Peer review

En­tos lures for­mer Plexxikon CEO to guide push to­ward the clin­ic; Ex-Bris­tol My­ers im­munol­o­gy chief finds new home

Around the same time that Entos CEO Tom Miller realized it was time to bring on a CSO to guide the company’s cancer drugs into the clinic, Daiichi Sankyo was winding down operations at its longtime subsidiary Plexxikon.

That led Miller to find Chao Zhang — Plexxikon’s former CEO who “couldn’t have been more tailor-made for driving our drug development program,” Miller said.

Zhang started at Entos earlier this week, after wrapping up a nearly 21-year career at Plexxikon.

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Swat­ting away a takeover at­tempt, Zymeworks keeps re­tool­ing staff; Af­ter Cyg­nal-ing her ex­it from Flag­ship, Pearl Huang starts afresh

Zymeworks used a poison pill maneuver a couple weeks ago as the counterpunch to a $773 million takeover bid by All Blue Falcons, and new CEO Kenneth Galbraith isn’t done piecing the staff together either.

Paul Moore will end his 14-year association with MacroGenics, where he was VP, cell biology, and immunology, and step up to the plate as CSO of Zymeworks on July 18. Tony Polverino, the chief scientist who preceded Moore, didn’t escape the sweeping changes that were enacted by Galbraith in January, when half the C-suite and 25% of the staff overall received pink slips. Neil Klompas and Neil Josephson were named COO and CMO, respectively, and Chris Astle took over as CFO a month later.

Af­ter sev­en months of search­ing, Lan­dos hires a CEO; Mar­ty Du­vall re-emerges from ill-fat­ed On­copep­tides tenure

Landos Biopharma has landed a new CEO after seven months of being led by an interim chief executive.

Gregory Oakes took the helm of the autoimmune biotech this month, bringing with him nearly 30 years of industry chops, most recently as president of Vifor Pharma’s North America division and, before that, VP at Celgene. Oakes also spent a better part of the 2010s at Novartis, making his way up to head of biopharmaceuticals for generics division Sandoz.

As law­suit car­ries on against Guardant Health, CFO shake­up hits Il­lu­mi­na; Pfiz­er-backed biotech taps CEO to lead pur­suit of gene ther­a­py 2.0

Sam Samad is out as CFO of Illumina as chief strategy and corporate development officer Joydeep Goswami slides in for him on an interim basis starting July 8. Goswami joined Francis deSouza’s crew in 2019 as SVP of corporate development and strategic planning after his time as president of Thermo Fisher’s clinical next-generation sequencing (NGS) and oncology business unit.

Guardant Health, a primary liquid biopsy screening test competitor, filed a motion to dismiss Illumina’s case against the company in late May. Its co-founders and co-CEOs, Helmy Eltoukhy and AmirAli Talasaz, are former staffers at Illumina, which is alleging that the pair infringed on intellectual property to develop Guardant’s technology.

Amarin fish­es for an­oth­er CFO as down­siz­ing takes hold; Cure­Vac makes a deal, then lines up No­var­tis ex­ec to lead de­vel­op­ment

→ Mired in flagging sales for Vascepa, the harsh realities of the current climate in biotech have hit Amarin as they slice 40% of the workforce — the majority of those cuts coming from the US commercial team. And the resignation of CFO Michael Kalb has led Amarin to install Tom Reilly as his replacement, effective June 20. Reilly had been finance chief at Cara Therapeutics since October 2020; after 14 years of financial roles at Novartis, he was Allergan’s head of finance for the US general medicines unit from 2017-20. Under CEO Karim Mikhail, who succeeded John Thero last year, Amarin hopes the job reduction will save them $100 million in the next year.

Time Pas­sages: Bruce Gold­smith out at Jim Wilson's gene ther­a­py biotech; Flag­ship re­veals Michael Sev­eri­no’s CEO gig

→ When Passage Bio readjusted its pipeline priorities, pruned its workforce by 13% and saw its R&D chief Eliseo Salinas walk out in March, it would be natural to assume that this confluence of events could lead to more imminent changes. This week, CEO Bruce Goldsmith followed Salinas and board member Liam Ratcliffe out the door.

Passage Bio and Goldsmith both felt it was in their best interests to move on as the Jim Wilson biotech shifts its focus to GM1 gangliosidosis, Krabbe disease and frontotemporal dementia. General counsel and corporate secretary Edgar “Chip” Cale has been named interim chief as the search gets underway for Goldsmith’s replacement, having leaped to Passage Bio in 2019 after a 21-year career at GSK that concluded as SVP, legal corporate projects. Goldsmith left Deerfield to succeed co-founder Stephen Squinto as Passage Bio’s CEO in early 2020.

Al­ways chas­ing the newest sci­ence, Schond Green­way joins MindMed; Mi­rati fills key va­can­cy with ex-Are­na fi­nance chief

From cell therapy to precision medicine, Schond Greenway has hopped from one burgeoning research area to the next throughout his career. Now he’s heading off to another: psychedelic therapy.

MindMed tapped Greenway as CFO on Monday, as CEO Robert Barrow guides the company through what he called “an exciting point in our growth.” The New York-based psychedelics company was the second to ever go public on an American exchange, behind Compass Pathways. And this year, Barrow’s lining up “numerous near-term milestones ahead across our pipeline.”

Ex-Take­da ex­ec hits the ground run­ning at the helm of rare dis­ease biotech — with 3 pri­or­i­ties off the bat; Sea­soned CEO jumps to ALS up­start

After spending years in the biopharma and rare disease space, Tauhid Ali finally got the opportunity to fulfill a personal ambition: to co-found and create a biotech company in the rare disease space. And he’s officially joining the transatlantic biotech, which has personnel in both the UK and the US, as CEO.

After the company was founded in the second half of 2021, Oak Hill Bio officially emerged from stealth in February with Takeda throwing its weight behind the biotech — by out-licensing Takeda assets and taking an equity stake in the company. Takeda sent over some talent to kick things off with a bang: CMO Victoria Niklas, most recently global program leader a Takeda asset, now one of Oak Hill’s lead programs, as well as Norman Barton, the exec behind the other lead program at Oak Hill. Daniel Curran, Takeda’s head of rare genetics and hematology therapeutic area unit, also joined the board of directors.

Hel­lo, I must be go­ing: Jorge Gomez is Mod­er­na CFO for on­ly a day; As set­backs mount, In­ovio’s Joseph Kim choos­es the ex­it ramp

David Meline will have to put his retirement on hold.

In one of the more high-profile one-day tenures since Bill Belichick with the New York Jets, Jorge Gomez’s time as CFO at Moderna is over before it started. Gomez had replaced Meline this Monday, but the following day Gomez was gone after his former company, dental products manufacturer Dentsply Sirona, revealed an investigation that began in March into the “use of incentives to sell products to distributors in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, and whether those incentives were appropriately accounted for and the impact of those sales was adequately disclosed in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” as stated in the SEC filing.

With Aduhelm in tat­ters, the search is on for Michel Vounatsos' re­place­ment at Bio­gen; David Liu, Roger Perl­mut­ter join in­sitro's SAB

→ Because of the dearth of Alzheimer’s treatments, Biogen pushed aggressively to cross the regulatory goal line with aducanumab despite early trial wrap-ups and pervasive efficacy questions. The highly controversial approval of Aduhelm, and the calamitous rollout that followed, proved to be the undoing of CEO Michel Vounatsos, who was hired from within to replace George Scangos on Jan. 6, 2017. Discussions in the industry should be lively over who gets the job next at Biogen as Vounatsos will retain his position until the company finds a successor, which will be no later than Feb. 28, 2023.