Frederic Pla enlisted as COO at the Parker Institute; Former Alkermes exec named CMO at Seres Therapeutics
→ The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy has welcomed Frederic Pla aboard as COO. Prior to his appointment, Pla served as COO at Genomic Health. Pla has held appointments at Life Technologies — as VP, corporate business development — and GE Healthcare. He began his career at the NASA Glenn Research Center. PICI, founded by billionaire Sean Parker, continues to search for a new CEO in the wake of Jeffrey Bluestone’s departure to launch a new biotech company.
→ Lisa von Moltke has stepped in as EVP and CMO at Seres Therapeutics, whose SER-109 program is in Phase III development for recurrent C. difficile infection. She comes to Seres after 5 years at Alkermes, where she most recently had been SVP and head of clinical development. She’s also been VP, clinical and exploratory pharmacology at Sanofi and senior director of translational medicine at Takeda.
→ After bidding adieu to its then-CEO Michael Pehl more than a year ago, along with a surprise complete response letter from the FDA, Immunomedics has enlisted Novartis Oncology vet Harout Semerjian as CEO. Semerjian’s appointment comes just in time for him to steer the company to a new PDUFA date in June. Most recently, Semerjian served as EVP, CCO at Ipsen. During his time at Novartis Oncology, Semerjian held various roles, culminating in his last role as SVP, global head of Ribociclib. With his appointment, Scott Canute will step down from his role as executive director and resume his role as board member.
→ Gadeta — focused on hematological cancers and solid tumors — has tapped Marco Londei as CEO. Londei’s appointment comes at a time in which the company is transitioning from a preclinical stage company to a clinical stage company. Londei hops aboard after a stint as CMO and chief development officer of AnaptysBio. In addition, Londei held posts at Novartis and Bristol Myers Squibb.
→ Gail McIntyre has stepped up as CEO of Aravive after the resignation of Rekha Hemrajani. McIntyre joined Aravive in 2016 and most recently served as the company’s CSO. In addition, the board appointed the founder of Eshelman Venture Fred Eshelman as chairman of the board. Jay Shepard, Srinivas Akkaraju and Robert Hoffman have all resigned from the board of directors.
→ British bank Barclays has appointed JP Morgan vet Khaled Habayeb as managing director in healthcare equity capital markets (ECM). Habayeb will be based in New York. Habayeb joins the company from Deutsche Bank and previously served as managing director and head of healthcare ECM at UBS.
→ Changes at Arix Bioscience have been plentiful recently. In March, it was Roberto Iacone joining Arix; in April, they’re doing a bigger shuffle. Co-founder Joe Anderson will step down effective immediately, while Naseem Amin, currently non-executive director, will step in as executive chairman. The board of directors also will have a new look as Jonathan Peacock, co-founder and chairman, and Art Pappas, non-executive director, will exit the board at the London biotech’s Annual General Meeting.
→ Following up its addition of Peter Linde as CMO, Morphic Therapeutic has named Marc Schegerin CFO and COO. Schegerin heads to the Waltham, Massachusetts biotech from ArQule, where he was CFO, treasurer and head of strategy & communications before Merck acquired the oncology-focused drug developer for $2.7 billion. Elsewhere in the industry, he previously held directorships at Biogen and Sage.
→ Swiss-based Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals, which reeled in $22.6 million in Series A financing last year, has appointed Debra Barker as CMO. Before joining Polyneuron, which focuses on autoimmune diseases of the nervous system, Barker was chief medical and development officer of Polyphor. She also had a number of roles at Novartis, notably as global program head, oncology, as well as positions at GSK and Roche.
→ Calliditas Therapeutics, known for its development of Nefecon to potentially treat the inflammatory renal disease IgA nephropathy (IgAN), has a new CMO. Richard Philipson has almost a quarter-century of experience in the industry and transitions from his CMO role at Trizell to the Stockholm-based pharma. Philipson’s previous stops include Takeda as executive medical director and GlaxoSmithKline, where he rounded out his nearly 16-year tenure as disease area head and acting CMO for the rare diseases unit.
→ Houston-based Aravive is undergoing a shakeup at the top. Out goes CEO Rekha Hemrajani, who’s being replaced at the helm by CSO Gail McIntyre. Jay Shepard, Srinivas Akkaraju and Robert Hoffman have resigned from the board of directors while Fred Eshelman was named chairman of the board.
→ Tim Adams has announced his resignation as CFO of ObsEva SA, a Swiss biopharma centered on women’s reproductive health. He’ll be replaced by Fabien de Ladonchamps, ObsEva’s VP, corporate affairs & finance. Adams seeks new opportunities after being CFO for three years.
→ Lara Hashimoto has taken over as CMO at SOPHiA GENETICS, joining the data-driven medicine biotech effective April 1. Prior to her arrival, Hashimoto had been chief commercial officer at Roche Sequencing Solutions, and before that, she was in charge of IVD (in vitro diagnostic) development and commercialization at Roche Diagnostics.
→ Incyte vet Richard Levy has leapt onto the board of directors at Constellation Pharmaceuticals. Levy served as EVP and chief drug development and medical officer at Incyte and previously served at Celgene and Sandoz/Novartis.
→ Chad Mirkin is stepping down as chairman of the board of directors at Allergan-partnered gene expression expert Exicure. Timothy Walbert, CEO of Horizon Therapeutics, has been named as his successor. Mirkin will remain on the board.
→ Global developer and manufacturer of laboratory tools H.E.L Group has welcomed Kevin O’Donovan as chair of the company’s board of directors, taking over from interim chair Jon Andrew. O’Donovan was previously the founder of Hybaid, a molecular biology instrumentation company.