Sanofi vet Kather­ine Bowdish named CEO of PIC Ther­a­peu­tics; As the world Terns: Liv­er dis­ease biotech makes ex­ec­u­tive changes

Kather­ine Bowdish

PIC Ther­a­peu­tics hasn’t raised much mon­ey, yet. But the fledg­ling biotech has at­tract­ed a high-pro­file play­er to the helm.

The Boston-based biotech has hand­ed the reins to Kather­ine Bowdish as its pres­i­dent and CEO. Bowdish will al­so join the board of di­rec­tors of PIC. Bowdish joins from Sanofi where she served as VP and head of R&D strat­e­gy, as well as help­ing launch and lead Sanofi Sun­rise, a ven­ture in­vest­ment and part­ner­ing ve­hi­cle at Sanofi. Be­fore that, Bowdish held sev­er­al ex­ec roles at Per­me­on Bi­o­log­ics, Anaphore, Alex­ion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Pro­li­faron (ac­quired by Alex­ion).

PIC, in its own words, is fo­cused on trans­form­ing the treat­ment of can­cer through the se­lec­tive mod­u­la­tion of onco­gene trans­la­tion, which you can think more broad­ly about as con­trol­ling the ex­pres­sion of large banks of genes at a time in or­der to si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly mod­u­late mul­ti­ple onco­genic dri­vers — a very am­bi­tious goal for a com­pa­ny that just raised a $5 mil­lion seed round.

Back in April Ad­vent Life Sci­ences led the launch round, with Be­lin­da Ter­meer, wid­ow of leg­endary Gen­zyme CEO Hen­ri Ter­meer, as well as “sev­er­al bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives and oth­er in­di­vid­ual in­vestors” chip­ping in. We’re like­ly to hear more on that score in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture.

Senthil Sun­daram

→ The C-suite has shuf­fled con­sid­er­ably at liv­er dis­ease-fo­cused Terns Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals out of Fos­ter City, CA. Senthil Sun­daram now as­sumes the CEO post, re­plac­ing Wei­dong Zhong, who was at the helm since Terns was found­ed and is now mov­ing in­to two new roles: CSO and chair­man of the board. Sun­daram makes his way to Terns af­ter 2 years as CFO of Night­star Ther­a­peu­tics, which would lat­er be ac­quired by Bio­gen. He was al­so VP and head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at NASH play­er In­ter­cept af­ter 13 years in in­vest­ment bank­ing.

Else­where at Terns, Erin Quirk has added pres­i­dent to her CMO ti­tle and Mark Vi­g­no­la is their new CFO. A for­mer clin­i­cal re­search ex­ec at Gilead and Mer­ck, Quirk has been CMO since Jan­u­ary 2019. Vi­g­no­la comes to Terns from his CFO gig at Ap­plied Ther­a­peu­tics and, like Sun­daram, was an ex­ec at In­ter­cept.

→ There’s a change at the top at Is­raeli-based En­tera Bio, which fo­cus­es on oral­ly-de­liv­ered macro­mol­e­cule ther­a­pies, with Sanofi vet Roger Garceau get­ting the call as in­ter­im CEO af­ter Adam Gri­d­ley re­signed “to pur­sue an­oth­er op­por­tu­ni­ty.” Garceau, En­tera’s chief de­vel­op­ment ad­vi­sor since De­cem­ber 2016, will al­so con­tin­ue as a di­rec­tor. Pri­or to join­ing the board at En­tera in March 2016, he was CMO and EVP of R&D at NPS Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Garceau filled sev­er­al ex­ec­u­tive roles at Sanofi, in­clud­ing VP of US new prod­uct mar­ket­ing.

Chris­t­ian Hen­ry

→ Men­lo Park, CA gene se­quenc­ing com­pa­ny Pa­cif­ic Bio­sciences, which Il­lu­mi­na at­tempt­ed to buy out un­til the deal fiz­zled at the start of this year, has cho­sen Chris­t­ian Hen­ry to lead the way as pres­i­dent and CEO, ef­fec­tive next month. Michael Hunkapiller, who an­nounced his re­tire­ment in June, has been at the helm since 2012 and will be­come a se­nior fel­low fo­cused on tech­nol­o­gy de­vel­op­ment once Hen­ry takes over. Hen­ry has been on PacBio’s board of di­rec­tors since 2018 and board mem­ber John Mil­li­gan will suc­ceed him as chair­man of the board, where Hen­ry had served since March. Hen­ry spent 12 years at Il­lu­mi­na and was both their CCO and CFO at sep­a­rate junc­tures.

In oth­er PacBio news, Su­san Barnes has re­tired from her CFO post, as Ben Gong has been named to re­place her on an in­ter­im ba­sis. Gong has been at PacBio for the past decade as their VP, fi­nance and trea­sur­er.

Janet Ham­mond

Janet Ham­mond has been in­stalled in the new­ly-cre­at­ed po­si­tion of chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at Jean-Pierre Som­ma­dos­si’s vi­ral dis­ease com­pa­ny Atea Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, which threw their hats in the Covid-19 ring and scored a $215 mil­lion fi­nanc­ing round in May. An ex-SVP at Roche, Ham­mond comes over from Ab­b­Vie, where she was their VP, in­fec­tious dis­eases and gen­er­al med­i­cine. She’s al­so been CMO, SVP and head of med­ical af­fairs at Valeant Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

→ Nor­we­gian hema­tol­ogy and on­col­o­gy play­er Nordic Nanovec­tor has se­cured Chris­tine Wilkin­son Blanc as their CMO a few months af­ter sev­er­al oth­er ex­ec­u­tive changes. Wilkin­son Blanc, who got her start at Roche as a clin­i­cal re­search physi­cian, had been med­ical di­rec­tor of PhiMedics for the last decade and, from 2013-16, was CMO of Psioxus Ther­a­peu­tics.

Punit Dhillon

→ Fo­cused on cannabi­noid-based ther­a­pies, Cal­i­for­nia-based Emer­ald Bio­science has changed CEOs, vault­ing for­mer On­coSec CEO Punit Dhillon to the top spot af­ter Bri­an Mur­phy re­signed both as CEO and a board mem­ber. Dhillon, who al­so co-found­ed On­coSec in 2011, had been Emer­ald’s chair­man and is their found­ing di­rec­tor. Be­fore his time at On­coSec, he was In­ovio’s VP of fi­nance and op­er­a­tions.

Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Roche on im­muno-on­col­o­gy ther­a­pies, with mile­stones po­ten­tial­ly to the tune of $1.7 bil­lion, Bi­cy­cle Ther­a­peu­tics has steered to­ward a new CMO with Do­minic Smethurst, who has his share of ex­pe­ri­ence in the same po­si­tion at sev­er­al oth­er biotechs. Smethurst heads to UK-based Bi­cy­cle af­ter a few months as in­ter­im CMO at Nordic Nanovec­tor. He briefly held the CMO post at BerGen­Bio, and be­fore that, had a 2-year tenure as CMO at Tusk Ther­a­peu­tics.

Gal­lia Levy

→ As not­ed ear­li­er in the week, Gal­lia Levy has left her post at Genen­tech to be­come CMO of Roche sub­sidiary Spark Ther­a­peu­tics, whose he­mo­phil­ia A gene ther­a­py SPK-8011 is one of four pro­grams in clin­i­cal tri­als. Levy led glob­al de­vel­op­ment on Hem­li­bra for he­mo­phil­ia A, and was al­so Genen­tech’s VP, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and glob­al head of the rare blood dis­or­ders fran­chise.

Adri­an Hep­n­er has been tapped as CMO of Pharnext, a French drug de­vel­op­er fo­cused on neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases us­ing ge­nomics da­ta and AI. Be­fore head­ing to Pharnext, Hep­n­er was EVP and CMO of Ea­gle Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals from 2015-20, had a short stint at UCB at their se­nior med­ical di­rec­tor, and spent 6 years as a clin­i­cal re­search ex­ec at Avanir Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Wilco Groen­huy­sen

→ UK-based on­col­o­gy play­er Novo­cure, which re­ceived an FDA OK in May 2019 with its NovoT­TF-100L Sys­tem for ma­lig­nant pleur­al mesothe­lioma, has an­nounced a hand­ful of per­son­nel moves, ef­fec­tive Sept 1. Wilco Groen­huy­sen is tran­si­tion­ing to COO af­ter 8 years as Novo­cure’s CFO, and as a re­sult, Ash­ley Cor­do­va has been pro­mot­ed from SVP, fi­nance and in­vestor re­la­tions to the CFO post. Frank Leonard has al­so been pro­mot­ed to the new­ly-cre­at­ed chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer po­si­tion, as the 10-year Novo­cure vet moves on up from his pre­vi­ous role as their SVP, cor­po­rate strat­e­gy and health pol­i­cy.

→ AAV-based gene ther­a­py com­pa­ny Stride­Bio, part­ner­ing with Sarep­ta on four cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem tar­gets, has brought on William Mon­tei­th to be their COO. A pre-Pfiz­er deal Wyeth Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals vet and a Den­dreon ex­ec from 2009-15, Mon­tei­th heads over to Stride­Bio from Cel­lec­tis, where he spent the last year as EVP, tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions.

→ Psy­che­del­ic-in­spired med­i­cine de­vel­op­er MindMed is ex­pand­ing its Eu­ro­pean hori­zons and has cho­sen Miri Halperin Wern­li to lead the clin­i­cal and sci­en­tif­ic team in Eu­rope as pres­i­dent. Halperin Wern­li, the co-founder of Aus­tralian med­ical cannabis com­pa­ny Cre­so Phar­ma, is an Acte­lion vet who was their VP, deputy head of glob­al clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and glob­al head, busi­ness & sci­ence af­fairs.

Ellen Lub­man

Ellen Lub­man is on board as CBO of Long­wood-backed Cam­bridge, MA on­col­o­gy play­er Were­wolf Ther­a­peu­tics, which launched in No­vem­ber with a $56 mil­lion Se­ries A round. A Bris­tol My­ers Squibb vet well versed in M&A, Lub­man leaves her CBO post at Im­pel Neu­roPhar­ma, a role she filled for near­ly 2 years. Be­fore that, she was at Al­ler­gan from 2014-18 as their VP, ex­ter­nal sci­ence and in­no­va­tion.

→ On the rec­om­men­da­tion of prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor Manuel Hi­dal­go, La­gu­na Hills, CA-based Phar­ma­Cyte has brought in José Igle­sias as a con­sult­ing CMO for a Phase IIb clin­i­cal tri­al in lo­cal­ly ad­vanced, in­op­er­a­ble pan­cre­at­ic can­cer (LAPC). Igle­sias, who helped de­vel­op Abrax­ane while he was with Abrax­is and Cel­gene, is the cur­rent CMO at Sen­ti Bio­sciences.

Roger Sawh­ney

Flag­ship biotech Omega Ther­a­peu­tics, which hauled in $85 mil­lion a cou­ple weeks ago with its am­bi­tion to cre­ate an epi­ge­net­ic pro­gram­ming plat­form for what CEO Ma­hesh Karande calls the “con­trol room of hu­man bi­ol­o­gy,” has snagged Roger Sawh­ney as CFO. A for­mer SVP and head of glob­al cor­po­rate strat­e­gy at No­var­tis, Sawh­ney was most re­cent­ly di­rec­tor of KKR and Co’s health­care in­vest­ment team in the Amer­i­c­as.

→ Try­ing to dig out from the mess of their con­tro­ver­sy over busi­ness prac­tices, Ma­ri­et­ta, GA-based wound care com­pa­ny MiMedX has ap­point­ed Robert Stein their EVP of R&D. Stein’s work in the area of R&D goes back 30 years when he was SVP of R&D and CSO of Lig­and Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and lat­er at DuPont-Mer­ck Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. The ex-pres­i­dent and CSO of In­cyte and the ex-CEO at KineMed, Stein’s most re­cent ex­ec­u­tive gig in R&D was at Agenus.

Jeff Aronin’s Paragon Bio­sciences has tapped Keren­sa Jimenez as the new CEO of the com­pa­ny’s cap­i­tal mar­kets group, Paragon Health. Jimenez hops aboard the com­pa­ny from Oc­ta­gon Cap­i­tal Group, where she served as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. In ad­di­tion, she’s was a di­rec­tor at Far­lie Turn­er.

Michael Levitz has as­sumed the CFO role at Bed­ford, MA or­tho­pe­dic med­i­cines biotech Ani­ka Ther­a­peu­tics. Pri­or to his ar­rival at Ani­ka, Levitz, who got his start at Arthur An­der­sen, had been SVP, CFO and trea­sur­er of two oth­er com­pa­nies: In­sulet Cor­po­ra­tion and Ana­log­ic Cor­po­ra­tion.

Az­iz Mot­ti­wala

→ Af­ter nam­ing Se­sha Neer­van­nan and Leo Green­stein last month to the COO and CFO posts, re­spec­tive­ly, Irvine, CA-based Tar­sus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has fur­ther re­tooled its ex­ec­u­tive team with Az­iz Mot­ti­wala step­ping in as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer. Be­fore join­ing Tar­sus, whose lead drug TP-03 tar­gets the eye dis­ease De­mod­ex ble­phar­i­tis, Mot­ti­wala held the same role at Opi­ant Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and be­fore that was SVP and head of com­mer­cial at Avanir Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. He al­so spent more than a decade in nu­mer­ous po­si­tions at Al­ler­gan, leav­ing as their VP, US eye care mar­ket­ing.

Neil Bell has been se­lect­ed as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at Avac­ta Life Sci­ences out of the UK. Bell start­ed out at Ei­sai and Pfiz­er be­fore as­sum­ing the role of ther­a­peu­tic area head for gas­troen­terol­o­gy and neu­rol­o­gy at Ipsen. Since then, he has led clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions at Te­va Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Dai­ichi Sankyo and, most re­cent­ly, Au­to­lus.

Kevin Heller has signed on as EVP of R&D of Jasper Ther­a­peu­tics, which launched out of Stan­ford in De­cem­ber with a $50 mil­lion Se­ries A and is fo­cused on hematopoi­et­ic cell trans­plant ther­a­pies. Heller had pre­vi­ous­ly held the CMO post at NextCure and was al­so VP, head of an­ti­body clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for In­cyte. He’s al­so a Big Phar­ma vet, fill­ing on­col­o­gy roles at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb and As­traZeneca.

Man­asi Sin­ha Jaiman

→ Long­time stem cell play­er Vi­a­Cyte has snagged Man­asi Sin­ha Jaiman as VP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Jaiman jumps from Co­v­ance Clin­i­cal De­vel­op­ment Ser­vices, where she served as se­nior med­ical di­rec­tor. She was al­so an at­tend­ing physi­cian at Har­vard Med­ical School and Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal.

→ Matthew Metivi­er has hopped aboard Is­raeli biotech Gami­da Cell as VP, hu­man re­sources. Metivi­er hails from Sage Ther­a­peu­tics, where he served in the same role. Pri­or to that, he held roles at In­fin­i­ty Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Idenix Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals (ac­quired by Mer­ck & Co).

→ Basel, Switzer­land biotech NBE-Ther­a­peu­tics just grabbed a new CEO in Bertrand Damour, and now Erich Schlick has been elect­ed chair­man of the board. Schlick is cur­rent­ly a gen­er­al part­ner and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Mu­nich VC Welling­ton Part­ners.

Suzanne Hoop­er

→ Bridge­Bio sub­sidiary Ei­dos Ther­a­peu­tics, which was near­ly re­claimed by Bridge­Bio un­til di­rec­tors spurned three of­fershas ap­point­ed Suzanne Sawochka Hoop­er and Duke Rohlen as in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors to its board. Hoop­er is a for­mer EVP and gen­er­al coun­sel of Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, while Rohlen is CEO and man­ag­ing part­ner of Ajax Health.

→ Led by Kel­ly Mar­tin, Waltham, MA-based Ra­dius Health has giv­en Sean Mur­phy a spot on their board of di­rec­tors. Cur­rent­ly a board mem­ber at Po­sei­da Ther­a­peu­tics and Xenex Cor­po­ra­tion, Mur­phy was in cor­po­rate busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and M&A for more than 30 years at Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries.

John Jenk­ins

John Jenk­ins is now on the board of di­rec­tors at Proven­tion Bio. The cur­rent prin­ci­pal for drug and bi­o­log­i­cal prod­ucts at Green­leaf Health, the long­time FDA vet was di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of New Drugs at CDER from 2002-17.

Karuna Ther­a­peu­tics, fo­cused on neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders, has wel­comed Lau­rie Ol­son to their board of di­rec­tors. A long­time Pfiz­er ex­ec, Ol­son was their EVP, strat­e­gy and com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions from 2012-18.

The DCT-OS: A Tech­nol­o­gy-first Op­er­at­ing Sys­tem - En­abling Clin­i­cal Tri­als

As technology-enabled clinical research becomes the new normal, an integrated decentralized clinical trial operating system can ensure quality, deliver consistency and improve the patient experience.

The increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines has many of us looking forward to a time when everyday things return to a state of normal. Schools and teachers are returning to classrooms, offices and small businesses are reopening, and there’s a palpable sense of optimism that the often-awkward adjustments we’ve all made personally and professionally in the last year are behind us, never to return. In the world of clinical research, however, some pandemic-necessitated adjustments are proving to be more than emergency stopgap measures to ensure trial continuity — and numerous decentralized clinical trial (DCT) tools and methodologies employed within the last year are likely here to stay as part of biopharma’s new normal.

Onno van de Stolpe, Galapagos CEO (Thierry Roge/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images)

Gala­pa­gos chops in­to their pipeline, drop­ping core fields and re­or­ga­niz­ing R&D as the BD team hunts for some­thing 'trans­for­ma­tive'

Just 5 months after Gilead gutted its rich partnership with Galapagos following a bitter setback at the FDA, the Belgian biotech is hunkering down and chopping the pipeline in an effort to conserve cash while their BD team pursues a mission to find a “transformative” deal for the company.

The filgotinib disaster didn’t warrant a mention as Galapagos laid out its Darwinian restructuring plans. Forced to make choices, the company is ditching its IPF molecule ’1205, while moving ahead with a Phase II IPF study for its chitinase inhibitor ’4617.

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Angela Merkel (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Covid-19 roundup: Pfiz­er sub­mits vac­cine for full ap­proval; Merkel op­pos­es Biden pro­pos­al to sus­pend IP for vac­cines

Pfizer and BioNTech said Friday that they’ve submitted a biologics license application to the FDA for full approval of their mRNA vaccine for those over the age of 16.

How long it will take the FDA to decide on the BLA will be set once it’s been formally accepted by the agency.

Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, previously told Endpoints News that the review of the BLA should take between three and four months, but it may be even faster than that.

Karyopharm taps long­time Pfiz­er, Am­gen vet to steer the ship; With Mer­ck in the rearview mir­ror, Roger Perl­mut­ter stakes his claim to a CEO job — and it's a sur­pris­ing choice

Like many who work in biopharma, Richard Paulson got started in the field because of a love of science.

Paulson had just finished business school and was looking to start a career that married his two passions. While looking for jobs, he thought of his grandmother who had struggled with Alzheimer’s disease, recalling how he saw first-hand what innovative medicines can do for patients. Ultimately, he started his first job in the space as a sales rep at Glaxo Wellcome, one of GlaxoSmithKline’s predecessors before its merger with SmithKline Beecham in 2000.

An­oth­er failed tri­al for Or­p­hazyme's 'pipeline-in-a-pro­duc­t' leaves shad­ow on drug's fu­ture

The tumultuous ride for Orphazyme continued on Friday as the company announced that a pivotal trial for its lead drug arimoclomol failed yet again, this time in the treatment of ALS, seeding doubt in a drug that had recently been cleared by the FDA for priority review. The latest failure casts a darker shadow on the upcoming decision despite Orphazyme’s upbeat outlook.

In a statement, the Danish biotech announced that the drug did not meet its primary or secondary endpoints evaluating function and survival. But the company has not announced any data surrounding the failure, instead saying that it will publish the complete results later this year.

Stéphane Bancel, Getty

Mod­er­na CEO brush­es off US sup­port for IP waiv­er, eyes more than $19B in Covid-19 vac­cine sales in 2021

Moderna is definitively more concerned with keeping pace with Pfizer in the race to vaccinate the world against Covid-19 than it is with Wednesday’s decision from the Biden administration to back an intellectual property waiver that aims to increase vaccine supplies worldwide.

In its first quarter earnings call on Thursday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel shrugged off any suggestion that the newly US-backed intellectual property waiver would impact his company’s vaccine or bottom line. Still, the company’s stock price fell by about 9% in early morning trading.

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In­cyte ponies up $12M to set­tle char­i­ty foun­da­tion kick­back claims; US ex­er­cis­es op­tion for more dos­es of mon­key­pox vac­cine

One in a string of lawsuits targeting copay charity foundations, the DOJ has been hunting drugmaker Incyte for what prosecutors alleged was a kickback scheme to court patients. Now, Incyte is clearing its name.

Incyte will shell out $12.6 million to settle claims it funneled funds through a charity foundation to cover federal copays for patients taking its JAK inhibitor Jakafi, the DOJ said this week.

CEO Khurem Farooq (Gyroscope)

Hours be­fore ex­pect­ed de­but, Gy­ro­scope post­pones its IPO as 2 oth­er biotechs hold the line on their march to Nas­daq

Editor’s note: Interested in following biopharma’s fast-paced IPO market? You can bookmark our IPO Tracker here.

In a surprising turn of events, UK-based Gyroscope Therapeutics has postponed its IPO mere hours before it was set to debut on Nasdaq.

Working on a gene therapy for wet AMD, Gyroscope was all set and ready to go public earlier this week, setting terms for a $142 million raise with a price range of $20 to $22. But in the wee hours of Friday morning, the company put out a press release saying they would delay their debut “in light of market conditions,” CEO Khurem Farooq said in a statement.

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EMA safe­ty com­mit­tee seeks more in­fo on heart in­flam­ma­tion fol­low­ing Pfiz­er Covid-19 vac­cine

The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee said Friday that it’s aware of cases of inflammation of the heart muscle and inflammation of the membrane around the heart, mainly reported following vaccination with Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, known in Europe as Comirnaty.

“There is no indication that these cases are due to the vaccine,” the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee said.

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