Ex-Alexion CEO Hallal named chairman at Scholar Rock; Advaxis CEO O'Connor is out
⇨ David Hallal has a new position as chairman at Scholar Rock. The ex-Alexion CEO found himself in the news late last year when sales of their top 10 most expensive drug Soliris became the spotlight of an internal fraud investigation, stepping down soon after for “personal reasons.” The legal muck has cast a shadow on CEO Ludwig Hanson’s quest to restructure Alexion, HHS is now on it’s tail.
⇨ Advaxis CEO Daniel J. O’Connor is stepping down. Chief business officer Tony Lombardo, who joined the company earlier this year, will assume the interim CEO position during the hunt for a replacement. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead Advaxis for the past several years,” said O’Connor. “The company has powerful technology and a strong management team. I have every confidence in their ability to ensure the company’s continued success.” Advaxis’ tech uses bioengineered bacteria to recruit T cell attacks on cancer. The NJ-based biotech partnered up with Bristol-Myers Squibb in May, pairing their ADXS-DUAL alongside Opdivo against metastatic cervical cancer.
⇨ Fortress Biotech subsidiary Avenue Therapeutics cemented interim CEO Lucy Lu to formally head up the New York-based company. Avenue — with its IV version of tramadol looking for a PhIII — debuted on the stock market last week with a $38M IPO. Fortress CEO Lindsay A. Rosenwald noted, “Lucy has been essential in building Avenue, and we are thrilled to announce her official appointment as Chief Executive Officer.” Lu’s former gig as CFO at Fortress will now go to VP and corporate controller Robyn Hunter.
⇨ After spending the last four years as VP, biology at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Steven B. Kanner is now joining the CRISPR herd at Caribou Biosciences as their CSO. Intellia founder Andy May formerly held the role as Caribou CSO, but left earlier this year to the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub to work on genome engineering. Caribou is part of a consortium of biotech companies founded on the IP established by Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, and is currently seeking to bottle up rival Editas with claims of patent infringement on CRISPR gene-editing.