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Peer Re­view: Don Hay­den com­mits to CEO role at Wind­MIL; X4 nabs new CMO Lynne Kel­ley from His­to­gen­ics ex­ile

→ Since leav­ing a 25-year ca­reer and the pres­i­dent of glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals ti­tle at Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb in 2005, Don Hay­den has kept him­self busy as a con­sul­tant and ad­vis­er to bio­phar­ma com­pa­nies, some­times jug­gling sev­en or eight board ap­point­ments. But af­ter a few months as in­ter­im CEO of Wind­MIL Ther­a­peu­tics, he’s ready to “sub­stan­tial­ly pull back” on all those com­mit­ments as he tran­si­tions to a full-time role.

Peer Re­view: KSQ woos Beni Wolf from Blue­print with CRISPR plat­form; As­traZeneca ex­ec jumps to CNS biotech spun out of Take­da

→ Af­ter four years at Blue­print Med­i­cines, Beni Wolf is hop­ping over to Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts-based KSQ Ther­a­peu­tics as chief med­ical of­fi­cer, as it pre­pares to take its lead ex­per­i­men­tal drug in­to the clin­ic in 2020. “KSQ’s CRISPRomics ap­proach holds tremen­dous po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ing high-im­pact can­cer med­i­cines,” Wolf said in a state­ment.

→ An em­bat­tled Mer­ri­mack $MACK — hav­ing been forced to aban­don its clin­i­cal ex­per­i­men­tal drugs af­ter a se­ries of set­backs and job cuts — last week lost its chief med­ical of­fi­cer. In a fil­ing, the com­pa­ny said CMO Ser­gio San­til­lana had ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion.

Peer Re­view: Leav­ing Cere­cor af­ter a year, Pe­ter Green­leaf starts a new CEO chap­ter at Au­rinia — out to slay Resta­sis

→ A year af­ter or­ches­trat­ing Su­cam­po Phar­ma’s sale to Mallinck­rodt, Pe­ter Green­leaf is still in hot de­mand. Au­rinia has poached him from the helm of Cere­cor, where he’s helped lay a foun­da­tion for a new pipeline for or­phan neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders in the past year.

At Au­rinia, the new CEO will shift gears to oph­thal­mol­o­gy and im­munol­o­gy as the Cana­di­an biotech launch­es an am­bi­tious chal­lenge to Al­ler­gan’s best-sell­ing dry eye drug Resta­sis. In a Phase II head-to-head read out weeks ago, Au­rinia’s vo­closporin demon­strat­ed a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment on ef­fi­ca­cy com­pared to Resta­sis — a sur­pris­ing win on a sec­ondary end­point. The pri­ma­ry end­point of beat­ing the block­buster drug’s tol­er­a­bil­i­ty score was not met.

Peer Re­view: Plot­ting US moves, Zealand Phar­ma poach­es Al­ny­lam's Em­manuel Du­lac as new CEO

Concluding a four-month search for Britt Meelby Jensen’s replacement, Zealand Pharma has wooed top Alnylam exec Emmanuel Dulac to take the helm as its new CEO.

Dulac’s most recent role was chief commercial officer at Alnylam, where he was brought in to build a global commercial infrastructure in two years before the biotech notched a long-awaited approval for its groundbreaking RNAi medicine.

That job took him to Basel, Switzerland, with frequent trips to the Boston area. Adding that to his previous stints at Novartis and Shire as well as board seat at Proteostasis, Dulac brings years of experience working in both Europe and North America.

All that will come in handy as Copenhagen-based Zealand puts a foot down in the US. A Nasdaq biotech class of 2017, Zealand has a pipeline of peptide-based medicines that it’s pushing in orphan or rare indications.

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Sunao Man­abe takes top job at Dai­ichi Sankyo in wake of As­traZeneca deal; CAR-T play­er Celyad pro­motes Fil­ip­po Pet­ti to CEO

→ Bare­ly a day af­ter Dai­ichi Sankyo wrapped a mam­moth col­lab­o­ra­tion deal with As­traZeneca, the Japan­ese phar­ma an­nounced a suc­ces­sion plan for its CEO. George Nakaya­ma, who’s keep­ing his chair­man seat, is pass­ing the reins to Sunao Man­abe, cur­rent­ly pres­i­dent and COO. This marks one of the fi­nal tran­si­tions as Nakaya­ma winds down his decades-long ca­reer run with the com­pa­ny, start­ing at Dai­ichi sub­sidiary Sun­to­ry in 1979. He del­e­gat­ed the pres­i­dent role two years ago.

En­tra­da picks Syn­tim­mune vet Mario Saltarel­lo as CMO; Gene ther­a­py mak­er Or­chard hires Ran Zheng as CTO

→ En­tra­da Ther­a­peu­tics, the start­up launched by 5AM and MPM Cap­i­tal to de­vel­op ther­a­pies based on a fam­i­ly of cell-pen­e­trat­ing small cyclic pep­tides that Ohio State pro­fes­sor De­hua Pei dis­cov­ered, has found a chief med­ical of­fi­cer in Mario Saltarel­li. “His ex­pe­ri­ences at both ven­ture-backed biotech­nol­o­gy and glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies have in­volved him in every as­pect of bring­ing a med­i­cine from bench to bed­side,” said CEO Di­pal Doshi, re­fer­ring to Saltarel­li’s stints at Syn­tim­mune, Ver­tex, An­nex­on and Mallinck­rodt, among oth­ers.

As­traZeneca vet Jen­nifer But­ler takes charge of In­nate Phar­ma's US biz; C4 raids NI­BR

→ France’s In­nate Phar­ma has wooed As­traZeneca vet Jen­nifer But­ler to lead the US op­er­a­tions it has set up af­ter ac­quir­ing Lu­mox­i­ti from the British drug­mak­er in a rich add-on col­lab­o­ra­tion deal. But­ler’s of­fi­cial ti­tle will be EVP and gen­er­al man­ag­er of In­nate Phar­ma US. Most re­cent­ly, she was chief busi­ness of­fi­cer, chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer and head of US op­er­a­tions at Tes­sa Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ Af­ter cel­e­brat­ing the ap­proval of a Parkin­son’s ther­a­py he helped ac­quired for Acor­da Ther­a­peu­tics, chief busi­ness of­fi­cer An­drew Hind­man has de­cid­ed to step down. Hind­man, who joined Acor­da in 2014, is now “in­ter­est­ed in pur­su­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the wider bio­phar­ma in­dus­try,” CEO Ron Co­hen said. Over the next few tran­si­tion­ing months, he will con­tin­ue to help eval­u­ate ex-US com­mer­cial part­ner­ships for In­bri­ja as the com­pa­ny awaits a Eu­ro­pean reg­u­la­to­ry de­ci­sion.

From Agios to De­ci­phera, Steve Ho­ert­er plots an­oth­er on­col­o­gy launch; Roche ex­ec Chris­tiane Hamachar moves to In­dia as CEO of Bio­con Bi­o­log­ics

→ De­ci­phera $DCPH has scooped Agios’ chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Steve Ho­ert­er to fill re­tir­ing CEO Michael Tay­lor’s shoes. The Waltham, MA-based biotech is plac­ing its trust in Ho­ert­er’s sales acu­men, es­pe­cial­ly for can­cer drugs, ac­quired through­out his ca­reer at com­pa­nies like Clo­vis, Roche, Genen­tech, Ch­i­ron, and Eli Lil­ly. The first Phase III tri­al of ripretinib, in gas­troin­testi­nal tu­mors, is due to read out soon.

Re­Vi­ral taps Seth Het­her­ing­ton to guide up­com­ing PhI­Ia; In­cyte, Aquinox ex­ecs move to AI shop No­table Labs

→ Ox­ford, Eng­land-based vac­cine de­vel­op­er Emergex has re­cruit­ed Big Phar­ma vet Athana­sios Pa­padopou­los to be its CMO. Jump­ing from Sanofi — where he helped de­vel­op the ground­break­ing but ill-fat­ed Deng­vax­ia — Pa­padopou­los in­her­its a uni­ver­sal Fla­vivirus vac­cine can­di­date now poised for Phase I in H2 2019 and a new R&D fa­cil­i­ty for Emergex’s syn­thet­ic vac­cines.

→ Re­Vi­ral has tapped Seth Het­her­ing­ton to steer its lead RSV can­di­date in­to pe­di­atric Phase IIa tri­als. As CMO (a role he re­cent­ly held for sev­en years at Geno­cea Bio­sciences), Het­her­ing­ton will lead the biotech in nav­i­gat­ing a field full of nasty sur­pris­es, though Re­Vi­ral has rea­sons to be con­fi­dent giv­en pos­i­tive re­sults in a pre­vi­ous PhI­Ia. He will be based in the British com­pa­ny’s US of­fice.

Pfiz­er spin­out woos Ot­su­ka vet Ray­mond Sanchez to lead CNS pipeline work; Joe An­der­son re­turns to Ar­ix helm

→ Four months af­ter plop­ping it­self down in the cen­ter of the neu­ro­sciences field with a pipeline from Pfiz­er and $350 mil­lion in launch cash from Bain Cap­i­tal, Cerev­el Ther­a­peu­tics has re­cruit­ed a sea­soned cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem drug de­vel­op­er to be­come its CMO. Ray­mond Sanchez, who jumps from Ot­su­ka, is tasked with shep­herd­ing Cerev­el’s Parkin­son’s (dopamine D1 ag­o­nist) and epilep­sy (GA­BA A pos­i­tive mod­u­la­tor) pro­grams in­to Phase III. At the Japan­ese phar­ma, Sanchez over­saw CNS work at Avanir among oth­er re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.