Peer review

A Pfiz­er part­ner wel­comes ex-ADC Ther­a­peu­tics CMO Jay Fein­gold to the team; Amid tough sled­ding, Im­muno­vant choos­es Eli Lil­ly alum as CFO

→ Last week we told you about the CMO revolving door at ADC Therapeutics, as Joseph Camardo replaced the departing Jay Feingold. The next opportunity for Feingold in the CMO slot has opened up at antibody-drug conjugate and mAb developer Pyxis Oncology, which has added several new execs and scientific advisory board members in recent months, including ex-Immunovant CFO Pamela Yanchik Connealy. Before his tenure at ADC, Feingold was Daiichi Sankyo’s VP of US medical affairs and chairman of the Global Medical Affairs Oversight Committee. Within weeks in March, Pyxis struck a licensing deal with Pfizer for two of its ADCs and raked in $152 million from a Series B round.

Flag­ship keeps ex-FDA com­mish Stephen Hahn busy with an­oth­er CMO gig; Daphne Koller makes key hire at in­sitro by wel­com­ing Google and Face­book vet

→ What’s next for Stephen Hahn, you ask? It’s an interim CMO post at Flagship’s YourBio Health, the maker of kits that sidestep the conventional methods of blood collection in favor of push-button devices. Hahn joined Flagship in June as CMO of its Preemptive Medicine and Health Security initiative after a topsy-turvy run as FDA commissioner in the Trump administration. Hahn received his share of flak when he extolled the virtues of convalescent pharma before the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines, eventually walking back his comments. Conversely, Hahn received kudos for staying resolute on safety followup from clinical trials. A month after his FDA tenure, Hahn joined the board of directors at Blackfynn.

Zio­pharm finds new CEO af­ter six-month search; CFO tran­si­tion at Lon­za to take place in De­cem­ber

Less than a year removed from a successful activist attack, Ziopharm Oncology appointed a new CEO this week. Taking the reins will be Kevin Boyle, who comes over after leading Kuur Therapeutics to a $185 million buyout back in May.

It’s been a tough few years for Ziopharm, which in addition to taking on the withering activist attack saw significant turnover at the C-suite level, culminating in longtime CEO Laurence Cooper hitting the exit in February. That kicked off a nearly half-year search that has now found Boyle set to take charge.

As­traZeneca pro­motes on­col­o­gy ex­ec to CMO; Pfiz­er re­places re­tir­ing chief deal­mak­er as war chest ex­pands

The biggest bright spot for AstraZeneca over the last few years has been its work in oncology, as CEO Pascal Soriot has helped shepherd blockbusters Imfinzi, Lynparza, and Calquence, among other cancer medicines.

One of the top executives from the cancer division is now making the leap to the larger C-suite. The Swedish-British pharma named its oncology chief development officer Cristian Massacesi as the new CMO.

No­vavax grabs an­oth­er CFO while Pat Cotro­neo re­tires from Fi­bro­Gen; Eli Lil­ly re­assem­bles key staff af­ter bio­med­i­cines unit split

→ The perennial Charlie Brown of vaccine development, Novavax is grappling with Lucy’s knack for pulling the football away once again, this time with its Covid-19 vaccine as the FDA pushed back another bid for an EUA earlier this month. In the meantime, Novavax has found Jim Kelly to replace Greg Covino as CFO, leaving John Trizzino one less C-suite title to juggle. Kelly, the ex-CFO at Vanda Pharmaceuticals, was just in this space in October 2020 when he succeeded Greg Patrick as CFO of Supernus, and now he makes a quick change to a biotech that can’t seem to avoid taking on Sisyphean qualities no matter what it does.

Robert Baze­more makes Hutchmed deal his grand fi­nale as Epizyme CEO; Black Di­a­mond reshuf­fles the deck with de­par­tures of CMO, CSO

→ One minute, Epizyme CEO Robert Bazemore helped engineer a partnership with Hutchmed on developing Tazverik in China. The next minute, he gave his job to someone else.

Bazemore stepped aside as Epizyme’s chief executive the same day the biotech announced the deal, ceding the throne to Grant Bogle, the chief commercial officer at Tesaro from 2015 until 2019 — the year GlaxoSmithKline’s takeover of the oncology-focused company was completed. Since 2019, Bogle has kept a seat on Epizyme’s board of directors.

Ver­tex taps long­time com­mer­cial lead to fill two-year COO va­can­cy; Nan­cy Thorn­ber­ry set for dif­fer­ent role at Kally­ope with an old friend from Mer­ck wait­ing in the wings

For the first time in two years, Vertex has a COO.

The cystic fibrosis drugmaker announced Wednesday that Stuart Arbuckle, who has led the company’s commercial efforts since 2012, has been appointed to run operations as well. In doing so, Arbuckle fills a void opened two years ago when, after an investigation, longtime executive Ian Smith was abruptly fired for “personal behavior” that violated Vertex’s code of conduct. Details of the violation, which also cost Smith high-profile board seats at other biotechs, have never been made public.

Roche Chi­na CEO preps for a move to Mer­ck KGaA while US Mer­ck adds to C-suite; Suc­ces­sion plan fi­nal­ized for EVPs re­tir­ing from Sanofi

→ Beginning Oct. 1, Roche China CEO Hong Chow will be head of China & international for Merck KGaA’s healthcare business, a position that also encompasses Japan, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. The multi-pronged position also has Chow leading the cardiovascular metabolism & endocrinology franchise and the Global Business Innovation (GBI) unit. A Bayer alum, Chow has helmed Roche China since 2015.

Jim Wil­son start­up Pas­sage Bio plugs in CFO, CMO; Till­man Gern­gross nabs a COO fa­mil­iar with Covid-19 fight at Pfiz­er as Ada­gio files for IPO

→ Back in May, Passage Bio CFO Richard Morris and CMO Gary Romano left within days of each other, but this week the gene therapy player has found their replacements, along with a chief commercial officer. Simona King, a 19-year Bristol Myers Squibb vet in finance, becomes CFO on Aug. 23 after a quick stop in the same post at Tmunity Therapeutics and a year at Emergent BioSolutions. CMO Mark Forman gets started a week from today and was recently VP of translational medicine at Acadia Pharmaceuticals, preceded by 11 years at Merck. And Maria Törnsén, who got the ball rolling as CCO this week, had been Sarepta’s SVP, general manager, US.

Eli Lil­ly part­ner Ab­Cellera finds a CBO in the face of bam­lanivimab strug­gles; Fi­bro­Gen's next CSO walks in­to rox­adu­s­tat re­buff

→ Covid-19 variants have marred the effectiveness of Eli Lilly and AbCellera’s bamlanivimab to such an extent that the US government stopped using the monoclonal antibody in March, followed by a similar halt for the combo treatment with etesevimab late last month. AbCellera is nonetheless pressing onward with a new candidate for mild to moderate cases, LY-CoV1404, and this week Neil Berkley joined Carl Hansen’s squad as CBO. Berkley, a GlaxoSmithKline neuroscience veteran, makes the leap from Halozyme, starting out at the San Diego biotech as head of oncology global partnering, corporate development in 2019 and earning a promotion to VP, head of business development.