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Seer adds ex-FDA chief Mark Mc­Clel­lan to the board; Her­cules Cap­i­tal makes it of­fi­cial for new CEO Scott Bluestein

→ On the same day it announced a $17.5 million Series C, life sciences and health data company Seer unveiled that it had lured former FDA commissioner and ex-CMS administrator Mark McClellan on to its board. “Mark’s deep understanding of the health care ecosystem and visionary insights on policy reform will be crucial in informing our thinking as we work to bring our liquid biopsy and life sciences products to market,” said Seer chief and founder Omid Farokhzad in a statement.

Ex-DARPA di­rec­tor pur­sues all-in-one can­cer pill as NED CEO; Karyopharm los­es com­mer­cial chief ahead of drug roll­out

“Why not try?”

That’s what Geoffrey Ling told me over the phone when asked about what led him to his journey to the position of CEO at NED Biosciences — a company with a lofty goal of creating an all-in-one oral drug to treat all types of cancer and making this drug available to not only developed nations, but also the developing world. 

Ling comes from an extensive background in medicine and the government. He is the co-leader of The Brain Health Project, a professor of neurology and an attending neurocritical care physician at John Hopkins University and Hospital, as well as the assistant director for Medical Innovation of the Science Division in president Obama’s White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). 

Gold­man Sach­s' Ankang Li heads to biotech Terns as new CFO; SV re­cruits new part­ner for De­men­tia Dis­cov­ery Fund

→ Fresh off a NASH deal with French drugmaker Genfit, Terns Pharma has appointed Ankang Li as CFO. The Chinese biotech scooped Li from Goldman Sachs, where he led high profile biotech IPOs as executive director of healthcare investment banking. A law school graduate with a background in biomedical research — his career has taken him to Salk Institute and Merck’s Asia Pacific innovation hub — Li will hold extensive responsibilities in corporate financing and business development.

Evan Loh climbs the lad­der to be­come CEO at Paratek Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals; Co­di­ak's Doug Williams takes chair­man's role at AC Im­mune

→ Determined to be the good story that the antibiotics field so desperately needs, Paratek Pharmaceuticals $PRTK is reshuffling its top-level management to handle a growing commercial operation. Evan Loh has become CEO after climbing the ladder over the past seven years (from CMO to president and COO) while Michael Bigham claims the newly created position of executive chairman. They will oversee life cycle expansion initiatives for Nuzyra with chief commercial officer Adam Woodrow, who’s been promoted to president. Meanwhile, Randy Brenner will take up additional responsibilities in medical affairs after leading the regulatory efforts for Paratek.

Maze in­ter­im chief Charles Hom­cy pass­es ba­ton to Ja­son Colo­ma; William Col­lier tapped as CEO of Ar­bu­tus

→ Four months into Maze Therapeutics’ launch, Charles Homcy is passing the startup’s reins to another Third Rock colleague. Jason Coloma, the current COO, is leaving his role at the VC firm to become full-time CEO on a mission to translate genetic insights into new medicines. Equipped with a whopping $191 million with support from Arch, Maze’s big idea is to find and target genetic modifiers that play a role in Mendelian diseases caused by another gene. Coloma, a Roche/Genentech vet seasoned in business development, was CBO at Corvus Pharmaceuticals before joining Third Rock in 2017.

Tariq Kas­sum jumps from Ob­sid­i­an to Cel­sius helm; Quell Ther­a­peu­tics taps Iain McGill as new CEO

→ Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Celsius Therapeutics — which was launched in 2018 and backed by Third Rock Ventures and GV — has tapped Tariq Kassum to the helm. Kassum succeeded Alexis Borisy, who has been interim CEO and who stay as chairman of the board of directors.

Borisy recently made an unexpected exit from Third Rock, before their record $770 million fund for its next wave of investments in the life science field.

Lab­Corp se­lects its new CEO; Pfiz­er names ex-Genen­tech vet as new head of on­col­o­gy R&D

→ Longtime Merck executive Adam Schechter will be taking over as CEO and president of LabCorp with the retirement of David King on October 31— when he will become executive chairman of the board of directors. The company says that “the board expects to choose one of its members to be lead independent director at a later date.”

Schechter has been on LabCorp’s board since April 1, 2013, serving as the lead independent director since January of this year. During his long-time stint at Merck, Schechter helped lead the integration of Merck and Schering-Plough and held executive roles in the company, including president of global human health and president of Merck’s global pharmaceutical business.

Up­dat­ed: Al­ny­lam pro­motes long­time ex­ec Kevin FitzGer­ald to CSO; In­tel­lia Ther­a­peu­tics brings on Lau­ra Sepp-Loren­zi­no

→ Kevin FitzGerald has been with Alnylam since 2005, and with his experience of “leading successful teams on delivery technologies, target selection, and programs in clinic,” he’s been promoted to CSO of the company.

“Our technology is at such an exciting stage and there are so many applications for patients in need, prioritizing what we do first (and at times, what we do not do) will be a very important challenge,” said FitzGerald via email.

Akre­via scoops ex-Ar­sa­nis chief René Rus­so as CEO; Scott Got­tlieb jumps back in­to in­dus­try; Seat­tle Ge­net­ics raids As­traZeneca for CCO

→ Months after resigning from Arsanis — now relegated to biotech history books after a reverse merger with X4 Pharma — René Russo has landed her next CEO gig at Akrevia Therapeutics. The new role will shift her attention from anti-infectives to immuno-oncology, but she will lean on her experience scaling up biotech operations from an early stage. Backed by F-Prime Capital and Atlas Venture, Akrevia employs platform tech that packages a CTLA4 inhibitor in a way that the antibody would be inactive until it reaches the tumor microenvironment.

Bio­gen ex­ec Paul McKen­zie heads to CSL as COO; Pul­ma­trix CEO re­signs

→ After Biogen’s recent catastrophe with aducanumab, Paul McKenzie, the company’s EVP for pharmaceutical operations and technology (and member of its executive committee), jumped ship. He’s now heading to the Australia-based giant CSL as its COO. His new job entails managing CSL’s global supply chain. McKenzie’s last day is May 29.

→ French biopharmaceutical firm DBV Technologies announced on Tuesday the departure of its deputy CEO and principal financial officer, David Schilansky. Schilansky will remain with the company through August 2019. While a search is underway for a new CFO the role of deputy CEO will not be filled after Schilansky’s departure. Shilansky has been with the allergy specialist since 2011, at one point serving as COO.