Evan Loh climbs the lad­der to be­come CEO at Paratek Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals; Co­di­ak's Doug Williams takes chair­man's role at AC Im­mune

Evan Loh Paratek

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.

Yaky Yanay Linkedin

→ 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. 

Mar­garet Olinger Linkedin

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.

Er­ic Hoe­fer Twit­ter

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.

Paul Fos­ter Xen­cor

→ 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

Nan­cy Her­je Linkedin

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

Jodie Gillon Linkedin

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. 

Scott Gottlieb, AP Images

Scott Got­tlieb is once again join­ing a team that en­joyed good times at the FDA un­der his high-en­er­gy stint at the helm

Right after jumping on Michael Milken’s FasterCures board on Monday, the newly departed FDA commissioner is back today with news about another life sciences board post that gives him a ringside chair to cheer on a lead player in the real-world evidence movement — one with very close ties to the FDA.

Aetion is reporting this morning that Gottlieb is joining their board, a group that includes Mohamad Makhzoumi, a general partner at New Enterprise Associates, where Gottlieb returned after stepping out of his role at the FDA 2 years after he started.

Gottlieb — one of the best connected execs in biopharma — knows this company well. As head of FDA he championed the use of real-world evidence to help guide drug developers and the agency in gaining greater efficiencies, which helped set up Aetion as a high-profile player in the game.

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San Diego cou­ple charged with steal­ing trade se­crets, open­ing Chi­nese biotech as DOJ crack­down con­tin­ues

A San Diego couple has been charged with stealing trade secrets from a US hospital and opening a business based off those secrets in China as the controversial industry-wide crackdown on alleged corporate espionage continues. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced they had arrested Beijing representative Zhongsan Liu for allegedly trying to obtain research visas for government recruiters.

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Deborah Dunsire. Lundbeck

UP­DAT­ED: Deb­o­rah Dun­sire is pay­ing $2B for a chance to leap di­rect­ly in­to a block­buster show­down with a few of the world's biggest phar­ma gi­ants

A year after taking the reins as CEO of Lundbeck, Deborah Dunsire is making a bold bid to beef up the Danish biotech’s portfolio of drugs in what will likely be a direct leap into an intense rivalry with a group of giants now carving up a growing market for new migraine drugs.

Bright and early European time Monday morning the company announced that it will pay up to about $2 billion to buy Alder, a little biotech that is far along the path in developing a quarterly IV formulation of a CGRP drug aimed at cutting back the number of crippling migraines patients experience each month. In a followup call, Dunsire also noted that the company will likely need 200 to 250 reps for this marketing task on both sides of the Atlantic. And analysts were quick to note that the dealmaking at Lundbeck isn’t done, with another $2 billion to $3 billion available for more deals to beef up the pipeline.

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Tower Bridge in London [Shutterstock]

#UK­BIO19: Join GSK’s Hal Bar­ron and a group of top biotech ex­ecs for our 2nd an­nu­al biotech sum­mit in Lon­don

Over the past 10 years I’ve made a point of getting to know the Golden Triangle and the special role the UK biopharma industry plays there in drug development. The concentration of world class research institutes, some of the most accomplished scientists I’ve ever seen at work and a rising tide of global investment cash leaves an impression that there’s much, much more to come as biotech hubs are birthed and nurtured.

UP­DAT­ED: Bio­gen pulls the plug on prized IPF drug from $562M+ Stromedix buy­out

One of Biogen’s attempts to branch out has flopped as the biotech scraps a mid-stage program for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

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Warts for the win: Aclar­is' lead drug clears piv­otal study

Aclaris Therapeutics has found a way to get rid of the warts and all.

The company — which earlier this month decided to focus on its arsenal of kinase inhibitors — on Monday unveiled positive data from a pivotal study testing its lead experimental drug for use in common warts.

The drug, A-101, was tested in a 502-patient study called THWART-2 — patients enrolled had one to six warts before qualifying for the trial. Patients either self-administered A-101 topical solution or a vehicle twice a week over a two-month period. A higher proportion of patients on the drug (a potent hydrogen peroxide topical solution) saw their warts disappear at day 60, versus the vehicle (p<0.0001) — meeting the main goal of the study.  Each secondary endpoint also emerged in favor of A-101, the company said.

Charles Nichols, LSU School of Medicine

Could psy­che­delics tack­le the obe­si­ty cri­sis? A long­time re­searcher in the field says his lat­est mouse study sug­gests po­ten­tial

Psychedelics have experienced a renaissance in recent years amid a torrent of preclinical and clinical research suggesting it might provide a path to treat mood disorders conventional remedies have only scraped at. Now a preclinical trial from a young biotech suggests at least one psychedelic compound has effects beyond the mind, and — if you believe the still very, very early hype — could provide the first single remedy for some of the main complications of obesity.

It’s fi­nal­ly over: Bio­gen, Ei­sai scrap big Alzheimer’s PhI­I­Is af­ter a pre­dictable BACE cat­a­stro­phe rais­es safe­ty fears

Months after analysts and investors called on Biogen and Eisai to scrap their BACE drug for Alzheimer’s and move on in the wake of a string of late-stage failures and rising safety fears, the partners have called it quits. And they said they were dropping the drug — elenbecestat — after the independent monitoring board raised concerns about…safety.

We don’t know exactly what researchers found in this latest catastrophe, but the companies noted in their release that investigators had determined that the drug was flunking the risk/benefit analysis.

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Ac­celeron drops a de­vel­op­ment pro­gram as #2 drug fails to spark func­tion­al ben­e­fits in pa­tients with a rare neu­ro­mus­cu­lar ail­ment

Acceleron is scrapping a muscular dystrophy development program underway for its number 2 drug in the pipeline after pouring over some failed mid-stage secondary data.

Gone is the ACE-083 project in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. Their drug hit the primary endpoint on building muscle but flopped on key secondaries for functional improvements in patients, which execs felt was vital to the drug’s success.