Gilead­'s ex-in­vestor re­la­tions chief takes CFO job at Sang­amo; For­mer GE Health­care ex­ec takes the helm at Vec­tura Group

And so the ex­o­dus con­tin­ues. Sung Lee, who had been Gilead‘s head of in­vestor re­la­tions, was named CFO of Sang­amo Ther­a­peu­tics, a cell and gene ther­a­py com­pa­ny. Lee had al­so helmed Gilead’s fi­nan­cial plan­ning and analy­sis di­vi­sion. Lee is just the lat­est in a slew of ex­its that have fol­lowed John Mil­li­gan‘s sud­den res­ig­na­tion from the CEO role in Ju­ly 2018. He had worked there for 14 years.

Will Down­ie Busi­ness Wire

UK-based res­pi­ra­to­ry drug de­vel­op­er Vec­tura Group has tapped for­mer GE Health­care ex­ec Will Down­ie as CEO. Down­ie will take over the reins from in­ter­im CEO Paul Fry — who took over the role in June at the de­par­ture of James Ward-Lil­ley. Fry will re­sume his du­ties as CFO. Pri­or to join­ing the com­pa­ny, Down­ie spent a decade as SVP at Catal­ent lead­ing the com­mer­cial ef­fort for glob­al sales and mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Be­fore that, he served as vice pres­i­dent and gen­er­al man­ag­er at GE Health­care and vice pres­i­dent of sales at Amer­sham Health.

→ Robin Bhat­tacher­jee has tak­en over the reins from re­tir­ing Glyn Parkin as CEO at Ac­timed Ther­a­peu­tics — a com­pa­ny fo­cused on the treat­ment of cachex­ia. Bhat­tacher­jee joins the com­pa­ny af­ter a stint as Acte­lion’s gen­er­al man­ag­er for the UK and Ire­land. Pri­or to that, he was the gen­er­al man­ag­er of CV Ther­a­peu­tics Eu­rope — which he joined af­ter serv­ing as head of mar­ket­ing at Sanofi-Syn­thélabo UK. Bhat­tacher­jee be­gan his ca­reer at Bay­er, serv­ing the com­pa­ny for 16 years in var­i­ous roles, such as UK mar­ket­ing man­ag­er and di­rec­tor in glob­al strate­gic mar­ket­ing. 

Af­ter an­nounc­ing plans for an $86 mil­lion IPO in June and pric­ing $75 mil­lion in Ju­ly, liv­er dis­ease-fo­cused Mirum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has named Ed Tuck­er as the com­pa­ny’s CMO. Tuck­er comes from Ac­er­ta Phar­ma, where he served as chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer — re­spon­si­ble for the busi­ness and op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties with­in the com­pa­ny’s heme-on­col­o­gy pipeline and help­ing with the US ap­proval and launch of Calquence in 2017. Pri­or to that, Tuck­er held var­i­ous stints at Bay­er, Janssen Phar­ma­ceu­ti­ca and Genen­tech.

Af­ter bag­ging $46 mil­lion cash and leap­ing out of stealth mode in Sep­tem­ber, Arch-backed Bound­less Bio is on the hunt to build out a pipeline of ecD­NA-tar­get­ing ther­a­peu­tics. The com­pa­ny has snagged Chris­t­ian Has­sig as CSO to help with that job. Has­sig served in the same role at Sier­ra On­col­o­gy be­fore join­ing Bound­less. Has­sig was the VP of drug dis­cov­ery at San­ford Burn­ham Pre­bys Med­ical Dis­cov­ery In­sti­tute and held a stint at Ka­lyp­sys. Has­sig be­gan his ca­reer at the Scripps Re­search In­sti­tute.

Chris­t­ian Has­sig Bound­less Bio

→ James Wil­son’s gene ther­a­py start­up, Pas­sage Bio — which re­cent­ly brought in bil­lion­aire Len Blavat­nik to help fund a $110 mil­lion Se­ries B round — has ap­point­ed Richard Mor­ris as CFO. Mor­ris joins from Con­text Ther­a­peu­tics where he served as EVP and CFO. Pri­or to that, Mor­ris was CFO at Vi­tae Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals (ac­quired by Al­ler­gan in 2016). Be­fore that, Mor­ris was the VP, glob­al fi­nan­cial plan­ning and strat­e­gy at Vi­roPhar­ma — help­ing lead to team to its ac­qui­si­tion by Shire.

→ Mar­i­nus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals saw its shares eclipsed in Ju­ly when it failed to com­pare on PPD in its Phase II tri­al for a ri­val IV for­mu­la­tion of Sage’s de­pres­sion drug Zul­res­so. Now the com­pa­ny has wooed Joe Huli­han, the for­mer glob­al med­ical af­fairs leader of neu­ro­science of J&J, to the po­si­tion of CMO. Huli­han will suc­ceed Lo­ri­anne Ma­suo­ka, who is re­tir­ing from the po­si­tion. Most re­cent­ly, Huli­han was prin­ci­pal at Par­a­digm Neu­ro­science. Pri­or to that, he served in var­i­ous neu­rol­o­gy and psy­chi­a­try-fo­cused roles at J&J, in­clud­ing VP, CNS med­ical af­fairs at Janssen. In ad­di­tion, he served as di­rec­tor, CNS re­search, clin­i­cal af­fairs at Or­tho-Mc­Neil Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal.

An­tibi­otics-fo­cused En­ta­sis Ther­a­peu­tics — which is part­nered with GSK for a Phase III tri­al on the an­tibi­ot­ic zo­liflo­dacin to tar­get Neis­se­ria gon­or­rhoeae has named Mer­ck vet David Al­tarac as CMO, suc­ceed­ing re­tir­ing CMO Robin Isaacs. In his new role, Al­tarac will be re­spon­si­ble for lead­ing clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for the com­pa­ny’s lead pro­grams, sul­bac­tam-dur­lobac­tam and zo­liflo­dacin — both in Phase III tri­als. Most re­cent­ly, he served as SVP and head of glob­al reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs, glob­al drug safe­ty and R&D qual­i­ty and com­pli­ance at Shire. Pri­or to that, he served as VP, reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs at NeoStem.

→ Joanne Schindler is suc­ceed­ing Gabriela Ro­su as CMO at IMV. Schindler has served as VP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and ex­ec­u­tive med­ical di­rec­tor at H3 Bio­med­i­cine and as VP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Con­stel­la­tion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Her pre­vi­ous stints in­clude roles at Syn­De­vRx, Im­muno­Gen and No­var­tis.

Cam­bridge, UK-based Bi­cy­cle Ther­a­peu­tics — which raised $61 mil­lion in a down­sized IPO in Mayhas brought on Nigel Crock­ett as CBO. Most re­cent­ly, Crock­ett served as a found­ing part­ner at Tukan Part­ners. He did a pre­vi­ous stint as VP, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at As­tex Ther­a­peu­tics. In ad­di­tion, the com­pa­ny has ap­point­ed for­mer CEO and pres­i­dent of Medelle, Veron­i­ca Jor­dan, to its board of di­rec­tors, where she will serve as chair of the com­pen­sa­tion com­mit­tee. 

Af­ter re­cent­ly wel­com­ing a new CMO and VP of reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs, Check­mate Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has ap­point­ed Kleem Chaud­hary as CBO. Chaud­hary joins the com­pa­ny af­ter serv­ing as head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment & li­cens­ing at Bio­gen and as a trans­ac­tion leader in busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Take­da. He has al­so held stints at No­var­tis and Gilead Sci­ences

Af­ter bag­ging $20 mil­lion in a fi­nanc­ing round in April, Penn-part­nered and James Wil­son co-found­ed Scout Bio — fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing gene ther­a­pies for pets — has brought on Boehringer In­gel­heim (BI) vet Anne Traas as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. Most re­cent­ly Traas served as head of Saint Joseph phar­ma clin­i­cal R&D — where she was re­spon­si­ble for tar­get an­i­mal safe­ty and ef­fi­ca­cy stud­ies — at BI sub­sidiary Boehringer In­gel­heim An­i­mal Health. She has al­so served as as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of US bi­o­log­i­cal clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at BI. Ear­li­er in her ca­reer, Traas was a res­i­dent in med­ical ge­net­ics and a clin­i­cal tri­als vet­eri­nar­i­an at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia. 

Af­ter re­cent­ly un­veil­ing 24-week da­ta from their OP­TIC tri­al of their ex­per­i­men­tal ther­a­py, AD­VM-022, Ad­verum Biotech­nolo­gies an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Pe­ter Soparkar as chief le­gal of­fi­cer. Soparkar joins the com­pa­ny from Coun­syl (ac­quired by Myr­i­ad Ge­net­ics), where he served in the same po­si­tion. Soparkar served as the VP and as­so­ciate gen­er­al coun­sel at Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals — where he led the trans­ac­tions of the ten­der-of­fer of Cela­tor and the ac­qui­si­tions of Gen­tium, EU­SA Phar­ma and Azur Phar­ma. Ear­li­er in his ca­reer, Soparkar worked at Lath­am & Watkins.

Anne Traas

→ NGM Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals — which re­cent­ly tout­ed pos­i­tive Phase II NASH re­sults — has hired Va­lerie Pierce as SVP, gen­er­al coun­sel and chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer. Pierce joins the com­pa­ny from Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, where she served as as­so­ciate gen­er­al coun­sel. Be­fore Jazz, Pierce was the VP and se­nior trans­ac­tion­al coun­sel at Amyris. Her pre­vi­ous stints in­clude roles at Sune­sis Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, OneWorld Health, Tu­larik and ALZA

→ Con­tin­u­ing to ex­pand in­to the US vi­ral vec­tor mar­ket – re­cent­ly ink­ing a deal with De­nali in Jan­u­ary to de­vel­op AAV vec­tors for ther­a­peu­tics in ar­eas such as Alzheimer’s, Parkin­son’s and Lou Gehrig’s dis­ease – Siri­on Biotech has an­nounced that Siri­on’s VP, US op­er­a­tions, Carl Chris­tel, has re­lo­cat­ed to the com­pa­ny’s Cam­bridge, MA of­fice. In ad­di­tion, the com­pa­ny has brought on vi­rol­o­gist Ra­jesh Pan­i­grahi and Boston Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal hema­tol­ogy and on­col­o­gy post­doc Ro­man Braun to fur­ther US op­er­a­tions. Both will serve as the com­pa­ny’s key ac­count man­agers.

→ Camp4 Ther­a­peu­tics — which inked a col­lab­o­ra­tion with RNAi trend­set­ter Al­ny­lam in Jan­u­ary — has named pres­i­dent and CEO of Deci­bel Ther­a­peu­tics, Steven Holtz­man, as the chair of their board of di­rec­tors and Paula Ra­gan, founder, pres­i­dent and CEO of X4 Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, as the di­rec­tor of its board. In ad­di­tion Uni­ver­si­ty of British Co­lum­bia pro­fes­sor Michael Hay­den has joined the com­pa­ny’s sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

→ Rock­well Med­ical — fo­cused on im­prove­ments for pa­tients with ane­mia, with an ini­tial fo­cus on end-stage re­nal dis­ease — has wel­comed John McLaugh­lin as chair­man of its board of di­rec­tors. McLaugh­lin is the for­mer CEO of PDL Bio­Phar­ma and will be suc­ceed­ing Ben­jamin Wolin, who will re­main on the board.

Neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease-fo­cused Neu­ro­pore Ther­a­pies has ap­point­ed for­mer Roche ex­ec Joseph Mc­Crack­en to its board of di­rec­tors. Mc­Crack­en cur­rent­ly serves as an ad­vi­sor of cor­po­rate strat­e­gy and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives for sev­er­al bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Modalis Ther­a­peu­tics and Savara Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals

Biotech Ox­ford Bio­Dy­nam­ics — fo­cused on the de­vel­op­ment of epi­ge­net­ic bio­mark­ers based on reg­u­la­to­ry genome ar­chi­tec­ture — has ap­point­ed Uni­ver­si­ty of Glas­gow rheuma­tol­ogy pro­fes­sor Iain McInnes to the com­pa­ny’s sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board. 

Un­lock­ing ESG strate­gies for growth with Gilead Sci­ences

RBC Capital Markets explores what is material in ESG for biopharma companies with the ESG leads at Gilead Sciences. Gilead has long focused on sustainability but recognized a more robust framework was needed. Based on a materiality assessment, Gilead’s ESG strategy today focuses first on drug access and pricing, while also addressing D&I and climate change. Find out why Gilead’s board is “acutely aware” of the contribution that ESG makes to firm’s overall success.

Andrew Schiermeier, Intellia

Black­stone throws $250M be­hind In­tel­lia-Cellex quest to com­bine CRISPR and con­trol­lable CAR-Ts

So here’s how Blackstone is spending its $4.6 billion biopharma pot.

The private equity firm announced Tuesday they were teaming with the CRISPR biotech Intellia and the little-known German CAR-T startup GEMoaB to launch a new — and so far unnamed — CAR-T company. Blackstone, the sole investor, will pour $250 million into the joint venture and take a third ownership. Intellia and Cellex, GEMoaB’s parent company, will each take another third.

Con­sor­tium of 5 drug reg­u­la­tors plot path to in­crease har­mo­niza­tion through 2024

A group of drug regulators from Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK on Tuesday unveiled their strategic plans for the next three years, laying out how they’ll work together on reviewing new drugs to reduce duplication across borders.

While understanding that the biopharma industry is truly global, the group, known collectively as the Access Consortium, seeks to better align their respective regulatory and policy approaches for pharmaceuticals, with an aim to facilitate faster access to high quality, safe and effective health products.

On the hunt for the next Mod­er­na, in­vestors have pumped 'plat­form plays' with cash. Can any­thing slow the run­away train?

It didn’t take an expert to see that mRNA platforms could be huge.

Julie Sunderland partnered with both Moderna and BioNTech about a decade ago while she was running program-related investments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and even then the potential for their platforms was obvious despite some well-founded concerns about whether the next-gen tech would ever cross the finish line.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

End­points News is now 5 years old. Here's how you can sup­port us for the next phase of growth

Endpoints News turned five years old over the weekend. I wanted to mark the happy occasion by extending our deepest gratitude to Endpoints’ premium subscribers while outlining several other ways to support us as we go broader and get bigger this year and beyond.

Same as any business, we’ve got to create value and get paid for delivering it. So if you depend on Endpoints to stay abreast on biopharma developments, we depend on you too.

Emma Walmsley, GlaxoSmithKline CEO (Credit: Fang Zhe/Xinhua/Alamy Live News)

Ac­tivist in­vestor El­liott in talks with oth­er Glax­o­SmithK­line in­vestors about re­plac­ing Em­ma Walm­s­ley, spin­ning off vac­cine busi­ness — re­port

As Emma Walmsley reveals details this Wednesday about the upcoming split of GlaxoSmithKline’s pharma and consumer units, some tough questions may be coming her way.

Elliott Management, the activist investor that’s previously threatened an attack on GSK (but eventually backed off), is floating more radical changes like replacing the CEO, further breaking up the company and spinning out the vaccine unit, or reviewing the focus on cancer drugs, the Financial Times reported.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 109,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Fred Upton and Diana DeGette

New DARPA-like NIH agency preps for re­al­i­ty as E&C un­veils bi­par­ti­san Cures 2.0 draft bill

House Energy & Commerce leaders Fred Upton (R-MI) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) on Tuesday released new draft legislation with wide-ranging implications for public health, the FDA, NIH, and that would create a new, $6.5 billion federal advanced research agency under NIH, with an aim to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s and other difficult diseases.

Similar to DARPA, the new NIH division to be known as ARPA-H, would be run by a small group of program managers with more latitude to pursue high-risk, high-reward projects that other government agencies would likely shy away from.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) with reporters in the Senate Subway (Graeme Sloan/Sipa via AP Images)

Top Wyden pri­or­i­ty for drug price re­forms: Medicare ne­go­ti­a­tions

As the Biden administration tries to wrangle the details of its infrastructure bill, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) took a concrete step forward on drug pricing reforms on Tuesday and unveiled five principles for such reforms, including providing Medicare with the ability to negotiate prices.

“Allowing the Secretary of HHS to negotiate the price Medicare will pay creates a much needed mechanism to achieve fairer prices when the market has failed to do so,” Wyden wrote.

Ken Frazier, Merck CEO (Bess Adler/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mer­ck­'s Keytru­da blazes a path in first-line cer­vi­cal can­cer, mak­ing good on drug­mak­er's push for ear­li­er pa­tients

In the years since I/O wonder drug Keytruda’s initial approval, Merck has struck an aggressive clinical trial program, which is now firmly focused on earlier lines of therapy. The drugmaker has scored some success there so far, and now it’s earned one of its biggest wins yet.

Keytruda plus chemotherapy with or without background Avastin significantly extended patients’ lives over those dosed with a placebo control in first-line patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer, according to top-line data from the Phase III KEYNOTE-826 study revealed Tuesday.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 109,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.