Bicycle signs on new clinical execs in pipeline drive; Howard Stern signs on as FogPharma CSO
→ On Thursday, Bicycle Therapeutics announced the appointments of Lisa Mahnke as senior vice president and head of clinical and Terrence West as vice president and head of program management to help expand and advance its clinical pipeline.
“As Bicycle expands its pipeline and our programs mature, it is critical that we deliver an effective clinical strategy, and these two new clinical team members are an integral part of our strategy,” said Kevin Lee, CEO of Bicycle Therapeutics. “Lisa and Terry have exceptional track records as senior leaders navigating programs through the clinic. I am very pleased to welcome them both to the Bicycle team.”
→ FogPharma announced on Monday the appointment of Howard Stern as CSO and Peter Fekkes as vice president of discovery bioscience.
“Howard brings a penetrating, adventurous intellect and exceptional knowledge in drug discovery across multiple modalities and disease areas, plus outstanding expertise in translational science and experimental medicine. His insights and leadership will be critical as we drive a succession of innovative, first-in-class drugs to the clinic, targeting proteins that have never been drugged before,” said Gregory Verdine, chairman, president and CEO of FogPharma. “Peter brings tremendous depth and breadth of skill in progressing targets to clinical candidates, and he will serve a crucial role in our R&D organization, as we write the playbook for efficient discovery of cell-penetrating miniprotein medicines. The addition of Howard and Peter to our team represents a quantum leap forward for FogPharma as a mature, powerful and effective new modality drug discovery organization.”
→ Less than three months after AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot pushed Mohammed Dar out of the company’s subsidiary MedImmune due to restructuring, Dar has now taken charge as CMO at Immunocore. This reunites him with some old colleagues, such as Bahija Jallal — now CEO of Immunocore and David Berman, head of R&D for Immunocore.
→ Actinium announced on Tuesday the appointment of Niva Almaula as CBO of the company. Almaula previously worked as head, business development at Advanced Accelerator Applications — a company focused on nuclear medicine and targeted therapies like Lutathera — which was bought for $3.9 billion by Novartis in January 2018.
→ Intersect ENT CEO Lisa Earnhardt announced Monday that she will be stepping down from her role on June 5, 2019. In the meantime, Kieran Gallahue, currently the company’s lead director, will step up as the interim CEO — effective June 5, 2019 — and has been appointed executive chairman of the board of directors — effective May 7, 2019. Despite stepping down, Ms. Earnhardt will remain a member of the Intersect ENT board. The company said that its board has initiated a search process to identify a permanent CEO and has engaged a leading executive search firm to assist with this process.
→ Ingo Lehrke was announced Tuesday as the CEO of Algiax Pharmaceuticals and Guido Koopmans as the CSO, both positions were effective as of May 1, 2019. Before this, Lehrke had been working for the last 10 years as managing director of tesa Labtec GmbH, a drug-delivery company part of the Beiersdorf Group of companies. Koopmans is a neuroscientist who co-founded Algiax, as well as developed AP-325. Co-founder and shareholder of Algiax Jürgen Schumacher, who previously held the position of CEO will be the chairman of Algiax’ new advisory board.
The company said that it intends to start a Phase IIa clinical study for its lead candidate AP-325 in chronic neuropathic pain. “We are excited to initiate the next development stage of AP-325 with the goal to show its proof-of-concept in patients, soon” said Dr. Koopmans. “We plan to have the first patient included in the fourth quarter of this year and expect first results in 2020.”
→ On Thursday Bruce Horowitz was appointed as COO at Provectus. The company said that Mr. Horowitz previously served as its chief operations consultant since 2017 and has also served as a member of the company’s board of directors since 2017.
“Bruce’s influence has enabled Provectus to begin strategically pivoting the focuses of the clinical development program of the Company’s investigational cancer immunotherapy PV-10 towards neoadjuvant therapy for early-stage cancer where all disease can be treated swiftly with PV-10, and combination therapy with standard of care for later-stage disease where priming and activation of the functional immune response to PV-10 treatment can be augmented by another treatment or treatments,” said Ed Pershing, CPA, chair of the Provectus’ board.
→ On Tuesday, Boston-based Kyn Therapeutics announced the appointment of Jeffrey Ecsedy as CSO and Jason Sager as CMO. Both individuals have been with Kyn since 2017. Ecsedy previously worked at Takeda Pharmaceuticals as part of their oncology R&D leadership and Sager previously held positions as medical director at Novartis and Genentech and senior medical director at Sanofi.
“Jason and Jeff’s guidance and expertise have been invaluable to Kyn through the design and execution of the two ongoing Phase Ib/II clinical studies of our lead candidate ARY-007, an EP4 receptor antagonist. Their input was also essential to our delivery of important preclinical milestones that validated the novel biology underlying our programs,” said Mark Manfredi, Kyn’s president, and CEO. “We are now planning entry into the clinic for our AHR and Kynase programs, both partnered with Celgene. Jeff and Jason’s leadership will play a critical role during this significant phase of Kyn’s growth and development.”
→ Medica Group Plc announced Thursday that starting September 1, 2019,
will take on the role of CEO of Medica and join its board of directors. John Graham will remain as CEO until that time. Quin comes to Medica from Synlab, where he is currently head of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Previously he was Synlab’s group CCO and chief executive of its UK operations.