People, Pharma

Bind burial complete, Andrew Hirsch lands the CFO’s job at high-profile Agios

Now that Andrew Hirsch has wrapped up Bind’s platform tech and shipped it to Pfizer following a bankruptcy auction, he’s leaped onto a new ship at Cambridge, MA-based Agios, taking the CFO’s job.

Andrew Hirsch

Andrew Hirsch

The new position puts Hirsch in the executive suite with David Schenkein, who’s blazed a high-profile path in the clinic with its cancer drugs, recently focusing on rejigging its collaboration with Celgene to concentrate on immuno-oncology.

Hirsch initially went to Bind as a CFO in 2012, but got bumped up to the CEO’s job after Scott Minick left the company and returned to the West Coast. A well known figure in the Cambridge, MA biotech hub, Hirsch is a 10-year vet of Biogen and also handled the numbers at Avila until it was bought out by Celgene. Agios added that Glenn Goddard, senior vice president of finance, will be leaving the company at the end of September “to pursue other opportunities.”

Bind was valued at $200 million when the company, one of many formed with tech from MIT’s Bob Langer, went public. But its lead drug, BIND-014, proved to be a disappointment in the clinic, confounding Hirsch’s efforts to lead it forward. A lender then called its note, forcing a Chapter 11 auction that saw Pfizer snap it all up for $40 million, with plans to take the nano tech platform in house.

This is one of a number of biotech shutdowns that you can expect this year. With biotech still trying to recover from an H1 meltdown in share prices, marginal companies with small pipelines have few options in the face of failure. Eleven Bio, for example, is also evaluating its final moves after back-to-back failures. More will follow.

Biotech, though, came out of the boom bigger than ever, making it possible for Hirsch and other well connected execs to look to start a new chapter in their careers at other drug development companies. Said Schenkein:

 “Andrew’s leadership experience and work across a wide range of areas of the business will be instrumental as we build for the future and work to achieve our vision of building a sustainable multi-product biopharmaceutical company.”

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