Eli Lilly vet jumps aboard Polaris Partners; Mirati shakes up its leadership team with new hires and promotions
→ Polaris Partners has snagged Eli Lilly vet Darren Carroll as a partner. Carroll spent 22 years at Eli Lilly before making the switch to the investment firm’s Boston office. Most recently, Carroll served as SVP of corporate business development at Lilly, where he oversaw the $8.1 billion acquisition of Loxo Oncology and the divestiture of animal health company Elanco. Carroll is credited with forming Lilly Asia Ventures and was the founding CEO of Lilly spinout InnoCentive.
→ Mirati Therapeutics — a keenly watched rival to Amgen in the KRAS G12C field — has made some changes in its executive team. The biotech welcomed former Spark Therapeutics exec Daniel Faga as COO and Bristol-Myers Squibb vet Benjamin Hickey as CCO. In addition, the company promoted Vickie Reed to SVP, finance and chief accounting officer and Jessica Corson as VP, business development — both joined in 2013.
→ MBX Biosciences has tapped co-founder and board director Kent Hawryluk to run the company as president and CEO. Hawryluk hops over after a stint as CBO of Avidity Biosciences, which he also co-founded. As a partner of Twilight Venture Partners, his previous experience includes helping launch Marcadia Biotech (acquired by Roche) and MB2 (acquired by Novo Nordisk). In addition to Hawryluk, the company has brought on Greg Davis as VP, product development. Davis most recently had a stint as VP of CMC, regulatory quality at Calibrium (acquired by Novo Nordisk).
→ Months after stepping down as the North America president of Sobi, Rami Levin has been appointed to be CEO at Saniona — focused on the treatment of eating disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. Levin will succeed Jørgen Drejer, who will transition to the role of CSO. Prior to his 5-year tenure at Sobi, Levin headed marketing at Merck Serono.
→ J&J-partnered Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals has tapped James Hassard as the company’s first CCO to begin mapping a commercial path for its RNAi therapies. Most recently, Hassard served as SVP of marketing and market access at Coherus BioSciences. Prior to that, he held stints at Medivation, Amgen and Schering Plough.
→ As its lead therapy clears a pivotal Phase II, bringing it closer to its first BLA, ADC Therapeutics has tapped Joseph Camardo as head of medical affairs. In his new role, Camardo will be responsible for ensuring “optimal medical impact” for loncastuximab tesirine (ADCT-402) among patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Camardo joins the Swiss biotech after a stint as SVP of Celgene’s global health, which followed positions at Forest Research Institute and Wyeth Research (now Pfizer).
→ After scrapping their Phase I program and having their CSO hit the exit last May, German biotech Affimed has brought on Andreas Harstrick as CMO. Most recently, Harstrick served in the same role at Molecular Partners. Harstrick is an alumnus of ImClone, Lilly Oncology and Merck Serono.
→ Dyve Biosciences has named Pfizer vet Chuck Harbert as CSO — following the recent clearance the company received to begin a Phase II trial for their drug, DYV-700. Harbert spent three decades at Pfizer before transitioning to his new role. During his time at the pharma giant, Harbert served as VP, US exploratory development and strategic planning and had roles at Pfizer Central Research. In addition, Harbert was the co-inventor of Zoloft.
→ Biocon Biologics, a subsidiary of Biocon, has appointed MB Chinappa as CFO. Chinappa’s appointment comes at the same time as private equity fund True North’s acquisition of 2.44% of the company in a deal worth $74 million. Chinappa makes the jump from one of Biocon’s other subsidiaries, Syngene, where he was president (finance) and CFO. Chinappa led the Syngene’s IPO in 2015.
→ Momenta Pharmaceuticals has added the title of CFO to the company’s CBO Young Kwon. Kwon joined the company in 2011 and prior to that, he worked at Biogen and Advanced Technology Ventures.
→ AVEO — which had their drug tivozanib spurned once again by the FDA two months ago — has appointed Erick Lucera to the position of CFO. Prior to joining the company, Lucera served in the same role at Valeritas. Before that, he was the CFO, treasurer and secretary of Viventia Bio (acquired by Eleven Biotherapeutics and now Sesen Bio).
→ Candel Therapeutics — focused on the development of viral immunotherapies for multiple tumor indications — has brought on Genzyme vet Sandra Poole as COO. Poole was most recently COO of LogicBio Therapeutics, after serving as EVP of technical operations and commercial development at ImmunoGen. During her time at Genzyme, Poole oversaw biologics manufacturing.
→ Antengene, a US-China biotech backed by Celgene, has snagged one of its top execs in China. John Chin, Celgene’s general manager in the country, has joined as chief business officer just a few days before former Celgene CEO Mark Alles was appointed to the board of directors. Chin’s resume spans Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck.
→ Rubius Therapeutics has appointed autoimmunity and translational immunology expert Laurence Turka as the biotech’s first CSO, joining its mission to pioneer a new class of medicines called red cell therapeutics. Turka hops over to the company from Rheos Medicines, where he was a co-founder and CSO. Turka was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures, turning to the VC life after an academic career that put him at the head of the American Society of Transplantation and a professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
→ Abeona Therapeutics — which had some good news last month when the FDA lifted its hold on the company’s butterfly disease therapy — is parting ways with its executive chairman Steven Rouhandeh, revealed in an SEC filing.
→ Eiger BioPharmaceuticals has appointed Eldon Mayer as EVP and CCO. Mayer joins just as the company has initiated an NDA for its drug ionafarnib to treat Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS or progeria) and progeroid laminopathies. Mayer had the same job at Rigel Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Mayer was the SVP of commercial operations at Questcor Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Mallinckrodt).
→ Cancer-focused Cellectar Biosciences has named Igor Grachev as CMO. Grachev previously served as global development leader and head of innovative clinical trials initiative, R&D for TEVA Pharmaceuticals. His prior employers include GE Healthcare, Novartis, GSK, Merck, Schering PLough, Sanofi-Aventis and BioClinica.
→ The immunology experts at IFM Therapeutics — who brought in $55.5 million in new venture backing last month — has wooed Michael Cooke from Magenta Therapeutics as CSO. Before Magenta, Cooke was a founding scientist at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation.
→ Anti-edema therapies-focused Aeromics has brought on Joseph Schindler as its first CMO. Schindler is an associate professor of neurology and of neurosurgery at Yale University School of Medicine, where he is the clinical chief of the division of vascular neurology. He is also the director of the comprehensive stroke program and telestroke services at Yale New Haven Hospital.
→ India’s Vyome Therapeutics — which back in 2016 raised $14 million for its R&D work on skin diseases — has named Craig Tooman COO and CFO. Prior to joining Vyome, Tooman served as the CEO of Aratana Therapeutics. In addition, Tooman has served as founder and CEO of Avanzar Medical and CFO at Ikaria and Enzon Pharmaceuticals.
→ Baltimore-based startup WindMIL Therapeutics — spun out of John Hopkins — has named Bristol-Myers vet Karen LaRochelle as SVP, corporate & business development and promoted Patrick Dougherty to SVP, strategy, planning & operations. LaRochelle previously served as CBO of PsiOxus Therapeutics and during her time at BMS served as global head of negotiations and head of business development in China. Prior to his time at WindMIL, Dougherty served as chief of staff to the SVP R&D pipeline for pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK.
→ Vor Biopharma — the biotech co-founded by Siddhartha Mukherjee to pioneer a new type of cancer cell therapy — has made two new additions to its team. Amy Mendel joins as chief legal officer and Tania Philipps joins as VP of people. Mendel was the VP & associate general counsel for Ziopharm Oncology while Philipps was the VP and head of human resources at Tango Therapeutics.
→ JSR life sciences company Selexis has promoted Yemi Onakunle to the position of CBO. Onakunle joined the company in 2012 from Diosynth RTP, where he was the director of commercial development. His other stints include roles at Lonza Custom Manufacturing and Bachem Americas.
→ Immuneering — whose current pipeline focuses on diseases such as cancer cachexia and metastasis — has brought on Howard Kaufman as head of research and development. Kaufman, the former president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), was most recently CMO at Replimune Group. Kaufman’s hiring comes a few weeks after the appointment of Scott Barrett to CMO at Immuneering.
→ CAR-T-focused Innovative Cellular Therapeutics (ICT) has welcomed Christopher Ballas onboard as SVP of manufacturing. Ballas’ career has brought him to Rocket Pharmaceuticals, Cook Medical and WuXi AppTec.
→ Allurion Technologies has recruited Whitney Cypes, former senior director of marketing for Insulet Corporation, as VP of global marketing and Chris Aronson, formerly of Restoration Robotics, as VP of North American sales. In addition, Benoit Chardon was promoted to EVP of commercial.
→ Eliot Forster-led cancer biotech F-star Therapeutics has appointed Edward Benz, the president and CEO emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Minerva exec Geoff Race to the board of directors.
→ Elias Zerhouni, the former R&D head at Sanofi and ex-NIH director, has taken up a seat at Waypoint Capital’s board. The Geneva firm is led by Swiss billionaire and former Serono chief Ernesto Bertarelli and devised an $832 million buyout deal to take allergy drugmaker Stallergenes Greer private.