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Hai Pan, Sciwind Biosciences CEO

On a quest to chal­lenge No­vo Nordisk in obe­si­ty, transpa­cif­ic start­up picks up $70M — and a pair of sea­soned ex­ecs

Four years after starting Terns Pharmaceuticals together in search of an elusive NASH win, Weidong Zhong and Martijn Fenaux are reuniting at a new startup.

On paper, Sciwind Biosciences — which just raised $70 million in Series C cash — employs a similar setup as Terns: Both have embraced the transpacific model, taking root in China but planting flags in the US.

Zhong was tapped to be president of the San Francisco-based subsidiary back in July, on top of assuming the role as chief strategy officer. Weeks later, Fenaux has been appointed SVP, nonclinical development and translational science at the parent company out of Hangzhou — joining the team alongside chief scientific officer Xinle Wu, who brings experience running R&D for both Eli Lilly and Amgen in China.

Mary Beth Harler, new head of IGM autoimmunity and inflammation department (Bristol Myers Squibb)

Top Sanofi vac­cine ex­ecs, Bris­tol My­ers vet chart new path for IG­M's an­ti­bod­ies in in­fec­tious dis­eases, au­toim­mu­ni­ty

When IGM Biosciences made its public debut two years ago, the S-1 pitch was heavily centered on how its engineered IgM antibodies could make potent cancer treatments. But it also buried a reference, deep inside a section about the platform’s potential, about how these antibodies may be applied in a variety of conditions — citing autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases as examples.

The biotech is now creating new business units to expand its work in those exact areas. And it’s recruited a trio of experts from Big Pharma to lead them.

Paul Stoffels, J&J CSO (Andrew Harnik/AP Images)

J&J sci­ence lead Paul Stof­fels set to re­tire amid brain trust shake­up at world's largest drug­mak­er

Paul Stoffels, the scientific lead behind J&J’s refresh of its hallowed Janssen unit and the creation of the company’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine, will retire at the end of the year, joining CEO Alex Gorsky on the way out the door and setting up a new era of leadership at the industry’s biggest drugmaker.

As the man most responsible for J&J’s hard pivot back into R&D over the course of the past decade, Stoffels was responsible for propping up an oncology R&D unit that ranks among the largest in the industry as well as driving J&J’s efforts across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

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Emile Nuwaysir, Ensoma CEO

Search­ing for the next 'big hairy goal,' Blue­Rock CEO Emile Nuwaysir jumps to in vi­vo cell ther­a­py start­up En­so­ma

Two years after Bayer swallowed the remaining shares of his regenerative cell therapy company, Emile Nuwaysir has found himself a new “big hairy goal”: in vivo cell therapy.

Ensoma, an ambitious and well-backed startup out of Fred Hutch and the University of Washington, has tapped Nuwaysir as the new CEO. It’ll be the serial executive’s second stint as a CEO after BlueRock, where he shepherded a first-of-its-kind cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease into clinical trials.

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Goran Hansson (center) announces the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Benjamin List and David MacMillan (Claudio Bresciani/TT New Agency via AP Images)

Two decades af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a new way to con­struct mol­e­cules, David MacMil­lan and Ben­jamin List win No­bel Prize

Catalysts play a vital role in drug development, driving complex sequences of chemical reactions to break down molecules or join them together. But until just a couple of decades ago, only two types of catalysts were known to scientists: metals and enzymes.

Metal catalysts are easily destroyed by moisture, so while it’s simple enough to deploy them in a lab, large-scale manufacturing becomes a challenge. Enzymes, on the other hand, consist of hundreds of amino acids, though frequently enough, only a few of those are actually involved in a chemical reaction.

Rod MacKenzie, Pfizer chief development officer (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Break­ing: Pfiz­er de­vel­op­ment chief Rod MacKen­zie is re­tir­ing af­ter a lengthy ca­reer capped by his­toric suc­cess

Pfizer’s clinical development chief and EVP Rod MacKenzie is retiring from his post at the pharma giant, right on the heels of a historic success.

MacKenzie was one of the leaders in Pfizer’s bold push to take an mRNA vaccine from their partners at BioNTech, and was there with CEO Albert Bourla and R&D chief Mikael Dolsten when they took the wraps off the promising pivotal data that set the stage for a speedy FDA approval following an emergency use authorization.

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Valeria Fantin, Sanofi global head of oncology research

Af­ter a brief stint in the top can­cer re­search spot at Gilead, Va­le­ria Fan­tin jumps over to Sanofi

Just a few months ago, Gilead said it was setting up shop in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, with plans to hire 300 employees in the process. It can now add a new head of oncology research to that list.

After a short stint at Gilead, Valeria Fantin is jumping over to Sanofi as the pharma giant’s newest global head of oncology research. The Dartmouth grad has bounced around a few times over the last decade or so, racking up experience at some of the biggest companies in the industry and adding a handful of blockbusters and first-in-class drugs to her résumé.

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David Grainger (Medicxi)

Medicxi co-founder David Grainger gets his oth­er foot in Centes­sa's door as chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer

Centessa Pharmaceuticals was built on the promise of scaling up Medicxi’s asset-centric model with 10 of the VC firm’s portfolio companies and their individual programs under the same roof. But the crew wasn’t going to stop there.

Instead, now that the biotech has completed its IPO, unveiled the first batch of proof-of-concept data from one of its 11 subsidiaries and — just a day ago — tapped into a fresh $300 million well of financing, Centessa has set its sights on “strategic business development opportunities.”

Jason Meyenburg, Gemini CEO

A year in­to SPAC merg­er, Gem­i­ni re­struc­tures pipeline with 20% of staff, lead­er­ship on the chop­ping block

Gemini Therapeutics jumped to Nasdaq in a SPAC deal about a year ago, but on Tuesday announced a significant change in direction.

The biotech will undergo a corporate restructuring to focus on its clinical stage candidates, dropping all research and discovery programs and laying off 20% of its staff, it said in a Tuesday morning release. Gemini will attempt to reposition itself to better fund a pivotal study for its geographic atrophy program, dubbed GEM103.

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Retiring CorMedix CEO Khoso Baluch

A month af­ter a man­u­fac­tur­ing hic­cup led to a CRL, CorMedix CEO will re­tire

After more than 5 years at the helm of New Jersey-based biopharma CorMedix, Khoso Baluch is retiring, and the move has triggered a ripple of change within its executive leadership team, leading CFO Matt David to take over as interim CEO, while maintaining his current role.

The departure comes about a month after delays at a contract manufacturer led to the resubmission of a new drug application for DefenCath, an antibacterial and antifungal treatment to prevent bloodstream infections in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. The drug was granted fast-track designation by the FDA, but delays at the CMO’s site led to a complete response letter.