fac­tur­ing di­vi­sion, Kutzer held the top spot at Al­ca­mi Cor­po­ra­tion, a com­pa­ny he al­so chaired.

Lar­isa Amir

Mer­ck KGaA is pro­mot­ing Lar­isa Amir to the role of man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of its health­care R&D cen­ter in Is­rael. Amir joined Mer­ck KGaA in 2009 and served in a num­ber of roles be­fore cul­mi­nat­ing in her last po­si­tion as glob­al head of prod­ucts qual­i­ty LCM. Amir is al­so a mem­ber of the Mer­ck Glob­al Health­care Dis­cov­ery Tech­nol­o­gy Lead­er­ship team. Pri­or to join­ing Mer­ck, Amir was COO at Procog­nia.

Melis­sa Brad­ford-Klug

→ On Ju­ly 1, Melis­sa Brad­ford-Klug will de­but as COO of Akari Ther­a­peu­tics, now helmed by for­mer En­zy­vant chief Rachelle Jacques. Brad­ford-Klug has worked in the rare dis­ease space for Greater Chi­na as pres­i­dent and CBO of Rare­Stone Group since Jan­u­ary 2020; the for­mer Mallinck­rodt and AM­AG Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals vet has CEO ex­pe­ri­ence with Keryx Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and women’s health-fo­cused May­field Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Sylvie Rycke­busch

→ Be­fore strik­ing a $25 mil­lion im­muno-on­col­o­gy deal with Ex­elix­is, Swe­den’s BioIn­vent named Sylvie Rycke­busch as CBO, div­ing in­to an ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion af­ter as­sist­ing BioIn­vent part-time since 2019. In her 12 years at Mer­ck KGaA/EMD Serono, Rycke­busch was head of neu­rol­o­gy and au­toim­mune dis­ease li­cens­ing, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment. BioIn­vent al­so added For­bion’s Nan­na Lüneborg and Red­mile Group’s Na­tal­ie Bern­er to the board of di­rec­tors on Thurs­day, the same day the Ex­elix­is deal was an­nounced.

Svet­lana Makhni

→ TCR up­start Maren­go Ther­a­peu­tics al­ready added some grav­i­tas to the team with FDA and Sana vet Ke Liu’s ap­point­ment as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, and it’s CFO Svet­lana Makhni who takes cen­ter stage a month lat­er. Makhni, the ex-fi­nance chief of Bier­man and Escient Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, cut her teeth at Black­stone, West­brook Part­ners, Gold­man Sachs and BMO Cap­i­tal Mar­kets. In No­vem­ber 2021, Ap­ple Tree Part­ners poured $80 mil­lion in­to cre­at­ing Maren­go, a biotech tak­ing aim at Vβ TCR vari­ants.

Xavier Leroy

Do­main Ther­a­peu­tics, the French-Cana­di­an GPCR play­er which bagged a $42 mil­lion Se­ries A back in May, has pro­mot­ed Xavier Leroy to CSO, who first joined the start­up back in 2019 as chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer. Leroy has al­so served as head of drug dis­cov­ery at iTeos Ther­a­peu­tics and owns GPCR ex­pe­ri­ence from his 13 years at Acte­lion.

He­man­shu Shah

→ Helsin­ki-based Va­lo Ther­a­peu­tics (not to be con­fused with Flag­ship’s Va­lo Health) has picked up He­man­shu Shah as CBO. Shah has Big Phar­ma ex­pe­ri­ence ga­lore from 13 years at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb and a year as J&J’s glob­al com­mer­cial leader, on­col­o­gy. From 2012-14, he was VP of glob­al mar­ket­ing and glob­al ther­a­peu­tic head for trans­plan­ta­tion, im­munol­o­gy & in­fec­tious dis­eases with Astel­las, and be­fore ac­cept­ing this role, Shah served as VP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment at Trans­gene.

→ Hangzhou, Chi­na-based As­cle­tis — the first pre-rev­enue biotech to list on the HKEX in 2018 — has rolled out the wel­come mat for John Gargiu­lo as CBO. A key cog in the US busi­ness op­er­a­tions of Dai­ichi Sankyo, Gargiu­lo con­clud­ed his 18 years with As­traZeneca’s En­her­tu part­ner as North Amer­i­can pres­i­dent and CEO, and from there, he was a prin­ci­pal for GPG En­ter­pris­es.

Kei­th Goldan

Brig­gs Mor­ri­son did a switcheroo with Michael Met­zger at Syn­dax Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in Feb­ru­ary, as Mor­ri­son ced­ed his CEO post to Met­zger to take on the role of pres­i­dent and lead R&D. Against that back­drop, Syn­dax’s CFO va­can­cy has been filled by Kei­th Goldan, who leaves the same role at Opti­nose just as the biotech gained more trac­tion with its nasal spray Xhance for pa­tients with chron­ic si­nusi­tis in a sec­ond Phase III tri­al.

Adam Muzikant

At­tempt­ing to sep­a­rate it­self in a bur­geon­ing pro­tein degra­da­tion field, RA Cap­i­tal-backed Avi­lar Ther­a­peu­tics has in­tro­duced Adam Muzikant to the squad as CBO. Muzikant was at the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble as busi­ness chief of Flex­ion Ther­a­peu­tics when the Zil­ret­ta mak­er was sold to Paci­ra Bio­sciences in Oc­to­ber 2021. Be­fore join­ing Flex­ion, Muzikant was a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ex­ec with AM­AG Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Syn­ta Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

River­side Part­ners’ port­fo­lio com­pa­ny Syn­er-G Bio­Phar­ma Group is ush­er­ing in Ron Kraus as CEO, suc­ceed­ing Prabu Nam­biar. Kraus joins from Cy­tel, where he served as COO. Pri­or to that, Kraus spent two decades at Parex­el In­ter­na­tion­al in a va­ri­ety of roles in­clud­ing glob­al head of Parex­el Con­sult­ing.

Tan­moy Gan­gu­ly

→ Af­ter jump­ing on board as CEO of Gly­co­Era last month, Ganesh Kaun­dinya has shored up his lead­er­ship with a long­time col­league. Tan­moy Gan­gu­ly will take on CSO du­ties at the gly­co­bi­ol­o­gy and pro­tein degra­da­tion biotech, piv­ot­ing from Evelo Bio­sciences, where he was a VP in charge of phar­ma­col­o­gy, re­search an­a­lyt­ics and bioin­for­mat­ics. Gan­gu­ly spent a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of his ca­reer at Mo­men­ta, which Kaun­dinya found­ed in 2001 and was sold to J&J in 2020 for $6.5 bil­lion.

Adar Makovs­ki Sil­ver­stein

Heavy no­va: There’s a pair of pro­mo­tions at New­town, PA can­cer biotech On­cono­va, as Mark Guerin (COO and CFO) and Adar Makovs­ki Sil­ver­stein (se­nior di­rec­tor and head of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment) climb the lad­der. Guerin tacks on an­oth­er role af­ter serv­ing as CFO of On­cono­va since Sep­tem­ber 2013, with the com­pa­ny’s $78 mil­lion IPO pre­dat­ing his ar­rival by two months. We cov­ered Sil­ver­stein’s ap­point­ment as di­rec­tor, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment last De­cem­ber af­ter her near­ly three years in busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, ex­ter­nal R&D at Am­gen.

Su­san Coul­tas

→ Eye dis­ease-fo­cused Clear­side Bio­med­ical has re­cruit­ed Su­san Coul­tas as chief clin­i­cal of­fi­cer. Coul­tas most re­cent­ly served as SVP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Kala Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Be­fore that, Coul­tas had gigs at Al­con Lab­o­ra­to­ries, CibaV­i­sion Oph­thalmics, Su­cam­po Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Bausch + Lomb and In­fo­Quest Clin­i­cal Net­work.

→ Durham, NC-based Aera­mi Ther­a­peu­tics has ap­point­ed Lisa Yañez as COO. Be­fore join­ing the C-suite at Aera­mi, Yañez held ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions at Ac­celeron (VP of glob­al strate­gic mar­ket­ing) and Unit­ed Ther­a­peu­tics (VP of mar­ket­ing, an­a­lyt­ics and train­ing). Ear­li­er, she was a prod­uct man­ag­er with GSK, Al­ler­gan and Genen­tech.

Katy Moore

→ Cary, NC-based Al­lu­cent has tapped Katy Moore as pres­i­dent of clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy, mod­el­ing and sim­u­la­tion. Moore joins with a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing served as glob­al head of clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy at Vi­iV Health­care; head­ed the vi­ral dis­eases and on­col­o­gy clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy, mod­el­ing and sim­u­la­tion teams at GSK; and al­so led world­wide busi­ness de­vel­op­ment teams at GSK.

Philip Okala

Philip Okala has been named sys­tem pres­i­dent at City of Hope, fill­ing a cru­cial role at one of the na­tion’s lead­ing can­cer re­search cen­ters in Sep­tem­ber. Okala will run clin­i­cal care and re­search sites un­der the City of Hope um­brel­la, such as City of Hope Los An­ge­les, City of Hope Or­ange Coun­ty, Trans­la­tion­al Ge­nomics Re­search In­sti­tute (TGen), Beck­man Re­search In­sti­tute of City of Hope and Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­ters of Amer­i­ca. Okala comes to City to Hope af­ter five years as COO of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia Health Sys­tem.

Dag Nesse has been named di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions at Epi­En­do Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals out of Reyk­javik, which raised a mod­est €20 mil­lion in its Se­ries A last sum­mer. Neese most re­cent­ly served as se­nior di­rec­tor, head of clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions at Cal­lid­i­tas Ther­a­peu­tics, and he has al­so served as head of op­er­a­tions at Modus Ther­a­peu­tics.

Vanes­sa Salazar

Vanes­sa Salazar has moved to Boston gene ther­a­py biotech STRM.BIO as VP of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment. Pri­or to join­ing STRM.BIO, she was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment and strate­gic part­ner­ships at Pas­sage Bio. Salazar, who start­ed her ca­reer with a 16-year run at GSK, was al­so cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment lead at Spark Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ One day af­ter be­ing slapped with a Form 483 for mul­ti­ple pro­duc­tion is­sues, Ger­man CD­MO Rentschler Bio­phar­ma is wel­com­ing aboard Kas­sim Ko­lia as VP, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment. Ko­lia comes aboard boast­ing ex­pe­ri­ence from Fin­Vec­tor & Oy, Eden Biode­sign/Al­ler­gan, Lon­za and Ap­tu­it (part of Evotec).

Deep­ak Bhatt

→ Bris­tol My­ers has ex­pand­ed its board of di­rec­tors, ap­point­ing Deep­ak Bhatt to the board’s Sci­ence & Tech­nol­o­gy Com­mit­tee. For­mer­ly with the Cleve­land Clin­ic and VA Boston Health­care, Bhatt is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of in­ter­ven­tion­al car­dio­vas­cu­lar pro­grams at Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal.

Mike Huck­man

→ Dur­ing this week’s con­ven­tion in San Diego, BIO dipped in­to the com­mu­ni­ca­tions realm to ap­point Mike Huck­man to the board of di­rec­tors. A three-time Em­my win­ner, Huck­man spent 10 years as the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals re­porter at CN­BC and is now glob­al prac­tice leader for ex­ec­u­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Re­al Chem­istry.

Verve Ther­a­peu­tics, which just last month be­came the third biotech — be­hind In­tel­lia and Ed­i­tas Med­i­cine — to test its gene edit­ing tech­nol­o­gy in hu­mans, has made way for Bo Cum­bo on its board of di­rec­tors. Cum­bo, the ex-Sarep­ta chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer, cur­rent­ly serves as pres­i­dent and CEO of Aa­van­tiBio.

Wendy Dixon

→ You may re­call that Wendy Dixon re­tired from Alk­er­mes’ board of di­rec­tors in what the biotech called a“con­tin­ued re­fresh­ment process,” but an­oth­er op­por­tu­ni­ty has opened up for her on the board of di­rec­tors at Io­vance. Dixon, the for­mer mar­ket­ing ex­ec at Bris­tol My­ers and Mer­ck, has seats on the boards of Arv­inas and Black Di­a­mond.

Vi­siox Phar­ma is bring­ing aboard Vi­cente Anido as a strate­gic ad­vi­sor. Anido was oust­ed as CEO at Aerie Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in Sep­tem­ber 2021 and was al­so chief ex­ec­u­tive at ISTA Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

June Bray

June Bray is tak­ing a seat on the board of di­rec­tors of Cor­texyme, join­ing at a tur­bu­lent time for the San Fran­cis­co-based biotech. Most re­cent­ly, Bray was SVP, glob­al reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs and med­ical writ­ing at Al­ler­gan, and pri­or to that, Bray was with Organon and Berlex Lab­o­ra­to­ries. To say the com­pa­ny has had it rough would be an un­der­state­ment: A failed at­tempt to bring for­ward an un­ortho­dox ap­proach to treat­ing Alzheimer’s has led to a com­plete re­make at the trou­bled biotech (tran­si­tion­ing its name to Quince Ther­a­peu­tics) last month, with Novos­teo CEO Dirk Thye and CMO Karen Smith com­ing aboard to help right the ship.

→ US-Dutch gam­ma delta T cell biotech La­va Ther­a­peu­tics is bub­bling up to the Peer Re­view sur­face by elect­ing James No­ble and Jay Back­strom to the board of di­rec­tors. No­ble co-found­ed Adap­ti­m­mune in 2008 and was CEO un­til 2019, and Back­strom — the ex-CMO and head of reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs at Cel­gene —be­came a board mem­ber at Disc Med­i­cine not too long ago af­ter wrap­ping up his time lead­ing R&D at Ac­celeron.

Kathy Dong

Kathy Dong has been elect­ed to the board of di­rec­tors at Neu­ron23, Nan­cy Stagliano’s neu­ro start­up from the folks at West­lake Vil­lage BioPart­ners. A nine-year Gilead vet who held var­i­ous mar­ket­ing roles at the Cal­i­for­nia drug­mak­er, Dong has been the COO of Star Ther­a­peu­tics since 2019.

→ Swedish phar­ma com­pa­ny NorthX Bi­o­log­ics is adding some new faces to its board of di­rec­tors with the ap­point­ments of Lot­ta Ljungqvist, Richard Bergström, Math­ias Uh­lén and Lars Back­sell. Here’s a quick sum­ma­ry of each new mem­ber:

Ljungqvist for­mer­ly served as pres­i­dent and CEO of GE for the Nordic re­gion and is al­so the ex-CEO of Cy­ti­va’s Tes­ta Cen­ter for Bio­process In­no­va­tion; Bergström was ap­point­ed Swe­den’s vac­cine co­or­di­na­tor dur­ing the Covid-19 epi­dem­ic and was pre­vi­ous­ly di­rec­tor gen­er­al of the Eu­ro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal In­dus­tries and As­so­ci­a­tions; mean­while, Uh­lén is a pro­fes­sor in mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gy at the Roy­al In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy and Back­sell is a co-founder and for­mer CEO of Re­ci­pharm.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

FDA side­lines Paul Hud­son's $3.7B MS drug af­ter es­tab­lish­ing link to liv­er dam­age

One of Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson’s top picks in the pipeline — picked up in a $3.7 billion buyout 2 years ago — has just been sidelined in the US by a safety issue.

The pharma giant put out word early Thursday that the FDA has put their Phase III studies of tolebrutinib in multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis on partial clinical hold, halting enrollment and suspending dosing for patients who have been on the drug for less than 60 days. Patients who have completed at least 60 days of treatment can continue therapy as researchers explore a “limited” — but unspecified in Sanofi’s statement — number of cases of liver injury.

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Phar­ma re­acts to post-Roe; Drug­mak­ers beef up cy­ber de­fense; Boehringer, Roche qui­et­ly axe drugs; 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.

As a reminder, we are off on Monday for the Fourth of July. I hope this recap will kick off your (long) weekend well and that the rest of it will be just what you need. See you next week for a shortened edition!

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Eric Hughes, incoming Teva EVP of global R&D and CMO

Te­va chief raids Ver­tex for his new glob­al head of re­search and de­vel­op­ment

Teva CEO Kåre Schultz has found his new R&D chief and CMO in Vertex’s ranks.

The global generics giant, which has some 3,500 staffers in the R&D group, has named Eric Hughes to the top research spot in the company. He’ll be replacing Hafrun Fridriksdottir, who held the role for close to five years, on Aug. 1.

Hughes hasn’t been at Vertex for long, though. He jumped from Novartis less than a year ago, after heading the immunology, hepatology & dermatology global development unit. Before that, he completed a five-year stint as head of early clinical research for the specialty discovery medicine department in the exploratory clinical & translational research group at Bristol Myers Squibb, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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#BIO22: Man­ag­ing a biotech in tur­bu­lent times. 'There's a per­fect shit­show out there'

On Tuesday, June 14, Endpoints News EIC John Carroll sat down with a group of biotech execs to discuss the bear market for industry stocks and how they were dealing with it. Here’s the conversation, which has been lightly edited for brevity.

Martin Meeson, sponsor opening:

Thank you, John. Hello everyone. My name’s Martin Meeson, I’m the CEO of Fujifilm Diosynth. For those of you who don’t know Fujifilm Diosynth, we operate in the development of clinical and commercial product scale up, we have facilities in Europe and the US, and around about 4,000 employees. We run on average about 150 programs, so when it comes to managing in turbulent times over the last two years, we’ve had quite a lot of experience of that. Not just keeping the clinical pipelines and the commercial pipelines open, but also our response to the pandemic and the molecules that we’ve had within there. One of the phrases that I coined probably about a year ago when we were talking at JP Morgan, was I talked about managing through turbulent times. Well, it’s become the fact that we are not managing and leading through these times, we are managing in them, which is why that’s really the purpose of and the topic that we’ve got today.

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Amgen's taking social media followers around the globe as it introduces the many different

From Tam­pa to Mu­nich, Am­gen’s ‘Places’ cam­paign in­tro­duces its lo­ca­tions around the world

Amgen is taking social media followers around the world with its latest corporate campaign. Called “Places of Amgen,” the twice monthly posts highlight the biopharma’s different offices and sites – and the people who work there.

Each post runs on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram with details about the work Amgen does in that location, when it was established, comments from people who work there and other interesting facts. The most recent one about Paris, France, for example, notes that Amgen France last year signed a French association charter committed to the inclusion of LBGT+ people in the workplace.

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On Friday, Lonza announced plans to construct a large-scale commercial drug product fill and finish facility in the town of Stein, Switzerland.

Lon­za to in­vest $500M+ on fill-fin­ish fa­cil­i­ty on its home turf

Lonza has been expanding its reach across the globe, bringing sites in China and the US online this year, but now they are looking closer to home for their next major investment.

The Swiss manufacturer on Friday announced plans to construct a large-scale commercial drug fill and finish facility in the town of Stein, Switzerland. The new facility will be delivered through an investment of approximately CHF 500 million, or $519 million, and is expected to be completed in 2026. The facility will also be constructed on the same campus as Lonza’s current clinical drug product facility.

Credit: Shutterstock

Bio­haven takes mi­graine cam­paign to pa­tients' Twit­ter feeds, months ahead of Pfiz­er takeover

Two weeks ago, Biohaven hit an all-time high in weekly Nurtec prescriptions. CEO Vlad Coric attributes at least some of that success to a new interactive Twitter campaign that encourages patients to free their feed of potential migraine triggers.

Earlier this month, Biohaven in partnership with Twitter launched the #RelieveYourFeed campaign that allows users to customize their app settings based on their migraine triggers.

Oncologists on Twitter are talking up ASCO studies, health equity and burnout, according to new deep dive research from Harris Poll (via Shutterstock)

What’s been on in­flu­en­tial on­col­o­gist­s' minds? Most­ly AS­CO, but al­so health eq­ui­ty, ac­cord­ing to new Har­ris Poll re­search

Over the past few months, oncologists have been talking a lot about the ASCO conference. Not surprising considering its import and the study data presented, but what may be less expected is the second most talked about topic of health equity.

That’s according to data from The Harris Poll and the new expert network the researcher is building out. While the company has been doing deep data dives into specific health issues or conditions for pharma clients, it’s now monitoring influencer networks of therapy area specialists to find out what experts are really thinking about.

Emer Cooke, ICRMA chair (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

ICM­RA to launch sev­er­al reg­u­la­to­ry pi­lot pro­grams cen­tered around man­u­fac­tur­ing in­spec­tions

As regulatory agencies look to catch up on inspections amid the Covid-19 pandemic, ICMRA is unveiling several pilot programs to address industry applications and inspections.

ICMRA, which is made up of the world’s top drug regulators, is launching multiple pilot programs, including two regulatory pilots addressing facility inspections for chemistry and manufacturing controls (CMC) and post-approval change (PAC) submission assessments and related regulatory actions.