Eli Lil­ly part­ner Ab­Cellera finds a CBO in the face of bam­lanivimab strug­gles; Fi­bro­Gen's next CSO walks in­to rox­adu­s­tat re­buff

Neil Berkley

→ Covid-19 vari­ants have marred the ef­fec­tive­ness of Eli Lil­ly and Ab­Cellera’s bam­lanivimab to such an ex­tent that the US gov­ern­ment stopped us­ing the mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body in March, fol­lowed by a sim­i­lar halt for the com­bo treat­ment with ete­se­vimab late last month. Ab­Cellera is nonethe­less press­ing on­ward with a new can­di­date for mild to mod­er­ate cas­es, LY-CoV1404, and this week Neil Berkley joined Carl Hansen’s squad as CBO. Berkley, a Glax­o­SmithK­line neu­ro­science vet­er­an, makes the leap from Halozyme, start­ing out at the San Diego biotech as head of on­col­o­gy glob­al part­ner­ing, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment in 2019 and earn­ing a pro­mo­tion to VP, head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

→ Skunked by an FDA ad­comm’s em­phat­ic rox­adu­s­tat down­vote yes­ter­day, Fi­bro­Gen picked an in­ter­est­ing week to break in an­oth­er CSO with John Hunter get­ting the nod. His pre­de­ces­sor, Per­cy Carter, didn’t last a year be­fore he scam­pered off to Blue­print Med­i­cines in May to take that CSO job. Now it’s up to Hunter — the ex-chief sci­en­tist at Com­pu­gen — to dive in to this sit­u­a­tion af­ter a year as chief ex­ec­u­tive & sci­en­tif­ic of­fi­cer of Key­hole Ther­a­peu­tics.

Un­ease about rox­adu­s­tat’s safe­ty prompt­ed the Car­dio­vas­cu­lar and Re­nal Drugs Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mit­tee to vote against the ane­mia drug by wide mar­gins: 12-2 for pa­tients on dial­y­sis with ane­mia from chron­ic kid­ney dis­ease, and 13-1 for non-dial­y­sis pa­tients.

Joseph Ro­manel­li

RTW In­vest­ments-backed Ji Xing Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has tapped Joseph Ro­manel­li to steer the helm of the ship as CEO. Ro­manel­li comes aboard with ex­pe­ri­ence from his time at Mer­ck, where he most re­cent­ly served as pres­i­dent of MSD Chi­na — over­see­ing the coun­try’s launch­es of Keytru­da and Gar­dasil. In ad­di­tion to his stint as pres­i­dent, Ro­manel­li pre­vi­ous­ly served as pres­i­dent of US hu­man health and VP of in­vestor re­la­tions.

Wei­dong Zhong

→ For­mer Terns Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals CEO Wei­dong Zhong has turned up at Sci­wind Bio­sciences USA — the US sub­sidiary of Hangzhou Sci­wind Bio­sciences — as chief strat­e­gy of­fi­cer and pres­i­dent. Pri­or to found­ing Terns, Zhong was CFO of Night­star Ther­a­peu­tics, which was lat­er ac­quired by Bio­gen in a buy­out that has turned in­to a ma­jor headache. Zhong was the glob­al head of an­tivi­ral re­search at No­var­tis and the se­nior di­rec­tor of bi­ol­o­gy at Gilead. In Au­gust, Senthil Sun­daram took over as CEO of Terns, while Zhong set­tled in­to the roles of CSO and chair­man, but on­ly fleet­ing­ly.

Howard Liang

Tessera’s last big batch of ex­ecs rolled in this spring with ex-blue­bird CMO David David­son lead­ing the pack. This batch is even big­ger: CEO Ge­off von Maltzahn has pulled to­geth­er six more team­mates while pro­mot­ing an­oth­er at the Flag­ship-backed gene writ­ing biotech, head­lined by pres­i­dent and CFO Howard Liang, who was CFO and chief strat­e­gy of­fi­cer dur­ing his six-year run at BeiGene. Our Nicole De­Feud­is spoke with him be­fore Wednes­day’s an­nounce­ment.

Ce­cil­ia Cot­ta-Ra­musi­no

Here are the oth­er folks don­ning the Tessera jer­sey: Mad­husu­dan Pesh­wa (CTO for cell ther­a­py) had been CTO of Mana Ther­a­peu­tics and was CTO and glob­al head of R&D for GE Health­care’s cell and gene ther­a­pies busi­ness; Bill Querbes (SVP, ther­a­peu­tic dis­cov­ery & trans­la­tion­al sci­ences) is an Al­ny­lam vet who comes to Tessera af­ter his time as Avro­bio’s VP and Fab­ry pro­gram lead; Ce­cil­ia Cot­ta-Ra­musi­no (SVP, plat­form de­vel­op­ment) was em­ploy­ee no. 1 at in­sitro as head of func­tion­al ge­nomics af­ter her four years with Ed­i­tas Med­i­cine; Vikram Ranade tacks on SVP to his ti­tle af­ter join­ing Tessera last year as head of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment; David Pol­lard (head of bio­process) logged more than two decades at Mer­ck and is the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of process sci­ences at Kite; and fi­nal­ly, Steve Gar­bacz (head of fi­nance) made stops at Bio­gen, Epizyme, and Spero be­fore his most re­cent gig as VP, fi­nance and cor­po­rate con­troller for Ani­ka Ther­a­peu­tics.

Megan Baier­lein

→ There’s no off but­ton for the Au­dentes purge as Megan Baier­lein sets up shop at T cell re­cep­tor (TCR) biotech T-knife Ther­a­peu­tics as COO. Baier­lein was like­wise the COO at Au­dentes, now Astel­las Gene Ther­a­pies and rat­tled by the deaths of two pa­tients that could set back ap­proval of its gene ther­a­py at least un­til the mid­dle of 2022. She’s made oth­er stops along the way at Genen­tech, Bio­Marin, and Ul­tragenyx be­fore this new gig at Ver­sant-backed T-knife, which raked in a $78 mil­lion Se­ries A round al­most a year ago and named Thomas Soloway CEO in Jan­u­ary.

Mul­ti­ple Au­dentes staffers have since moved on to green­er pas­tures in the last sev­er­al months. With their new com­pa­nies in paren­the­ses, that list in­cludes CMO Ed­ward Con­ner (Lo­can­abio), CCO Er­ic Mos­brook­er (Cog­noa), SVP of tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions Don­ald Wuchterl (now Baier­lein’s col­league at T-knife), and SVP of hu­man re­sources Mary New­man (Taysha).

→ When last we saw Thomas Lars An­dresen, he co-found­ed and was CSO of Torque Ther­a­peu­tics, which Flag­ship then fused to­geth­er with Co­gen to form Reper­toire Im­mune Med­i­cines last year. Start­ing Aug. 1, An­der­sen be­comes CEO and a board mem­ber at  T-Cypher Bio, Ox­ford’s TCR biotech that broke free from Or­bit Dis­cov­ery in Feb­ru­ary. An­dresen al­so found­ed med­ical de­vice out­fit Nanovi and Mon­Ta Bio­sciences, both lo­cat­ed in Den­mark.

Bryan Dechairo

→ El­e­men­tary, my dear Peer Re­view­ers: Bryan Dechairo is suc­ceed­ing co-founder Rahul Dhan­da as pres­i­dent and CEO of Feng Zhang’s di­ag­nos­tic up­start Sher­lock Bio­sciences, which launched in 2019. A Pfiz­er vet in mol­e­c­u­lar med­i­cine, Dechairo was pre­vi­ous­ly Myr­i­ad Ge­net­ics’ SVP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, a po­si­tion he had held since 2017. Dhan­da re­mains a board mem­ber un­til the end of the year and then he will be­come a strate­gic ad­vi­sor in 2022 for Sher­lock, so named for its CRISPR-based tech­nol­o­gy plat­form (Spe­cif­ic High-sen­si­tiv­i­ty En­zy­mat­ic Re­porter un­LOCK­ing).

→ Af­ter launch­ing ear­ly last month with a $12.8 mil­lion seed round led by Take­da Ven­tures and the De­men­tia Dis­cov­ery Fund, Tran­sine Ther­a­peu­tics has plucked up Jan Thir­ket­tle as CEO. Thir­ket­tle is no stranger to the ex­ec­u­tive seat, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly served as CEO and chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at Free­line Ther­a­peu­tics. Pri­or to his ca­reer at Free­line, Thir­ket­tle spent 18 years at GSK, in­clud­ing roles span­ning from dis­cov­ery to man­u­fac­tur­ing.

→  Start­ing Ju­ly 1, Philip Kantoff took on the CEO role at Cam­bridge, MA-based ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny Con­ver­gent Ther­a­peu­tics — with its lead can­di­date CONV 01-α be­ing de­vel­oped to treat prostate can­cer. Kantoff had been chair­man of the De­part­ment of Med­i­cine at Memo­r­i­al Sloan Ket­ter­ing since 2015, and was the long­time di­rec­tor of the Lank Cen­ter for Gen­i­touri­nary On­col­o­gy at Dana-Far­ber.

Re­bec­ca Cham­bers

→ Ge­nom­ic di­ag­nos­tics play­er Ve­r­a­cyte is be­com­ing an­oth­er Peer Re­view main­stay, with Re­bec­ca Cham­bers step­ping up to the plate as EVP and CFO just days af­ter CBO Rob Brain­in and chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Bill Zondler were added to new CEO Marc Sta­p­ley’s team. Cham­bers just com­plet­ed a run as CFO at Out­set Med­ical and was VP, fi­nan­cial plan­ning & analy­sis to close out near­ly sev­en years at Il­lu­mi­na from 2012-19.

→ Jazzed about the obe-cel da­ta it pre­sent­ed to the Eu­ro­pean Hema­tol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion for in­do­lent B cell non-Hodgkin lym­phoma, Lon­don-based Au­to­lus has ush­ered in Edgar Braen­dle as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. The No­var­tis on­col­o­gy vet just had a year-long stay as CMO and glob­al head of de­vel­op­ment with Sum­it­o­mo Dainip­pon Phar­ma On­col­o­gy. Au­to­lus named ex-Syn­cona chief Mar­tin Mur­phy chair­man in April af­ter trim­ming 20% of its work­force to kick off 2021.

Kel­ly Gold

Kel­ly Gold has the Mi­das touch at Camp4 Ther­a­peu­tics with her pro­mo­tion to CBO and SVP of fi­nance, while Michelle Gates steps in as SVP and chief peo­ple of­fi­cer. Gold has served as Camp4’s di­rec­tor, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment & fi­nance and VP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment since punch­ing her tick­et out of Bio­gen in 2017. Gates had de­vot­ed her last 16 years to a se­ries of hu­man re­sources ca­pac­i­ties at Aka­mai Tech­nolo­gies be­fore this new po­si­tion at CEO Josh Man­del-Brehm’s re­gR­NA biotech.

One more Camp4 nugget: Mass Gen­er­al Brigham‘s chief aca­d­e­m­ic of­fi­cer Ravi Thad­hani takes a seat on the board of di­rec­tors.

→ Mak­ing its de­but in May with Alex­ion co-founder Stephen Squin­to as CEO and $40 mil­lion worth of fresh Se­ries A fund­ing at its dis­pos­al, Gen­nao Bio has locked in Chris Duke as COO. Duke used to be in charge of op­er­a­tions for Am­i­cus’ Japan­ese af­fil­i­ate and led the com­mer­cial­iza­tion in Tokyo for its Fab­ry dis­ease drug Galafold. He al­so has COO ex­pe­ri­ence from Ad­vax­is and was NPS Phar­ma’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tion­al com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, ex-Arch On­col­o­gy in­ter­im CEO and ubiq­ui­tous Peer Re­view pres­ence Julie Ham­ble­ton is now part of Gen­nao Bio’s board of di­rec­tors.

Kather­ine Ruffn­er

→ Once known as Trovagene, San Diego-based Cardiff On­col­o­gy has bulked up its C-suite with CMO Kather­ine Ruffn­er and CFO James Levine. Ruffn­er has worked in on­col­o­gy de­vel­op­ment with Pfiz­er, Bio­gen and Am­gen, and she comes to the on­va­nsert­ib biotech from ALX On­col­o­gy, where she was VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Since late 2018, Levine had been CFO with Cidara Ther­a­peu­tics, help­ing strike a deal this spring with J&J in which the phar­ma gi­ant staked up to $780 mil­lion on Cidara’s in­fluen­za drugs.

Gbo­la Amusa

→ Be­fore all the kids were do­ing it, Chardan chose the SPAC route with Chardan Health­care Ac­qui­si­tion and re­verse-merged with Bio­mX in 2019. Gbo­la Amusa was at the fore­front of that ef­fort, and this week Chardan pro­mot­ed him to CSO. Amusa, who will still be list­ed as a part­ner, spent the last sev­en years as Chardan’s head of health­care re­search.

→ Co-found­ed by Lui­gi Nal­di­ni last year, Mi­lan gene ther­a­py play­er Gene­spire has tapped Philippe Mauber­na as CFO. Mauber­na spent the last eight years as CFO of Nanobi­otix, which just pre­sent­ed da­ta at AS­CO for its hafni­um ox­ide nanopar­ti­cle drug NBTXR3, and he took on the same ti­tle pre­vi­ous­ly at Astel­las Phar­ma France. Mauber­na’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Astel­las goes back to his days as the com­pa­ny’s se­nior di­rec­tor, EMEA, mar­ket plan­ning and com­mer­cial ef­fec­tive­ness in the UK.

Sean Grant

→ Over­haul­ing its fo­cus from gene ther­a­py to kid­ney dis­ease and re­ceiv­ing a tepid re­sponse on Nas­daq, Ve­ra Ther­a­peu­tics (for­mer­ly Tru­code Gene Re­pair) has turned to Sean Grant to be CFO. Grant, a one-time Cit­i­group ex­ec in health­care in­vest­ment bank­ing, swings over to Ve­ra af­ter a year as VP of cor­po­rate strat­e­gy and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for CareDx.

Cor­cept Ther­a­peu­tics has en­list­ed Gilead alum Amy Flood as chief hu­man re­sources and com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer. Flood gave 21 years to Gilead and had been serv­ing as SVP, pub­lic af­fairs for Dan O’Day’s bunch. Her ap­point­ment comes sev­er­al months af­ter Cor­cept — the first biotech to se­cure an FDA ap­proval for a Cush­ing’s syn­drome drug with Ko­r­lym in 2012 — made a cou­ple of lead­er­ship read­just­ments by slot­ting ex-CFO Charles Robb in­to the CBO role, paving the way for cur­rent CFO Atabak Mokari.

An­na Quat­tropani

→ With ex-Der­mi­ra CEO An­drew Hotchkiss now at the helm, Dan­ish PC­SK9 biotech Draup­nir Bio’s lat­est hire is chief dis­cov­ery of­fi­cer An­na Quat­tropani. She had a long as­so­ci­a­tion with Serono (lat­er Mer­ck Serono) in med­i­c­i­nal chem­istry and then shift­ed to its spin­off As­ceneu­ron, spend­ing the last eight years there and ris­ing to EVP and head of non-clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and med­i­c­i­nal chem­istry.

Brook­lyn Im­munoTher­a­peu­tics, the IL-2 biotech in a Phase IIa tri­al with IRX-2 for head and neck can­cer, nets an­oth­er ex­ec with chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Jay Sial af­ter CSO Kevin D’Amour’s ap­point­ment in June. Sial just com­plet­ed a brief stint as CFO of As­pen Neu­ro­science, now un­der the lead­er­ship of CEO Damien McDe­vitt.

→ Biosim­u­la­tion-fo­cused Cer­tara has hand­ed the top hu­man re­sources job to Nico­lette Sher­man, who was al­so the chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer at Oys­ter Point Phar­ma and held HR and lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment posts dur­ing her 11 years with Sanofi. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, Cer­tara has re­cruit­ed for­mer McK­in­sey di­rec­tor Nan­cy Kille­fer and ex-Ed­i­tas Med­i­cine CEO Cyn­thia Collins to its board of di­rec­tors.

Tim­o­thy Zheng

Cyg­nal put out word on Twit­ter that Tim­o­thy Zheng has climbed aboard as SVP of bi­ol­o­gy. Pre­vi­ous­ly, Zheng was a re­search fel­low and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of im­mune mod­u­la­tion at Boehringer In­gel­heim and al­so spent 17 years at Bio­gen. The Pearl Huang-led Flag­ship biotech ex­plor­ing the ex­oneur­al bi­ol­o­gy field lat­er tweet­ed that Ar­rakis co-founder and CSO Jen­nifer Pet­ter has joined the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

An­na Di­az Tri­o­la has signed on as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer of As­traZeneca’s an­tibac­te­r­i­al spin­out En­ta­sis Ther­a­peu­tics. The ex-Bio­gen prod­uct man­ag­er and as­so­ciate di­rec­tor grabs this op­por­tu­ni­ty af­ter con­sec­u­tive VP of mar­ket­ing stints at Flex­ion Ther­a­peu­tics and Sum­mit Ther­a­peu­tics. Ear­li­er, Tri­o­la closed out her six years at Cu­bist Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals as head of pa­tient en­gage­ment & ad­vo­ca­cy.

Michael Brooks

Sy­neos Health, the CRO lo­cat­ed in the Re­search Tri­an­gle of North Car­oli­na, has ap­point­ed Michael Brooks as its first chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. Brooks, who took on a bas­ket full of roles dur­ing his days at PPD from 1999-2014, is the ex-pres­i­dent & glob­al head of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment & com­mer­cial­iza­tion ser­vices for Lab­Corp (Co­v­ance).

Nar­can mak­er Opi­ant Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has named Matthew Ruth as its CCO. Pri­or to his new role, Ruth was COO for medtech com­pa­ny Right­Care So­lu­tions. Be­fore that, Ruth was VP of Azur Phar­ma and Avanir Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and held a va­ri­ety of roles at Al­ler­gan.

Sharon Mor­riss

Sharon Mor­riss has been named SVP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Austin-based or­phan drug biotech Lung Ther­a­peu­tics, which had its most re­cent round of fund­ing two years ago. The Shire vet jumps on board from Cedric Fran­cois’ crew at Apel­lis, leav­ing her mark on the rare dis­ease and oph­thal­mol­o­gy clin­i­cal port­fo­lio as SVP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment op­er­a­tions. In May, Apel­lis’ parox­ys­mal noc­tur­nal he­mo­glo­bin­uria drug pegc­eta­coplan was ap­proved by the FDA, now known as Em­paveli.

Ta­van­ta Ther­a­peu­tics has made some changes to its lead­er­ship team with the ap­point­ment of An­dreas Maet­zel as CMO and the pro­mo­tion of Eliz­a­beth Man­ning Du­us to VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Maet­zel joins the com­pa­ny af­ter a stint as CMO of KalVista Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and se­nior glob­al med­ical af­fairs po­si­tions with BioCryst Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Cor­ner­stone Bio­phar­ma. Mean­while, Du­us came to Ta­van­ta in Jan­u­ary 2019 as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment af­ter serv­ing at Helsinn Ther­a­peu­tics and Akros Phar­ma.

→ Gaithers­burg, MD-based Nex­Im­mune threw its hat in­to this year’s IPO ring with a $110 mil­lion haul, and the biotech has sewn up two new hires with SVP of trans­la­tion­al sci­ence Jack Ragheb and head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment Matt Schiller. Ragheb hails from Eli Lil­ly, where he was se­nior med­ical fel­low for im­munol­o­gy and co-chaired the im­muno­genic­i­ty/im­munosafe­ty work­ing group. Schiller’s run with EMD Serono be­gan in 2015, serv­ing as di­rec­tor, glob­al li­cens­ing & busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, im­munol­o­gy.

→ De­vel­op­ing an AAV-based gene ther­a­py for BAG3-as­so­ci­at­ed di­lat­ed car­diomy­opa­thy (DCM), Ren­o­va­cor ma­te­ri­al­izes with an­oth­er new ex­ec af­ter adding CMO Marc Sem­i­gran, with Ji­wen Zhang head­ing to the biotech as SVP, reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs and qual­i­ty as­sur­ance. Zhang, who worked in reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs at such com­pa­nies as Mer­ck, Wyeth, Sanofi, GE Health­care and Tmu­ni­ty, had been VP, head of reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs at Pas­sage Bio since 2019.

Steven Neben

Mo­ham­mad El-Kalay’s June ap­point­ment as head of CMC was mere­ly a warmup for the trio of in­com­ing staffers at BeiGene part­ner Shore­line Bio­sciences. Boy­an Litchev (SVP and head of glob­al clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment) has been around the block with lead­er­ship roles at Shire, Akcea and Halozyme, and in Feb­ru­ary 2020 he be­came head of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, on­col­o­gy for Po­sei­da. Steven Neben (VP, al­liance and project man­age­ment) is an Anap­tys­Bio vet who just com­plet­ed a nine-year run at Reg­u­lus Ther­a­peu­tics. And Bjorn Dahle (VP, smart man­u­fac­tur­ing) is the ex-CEO of In­spire So­lu­tions and Ver­saCall Tech­nolo­gies.

→ Short­ly af­ter The Col­umn Group helped co-lead Cir­cle Phar­ma’s $66 mil­lion Se­ries C round, the South San Fran­cis­co macro­cy­cle drug de­vel­op­er has now brought in Eve­lyn Wang as its VP of trans­la­tion­al med­i­cine. Wang, who was once the di­rec­tor of trans­la­tion­al re­search at Bio­Marin, joined Ex­elix­is in 2016 and held the role of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, trans­la­tion­al med­i­cine.

Gayle Giron­da

→ Boston-based In­ozyme has reeled in Gayle Giron­da as SVP of hu­man re­sources. Giron­da comes aboard af­ter most re­cent­ly serv­ing as VP, hu­man re­sources, glob­al hema­tol­ogy and glob­al mar­ket ac­cess at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb. Be­fore her role at BMS, Giron­da was with Cel­gene and Alex­ion.

Per­son­al Genome Di­ag­nos­tics (PGDx) has wel­comed back Mark Sausen to the team as VP, tech­nol­o­gy in­no­va­tion. Sausen for­mer­ly served as the Bal­ti­more-based com­pa­ny’s VP, re­search and de­vel­op­ment for six years be­fore hop­ping over to a stint at Bris­tol My­ers, where he was sci­en­tif­ic di­rec­tor, clin­i­cal ge­net­ics and ge­nomics.

Snap­drag­on Chem­istry has en­list­ed Hui Fang as the com­pa­ny’s di­rec­tor of at­tribute sci­ences and qual­i­ty con­trol. Fang hops aboard af­ter serv­ing as as­so­ciate di­rec­tor, CMC an­a­lyt­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Ake­bia Ther­a­peu­tics. Pri­or to that role, Fang was with Ei­sai.

Di­eter Weinand

→ For­mer Bay­er CEO Di­eter Weinand is adding yet an­oth­er ex­ec­u­tive chair­man role to his ré­sumé with his ap­point­ment to the board of di­rec­tors at Es­sen­lix. Cur­rent­ly, Weinand is the chair­man of the board of Replim­mune and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Ziel­Bio­Phar­ma. Weinand’s ca­reer has spanned stints at Pfiz­er, Bris­tol My­ers and Sanofi.

→ T cell-based im­munother­a­py biotech Viri­on Ther­a­peu­tics out of Philadel­phia has elect­ed Michelle Berrey and Bill Brad­ford to the board of di­rec­tors. Berrey’s tenure as In­ter­cept’s CMO and pres­i­dent of R&D is in its ear­ly stages, while Brad­ford co-found­ed and was CMO for In­da­lo Ther­a­peu­tics.

Jen­nifer Well­man

At­se­na Ther­a­peu­tics, the Re­search Tri­an­gle gene ther­a­py out­fit found­ed by Shan­non and San­ford Boye that bagged a $55 mil­lion Se­ries A in De­cem­ber, has made room for Spark co-founder Jen­nifer Well­man on the board of di­rec­tors. Well­man is now the COO at Man­ny Si­mons-led Ak­ou­os.

Im­muneer­ing, the on­col­o­gy biotech where you can now find Biren Amin as CFO af­ter of­fer­ing his on­col­o­gy takes at Jef­feries, has opened up a seat for Ann Berman on the board of di­rec­tors. Berman, the re­tired CFO and VP of fi­nance at Har­vard, has al­so been on the board of Loews since 2006.

→ New York-based Xalud Ther­a­peu­tics has added some new faces to its strate­gic ad­vi­so­ry board. The fresh re­cruits in­clude: Michael Ehlers (CSO and ven­ture part­ner at Ap­ple Tree Part­ners); Mace Rothen­berg (for­mer CMO at Pfiz­er); Tarek Samad (SVP and glob­al head of re­search at Lund­beck); and Matt Walk­er (SVP, head of in­dus­tri­al op­er­a­tions for GSK Vac­cines).

John Davis

→ When John Davis ul­ti­mate­ly leaves Ma­gen­ta Ther­a­peu­tics, he has his next role lined up as a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors at Third Rock’s im­munome­tab­o­lism biotech Rheos Med­i­cines. In late May, Davis re­signed as Ma­gen­ta’s CMO and head of R&D, step­ping aside “no lat­er than Ju­ly 30,” ac­cord­ing to an SEC fil­ing.

Michael Hay­den is now a non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Ox­ford Bio­med­ica. Hay­den, the CEO of For­bion-backed neu­ro start­up Prile­nia Ther­a­peu­tics, was the pres­i­dent of glob­al R&D and CSO at Te­va from 2012-17.

Bren­dan De­laney

Bren­dan De­laney has been added to the board of di­rec­tors at New York-based Be­yond­Spring. De­laney, the chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer of Im­munomedics when Gilead made a $21 bil­lion deal for the com­pa­ny, is in his first year as CCO at Con­stel­la­tion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Akero Ther­a­peu­tics — who’s work­ing on an old Am­gen drug to treat NASHhas pulled in Judy Chou to its board of di­rec­tors. Chou cur­rent­ly serves as pres­i­dent and CEO of Al­tru­Bio and for­mer­ly served as SVP and glob­al head of biotech at Bay­er. Ear­li­er in her ca­reer, Chou held phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal op­er­a­tions and man­u­fac­tur­ing roles at Pfiz­er and Tan­vex Bio­phar­ma.

→ Out in the Rock­ies, Clo­vis On­col­o­gy is let­ting in Ronit Siman­tov as a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors. The ex-VP of on­col­o­gy glob­al med­ical af­fairs at Pfiz­er, Siman­tov has been Gami­da Cell’s CMO since Ju­ly 2017.


Adap­tive De­sign Meth­ods Of­fer Rapid, Seam­less Tran­si­tion Be­tween Study Phas­es in Rare Can­cer Tri­als

Rare cancers account for 22 percent of cancer diagnoses worldwide, yet there is no universally accepted definition for a “rare” cancer. Moreover, with the evolution of genomics and associated changes in categorizing tumors, some common cancers are now characterized into groups of rare cancers, each with a unique implication for patient management and therapy.

Adaptive designs, which allow for prospectively planned modifications to study design based on accumulating data from subjects in the trial, can be used to optimize rare oncology trials (see Figure 1). Adaptive design studies may include multiple cohorts and multiple tumor types. In addition, numerous adaptation methods may be used in a single trial and may facilitate a more rapid, seamless transition between study phases.

Matt Gline (L) and Pete Salzmann

UP­DAT­ED: Roivant bumps stake in Im­muno­vant with a $200M deal. But with M&A off the ta­ble, shares crater

Roivant has worked out a deal to pick up a chunk of stock in its majority-owned sub Immunovant $IMVT, but the stock buy falls far short of its much-discussed thoughts about buying out all of the 43% of shares it doesn’t already own.

Roivant, which recently inked a SPAC move to the market at a $7 billion-plus valuation, has forged a deal to boost its ownership in Immunovant by 6.3 points, ending with 63.8% of the biotech’s stock following a $200 million injection. That cash will bolster Immunovant’s cash reserves, giving it a $600 million war chest to fund a slate of late-stage studies for its big drug: the anti-FcRn antibody IMVT-1401.

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Sanofi preps a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar buy­out of an mR­NA pi­o­neer af­ter falling be­hind in the race for a Covid-19 jab — re­port

It looks like Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson is dead serious about his intention to vault directly into contention for the future of mRNA vaccines.

A year after paying Translate Bio a whopping $425 million in an upfront and equity payment to help guide the pharma giant to the promised land of mRNA vaccines for Covid-19, Sanofi is reportedly ready to close the deal with a buyout.

Translate’s stock $TBIO soared 78% after the market closed Monday. A spokesperson for Sanofi declined to comment on the report, telling Endpoints News that the company doesn’t comment on market rumors.

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UP­DAT­ED: Watch out Glax­o­SmithK­line: As­traZeneca's once-failed lu­pus drug is now ap­proved

Capping a roller coaster journey, AstraZeneca has steered its lupus drug anifrolumab across the finish line.

Saphnelo, as the antibody will be marketed, is the only treatment that’s been approved for systemic lupus erythematosus since GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta clinched an OK in 2011. The British drugmaker notes it’s also the first to target the type I interferon receptor.

Mirroring the population that the drug was tested on in late-stage trials, regulators sanctioned it for patients with moderate to severe cases who are already receiving standard therapy — setting up a launch planned for the end of August, according to Ruud Dobber, who’s in charge of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals business unit.

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Not all mR­NA vac­cines are cre­at­ed equal. Does it mat­ter?; Neu­ro is back; Pri­vate M&A af­fair; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

As part of our broader and deeper drive, Endpoints has been pairing webinars with our special reports to cover more angles on a given topic. In conjunction with Max Gelman’s neuroscience feature, Kyle Blankenship moderated an insightful panel to discuss where the field is headed. You can register to watch it on demand here.

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Bris­tol My­ers pulls lym­phoma in­di­ca­tion for Is­to­dax af­ter con­fir­ma­to­ry tri­al falls flat

Amid an industrywide review of cancer drugs with accelerated approval, Bristol Myers Squibb had to make the tough call last month to yank an approval for leading I/O drug Opdivo after flopping a confirmatory study. Now, a second Bristol Myers drug is on the chopping block.

Bristol Myers has pulled aging HDAC inhibitor Istodax’s indication in peripheral T cell lymphoma after a Phase III confirmatory study for the drug flopped on its progression-free survival endpoint, the drugmaker said Monday.

Rick Pazdur (via AACR)

FDA's on­col­o­gy head Rick Paz­dur de­fends the ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval path­way, claim­ing it is 'un­der at­tack'

The FDA is sounding the alarm over its accelerated approval pathway as backlash continues over the recent nod in favor of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, and an ODAC meeting on six such approvals that could potentially be pulled from the market — two of which already have.

“Do you think accelerated approval is under attack? I do,” Rick Pazdur, head of FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence, said at a Friends of Cancer Research webinar on Thursday.

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FTC pulls re­main­ing case against Ab­b­Vie; New EU clin­i­cal tri­als sys­tem com­ing in 2022; Abing­worth bets big on CymaBay

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday withdrew its remaining case against AbbVie after the Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s ruling.

The punt by SCOTUS means that while the Illinois pharma company illegally blocked patients’ access to lower-cost alternatives to its testosterone drug AndroGel, the FTC will no longer be able to return about $500 million directly to AndroGel consumers.

Alan Hirzel, Abcam

Drug sup­pli­er Ab­cam brings a long­time col­lab­o­ra­tor in house as part of $340M buy­out pact

BioVision has supplied Abcam with research tools since 1999, and now the two are making it official as part of a merger unveiled Monday.

Abcam will buyout BioVision as part of a $340 million acquisition deal to bring aboard the supplier’s biochemical and cell-based assays for biological research, as well as recombinant proteins, antibodies and enzymes.

The deal will give Abcam control of BioVision’s portfolio and allow for both the expansion of research existing areas of focus such as oncology, neuroscience and epigenetics and preparation to expand into new products. As a part of the deal, Abcam will develop and supply products and services to NKY, the previous owner of BioVision and receive support for ongoing development and commercialization of in vitro diagnostic products.