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.
→ Doug Williams, the CEO at Codiak, is taking the chairman’s position at Swiss biotech AC Immune, which has spent years pursuing new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. Williams was a top exec at Biogen with George Scangos’ crew before he left well ahead of the big biotech’s current travails with Alzheimer’s.
→ Israeli biotech Pluristem has officially phased out its co-CEO structure, installing Yaky Yanay as the sole chief and president. Zami Aberman will become executive chairman, with a mandate to shape corporate development and business strategy. The transition comes as the company wraps up its Phase III and begins pondering commercialization of its placenta-based cell therapies, which treat critical limb ischemia and hip fracture among other diseases.
→ Amylyx Pharmaceuticals has laid relatively low since breaking out six years ago with support from the late Henri Termeer. But the young founders are now confident enough in their Phase II work in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease to recruit some seasoned execs to their team. Patrick Yeramian, who’s been consulting with the Cambridge, MA-based company, joins as the full-time CMO; Alexion vet Margaret Olinger is the new chief commercial officer; and Tom Holmes jumps from Biogen to head the supply chain.
→ Moving fast and planning way ahead have been central tenets at Arcus Biosciences, and it is once again showing in their appointment of a chief commercial officer long before entering late-stage studies. Eric Hoefer, an I/O vet who’s credited for helping launch Imfinzi at AstraZeneca, is tasked with advising the team on identifying key patient populations, market opportunities and potential approaches to accelerate development. Arcus’ most advanced program combines AB928, a dual adenosine receptor antagonist, and AB122, a cheap PD-1 drug licensed from WuXi.
→ MorphoSys has recruited ex-Syntimmune chief Jean-Paul Kress to take the helm as Simon Moroney makes his planned exit from the C-suite. Moroney steps down at the beginning of September. Kress helped arrange the sale of Syntimmune to Alexion.
→ In the final lead-up to its all-important BLA submission slated for Q3, DBV Technologies has raided Millendo Therapeutics for a new CMO. Pharis Mohideen will work closely with CSO Hugh Sampson, who’s been doubling in the medical role ad interim. Aside from their peanut allergy product, the French biotech is also developing a non-invasive way to deliver biologically active compounds to the immune system through the skin.
→ Longtime investment banker Peter Collum is making the leap to the industry as CFO and CBO at Pharnext, a French company he’s gotten to know in the past five years. Its pleotherapy platform identifies the ideal combination of available medicines to fight targets underlying, often rare, disease.
→ Qrons has tapped John Bonfiglio to spearhead IND activities surrounding its hydrogel for traumatic brain injuries. As COO, Bonfiglio will operate from the biotech’s New York headquarters and coordinate with the scientific team in Israel. Before starting his own consulting group, he helmed several drug development companies including TapImmune, Oragenics and Peregrine.
→ CMO and senior vice president of Xencor — a company focused on developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of various diseases and illnesses — Paul Foster will be stepping out the door and into retirement effective October 31, 2019, after a decade of service. While at the company, Foster advanced a diverse pipeline of XmAb bispecific antibodies into early-stage clinical development. The company has initiated a search for a successor.
→ Melbourne, Australia-based Propanc Biopharma welcomed Carlo Campiciano to the ranks as CFO of the company. For over a decade, Campiciano has served as an external advisor for the company while also serving as CFO of a startup — which grew from an annual turnover of $2 million to $40 million, running a private accounting practice for over 30 years and serving as a lecturer for 12 years at Swinburne University.
→ Ahead of its Phase III development of ensifentrine, Verona Pharma — a company focused on respiratory diseases — added Nina Church and Nancy Herje to the fold. GSK vet Church will serve as executive director of global clinical development and Herje will join as senior director of clinical operations. During her 25 years at GSK, Church was involved in the development of Advair, Anoro, Flovent, Serevent and Ventolin. She joins Verona from Parion Sciences where she served as executive director, clinical operations. Prior to joining Verona, Herje was a senior clinical scientist at ExecuPharm. She has had previous stints at Chimerix, Aerocrine, Inspire and GSK.
→ Abeona Therapeutics — a company developing cell and gene therapies — has strengthened its leadership board with the addition of Victor Paulus as senior vice president of regulatory affairs and Jodie Gillon as vice president of patient advocacy and clinical affairs.
Prior to joining Abeona, Paulus served as vice president and global head of regulatory affairs at Hookipa Pharma. He’s also served at Novartis company, Advanced Accelerator Applications, where he secured orphan designations and product approvals for Gallium Ga68 dotatate and Lutetium Lu177 dotatate and has held stints at GSK and Dr. Reddy’s.
Gillon has had over a decade of experience at Pfizer — where she was the global medical lead for patient engagement. She’s also previously served at Achillion Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Novartis and Oridion.
→ Impel NeuroPharma — focused on therapies to treat patients with central nervous system disorders, such as INP104 (POD-DHE) for acute migraine headaches — has tapped John Leaman as CFO. Most recently, Leaman served at Selecta Biosciences in the same role and has served in other leadership positions at Medgenics, Shire and Devon Park Bioventures.
→ ViaCyte — a stem cell player who fueled up with $105 million for its next big attack on diabetes last November — has enlisted Sandra E. Poole to its board of directors. Most recently, Poole served as the COO of genome editing company, LogicBio Therapeutics. Poole’s has held stints at ImmunoGen and Genzyme (now Sanofi Genzyme). Poole currently serves on the board of directors of Retrophin and the supervisory board of Valneva, SE — a France-based vaccine company.