Peer Review

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

Mario Saltarelli

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.

→ Having sharpened his CFO acumen at Aldeyra and Javelin, Stephen Tulipano has landed a new job at Stoke Therapeutics. The Biogen alum joins Stoke months after it closed a $90 million Series B banking on its antisense approach — upregulating protein expression — to genetic epilepsies and other diseases, with a lead (preclinical) program in Dravet syndrome.

→ Wrapping up a Phase III program for its pediatric liver drug, Albireo has begun planning for the potential launch by creating a chief commercial officer role. Pamela Stephenson, a veteran of Vertex and Pfizer, will take on the position. A4250 is designed to treat progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, squarely situated in the orphan realm in which Stephenson has spent plenty of time.

→ Two months after we broke the story that Forma Therapeutics had axed R&D staff in a major reorganization of the company, founding CEO Steve Tregay is now joining the exodus. He’s being replaced at the helm by Genentech vet and chief strategy officer Frank Lee. Lee, whose last title at Genentech was senior vice president, global product strategy, had a direct hand in launching some of the big biotech’s top franchise drugs

Ran Zheng

→ Following a 16-year career handling operations at Amgen, Ran Zheng is joining Orchard Therapeutics $ORTX as its first chief technical officer. Her responsibilities span process development, manufacturing, quality, facilities and engineering, supply chain, as well as CMC — all crucial elements in Orchard’s quest to become a full-fledged developer of rare disease gene therapies.

→ Weeks after Mark Sirgo took the helm at ArunA Bio, he’s tapped Al Medwar, a former colleague at BioDelivery Sciences, to execute on corporate and commercial development of its exosome platform. The Athens, GA-based company is waging a fresh effort to develop therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases using neural exosomes and could use some industry collaborations.

→ With a new CSO in place, Nimbus Therapeutics is beefing up its scientific team to accelerate its momentum in drug discovery. Alan Collis has been named VP of preclinical development, having worked with the company part-time since leaving the DPMK director role at Forma Therapeutics last October. Jennifer Rocnik, current director of oncology biology, got a promotion to VP biology.

→ As Fractyl Laboratories kicks off a clinical trial in type 2 diabetes, the Lexington, MA-based  company has hired former Sanofi exec Margaret Borys as chief commercial officer and Intercept alum Juan Carlos Lopez-Talavera as chief medical officer. Its lead product candidate, Revita DMR, is an outpatient procedure designed to rejuvenate the intestinal lining through a catheter in order to reverse insulin-resistant metabolic diseases like diabetes and NASH.

→ Oxford professor Mark McCarthy has officially hung up his “metaphorical stethoscope” to and traveling halfway across the world to lead human genetics at Genentech in the Bay Area. His new job will involve enabling drug discovery, as well as directing a research team focused on translational efforts.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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