Peer review

Xeno­trans­plant gene ed­i­tor eGe­n­e­sis snags trans­plant ex­pert as CMO; John Tsai, Su­sanne Schaf­fert among the hard cuts made at No­var­tis

The waitlist for an organ transplant in the US exceeds 100,000 people, but the biopharma world has long struggled to find solutions for the demand.

In comes the much-talked-about gene editing field. A Cambridge, MA biotech is attempting to use CRISPR and other gene editing tools to address the virology and immunology challenges associated with xenotransplantation, or taking organs and cells from one species and putting them in another. Pigs have often been considered the most likely route; a patient received a genetically modified pig heart transplant in January — the first attempt in decades — but tragically passed two months later.

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Changes in high-rank­ing ex­ecs poised to deep­en at Karyopharm; Till­man Gern­gross-chaired biotech pro­motes new med­ical chief to CEO

→ Round and round the executive carousel turns at Karyopharm as Reshma Rangwala replaces Jatin Shah as CMO, a month removed from the FDA pulling the rug out from under selinexor’s chances in endometrial cancer by calling for a new trial first. The remnants of the old guard at Karyopharm continue to peel off, with co-founder and CSO Sharon Shacham now stepping down alongside senior clinical advisor and ex-CEO Michael Kauffman starting May 31.

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Roger Perl­mut­ter lures Roy Baynes away from Mer­ck; Now, Voy­ager: Al San­drock be­comes a CEO af­ter break from Bio­gen

→ Professional sports teams cycle through free agency every year, and core veterans from championship clubs routinely splinter off in different directions. In a similar vein, Merck in particular has seen widespread turnover with its own nucleus of talent that helped Keytruda become one of the biggest blockbusters in the industry, whether it’s CEO Ken Frazier passing the baton to Rob Davis or chief marketing officer Mike Nally taking the helm at Flagship’s Generate Biomedicines. Another big name at the pharma giant, Merck Research Laboratories CMO Roy Baynes, has decided to move on himself — and he’ll be back with an old teammate.

Zai Lab gives Josh Smi­ley a sec­ond chance in a prime role; De­nali gets ready to re­arrange staff as clin­i­cal hold con­tin­ues

→ Raising more than a few eyebrows across the industry, Josh Smiley has turned up as Zai Lab’s choice for COO effective Aug. 1, resetting his career in short order after getting canned at Eli Lilly last February. The ex-CFO, who spent more than 25 years at Lilly, had engaged in an “inappropriate personal relationship” with an employee and “consensual though inappropriate personal communications” with other staffers, according to an investigation. Lilly summarily appointed Anat Ashkenazi, who’s been with the company since 2001, as Smiley’s replacement.

Centes­sa gives An­toine Yver a new role, brings his old col­league on board; Pre­lude to a change: Jane Huang sets up her next move

Centessa looked to Daiichi Sankyo to fill the CMO post with Antoine Yver back in May 2021, and now that Yver has garnered a new title, why mess with a good thing?

Yver has been installed as chairman of development, and Centessa is going back to the Enhertu well again by appointing Javad Shahidi as CMO. While Yver was head of oncology R&D at Daiichi Sankyo, Shahidi was the global team leader for Enhertu at the AstraZeneca partner. “I look forward to working with Javad again as we continue to grow Centessa with this incredible portfolio of assets and come closer to bringing impactful new medicines to patients,” Yver said in a statement.

Ex­clu­sive: GV’s first net­work de­vel­op­ment part­ner com­pletes ‘full cir­cle’; Just when En­zy­vant scores an ap­proval, Rachelle Jacques plans her ex­it

For Kieran English, the newest member of GV’s life sciences unit, life has finally come full circle.

The investment arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Inc. formally announced English’s appointment to GV this morning, after she officially started a few weeks ago on Jan. 28 — the next chapter of a two-plus decade-long career largely spent in management consulting and recruiting. With GV, she’ll try to apply her recruitment and team-building background, focusing on building relationships.

Till­man Gern­gross leads a pack of biotech CEOs out the door; With eyes on pipeline ex­pan­sion, Po­sei­da woos a gene ther­a­py ex­ec from No­var­tis

As market volatility sweeps through the landscape, CEO changes are really ramping up, and topping the list is Tillman Gerngross, a force in the antibody space who hitched his wagon to finding another Covid-19 solution by co-founding Adagio Therapeutics. With big investors backing him, the big dreams sputtered when ADG20 proved less effective against Omicron in December. Gerngross has now resigned as CEO, handing things over to COO David Hering on an interim basis until a permanent successor is named. No stranger to the Covid vaccine fight, Hering was poached from his role as global mRNA business lead of Pfizer in July 2021.

Am­gen, Ipsen vet moves up the lad­der with Co­herus' an­ti-PD-1 await­ing PDU­FA; It takes a vil­lage to re­place Frank Clyburn at Mer­ck­'s Hu­man Health busi­ness

After decades in the biopharma industry, Paul Reider is now in his first C-suite role as chief commercial officer. While he has been at Coherus BioSciences since last year, he officially started his new job on Jan. 1, and it was publicly announced on Tuesday.

The appointment will place Reider right in the thicket of the biggest issues in cancer drug development. Long a player in the biosimilar world, Coherus spent $150 million last year to license a PD-1 from Shanghai’s Junshi Biosciences, joining up to three other major US companies that promised to undercut the high-priced market for PD-1 inhibitors by bringing in Chinese drugs and selling them well below the price of Keytruda or Opdivo.

With sotro­vimab in the bal­ance, Bio­gen vet re­unites with George Scan­gos at Vir; First woman to chair PhRMA has more in store at Take­da

Vir Biotechnology is getting another Biogen vet to join up as the startup’s new global CBO and EVP.

While Johanna Friedl-Naderer officially doesn’t start her first C-suite role for another few weeks on March 2, she will join the company in the midst of conflicting data regarding its GlaxoSmithKline-partnered Covid-19 antibody, and armed with decades of working at the recently-embroiled Biogen.

Lyell CSO: New job is 'the miss­ing piece' of his ca­reer; Or­p­hazyme and Cor­texyme and Sio, oh my: Your guide to the lat­est CEO changes

“I fully recognize that cell therapy is still all about the cells.”

In moving over to his second CSO job, Gary Lee says he hopes to grasp a “really critical” missing piece of the puzzle in cell therapy: T cell biology, something he hadn’t gotten a lot of exposure to. At Lyell Immunopharma, he will have an abundance of scientific knowledge and technologies at his disposal to figure out how to make the best cells possible.