Peer review

Ameet Nath­wani re­bounds from Sanofi purge to helm Dew­point; Ali Mor­taza­vi named CEO at e-ther­a­peu­tics

Sanofi vet Ameet Nathwani has joined Arie Belldegrun and ARCH Venture Partners-backed Dewpoint Therapeutics as its new CEO. During his tenure at Sanofi, Nathwani served as CMO, chief digital officer and executive committee member. Prior to that, Nathwani completed a 12-year stint at Novartis, where he held roles such as global head of the critical care business franchise and SVP and global development head of the cardiovascular and metabolism franchise.

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Brett Zbar to lead life sci­ences in­vest­ing at Gen­er­al At­lantic; Michael Ka­vanaugh plans re­tire­ment as Cy­tomX pro­motes Genen­tech vet Mar­cia Belvin

→ Growth equity firm General Atlantic has reeled in Brett Zbar as managing director to lead its new life sciences focus. Zbar hops aboard from Foresite Capital where he served as managing director and advised on the boards of companies such as Kinnate Biopharma, ORIC Pharmaceuticals and Signant Health among others. Prior to his role at Foresite, Zbar was a partner at Aisling Capital.

Michael Kavanaugh has announced his retirement effective Dec. 1 as CSO, head of research and non-clinical development of CytomX. According to the release, he’s transitioning to an advisory role. Kavanaugh had been with the oncology biotech since 2015 after holding the same titles at Five Prime Therapeutics. VP of oncology research Marcia Belvin, who came to CytomX 2 years ago, has been promoted to SVP, head of research. Belvin previously held multiple positions leading cancer programs and preclinical pipeline teams during 13 years at Genentech and got her start at Exelixis.

Phar­ma vet Va­le­ria Fan­tin jumps to on­col­o­gy team at Gilead; João Sif­fert out as Abeona looks for an­oth­er CEO

→ News broke on Twitter yesterday that Valeria Fantin has headed to Gilead to be their VP, oncology research, a field in which CEO Dan O’Day has placed particular emphasis with the $21 billion acquisition of Immunomedics.

The well-traveled biopharma exec just completed a brief run as CSO at Zai Lab and has also been CSO at ORIC Pharmaceuticals. Fantin, who started out in epigenetics and kinase drug discovery at Merck in 2004, then moved to ARIAD Pharmaceuticals in 2008, only to quickly pivot to Agios Pharmaceuticals not long after its inception as a molecular oncology director. After Agios, she was VP, tumor cell biology at Pfizer, helping develop Ibrance and discover Lorbrena.

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Sil­ver­back dish­es out two pro­mo­tions in C-suite; Leg­end CEO post changes hands again

→ Accompanying the news that they just scored an $85 million Series C round, Laura Shawver-led Silverback Therapeutics has promoted two execs, with Valerie Odegard adding president to her CSO duties and Naomi Hunder moving to CMO. A Novo Nordisk alum, Odegard has been with the Seattle-based biotech since 2016 and the CSO the last 2 years. Before Silverback, she was VP of research at Juno Therapeutics.

Vedan­ta Bio­sciences taps Big Phar­ma vet Jef­frey Sil­ber as CMO; Robert Doe­bele leaves be­hind teach­ing post at Col­orado to fo­cus on CSO job at Rain Ther­a­peu­tics

→ A Big Pharma vet has joined Cambridge, MA upstart Vedanta Biosciences to help develop and expand on its microbiome-derived bacteria portfolio.

Jeffrey Silber signed on as CMO of Vedanta after 4 years at EMD Serono as their SVP, global clinical development. Silber worked his way through the ranks at Merck in the late 1990s, eventually becoming their VP and therapeutic area head, vaccine clinical research. And after 16 years at the pharma giant, Silber moved on to AbbVie to be their VP, strategic portfolio development.

GSK and J&J alum Vi­jay Red­dy to take con­trol of R&D at Tmu­ni­ty; An­drew Hirsch ex­its Agios for CEO job at C4 Ther­a­peu­tics

Vijay Reddy was seeking a return to the US when he left his role as CMO at London-based Autolus this summer. Philadelphia is that landing spot, as the T cell immunotherapy player Tmunity has put him in charge of R&D.

Reddy arrives at the Penn spinout with plenty of Big Pharma bona fides after developing the CAR-T cell clinical program at Autolus. Tmunity’s new chief R&D officer was a senior director and led early clinical development at J&J subsidiary Janssen from 2013-16, and from 2009-13, he was GSK’s medical director, cancer research and clinical development.

Scott Ed­mond­son leaves As­traZeneca, starts new chap­ter at Nim­bus; With IPO filed, Taysha pulls to­geth­er an AveX­is-heavy team

Nimbus Therapeutics, which identified 4 new targets – AMPKβ2, CTPS1, Cbl-b and WRN – in their drug discovery efforts, has reeled in a big fish with Big Pharma vet Scott Edmondson now a part of the mix as SVP, head of chemistry. Edmondson had been AstraZeneca’s director and head of Boston oncology chemistry for almost 4 years.

From 1998-2016, Edmondson was at Merck and worked his way up to director of discovery chemistry. While at the pharma giant, he discovered vibegron for patients with overactive bladder, a drug that Urovant would pick up in 2017. Urovant filed for an NDA for vibegron at the FDA, which the agency accepted for review in March.

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Michael Var­ney comes out of brief Genen­tech 're­tire­men­t' for R&D gig at Eras­ca; Vivek Ra­maswamy's Im­muno­vant re­cruits J&J vet for CSO post

→ Michael Varney is opening up a new chapter in his career after stepping down recently from a high-profile job as head of research and early development at Roche’s prestigious gRED organization in South San Francisco.

He’s taken a job as chairman of R&D at Erasca, a private biotech company that recently raised a whopping $200 million from a syndicate led by ARCH and Cormorant. Erasca is led by Jonathan Lim, who sold Ignyta to Roche for $1.7 billion.

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MD An­der­son­'s Patrick Hwu to helm Mof­fitt Can­cer Cen­ter; Af­ter Rock­well Med­ical ouster, Robert Chioi­ni gets an­oth­er chance to lead

→ The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa has found its next president and CEO after the imbroglio surrounding the departure of Alan List.

Patrick Hwu, the head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been tapped to lead Moffitt almost exactly 8 months following the mass resignations of List, center director Thomas Sellers and 4 other researchers for conflict of interest regarding their work in China, one of several high-profile examples that include Harvard professor Charles Lieber.

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

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).