In­ter­cept re­tools C-suite with a pair of new­com­ers; Charles Ryan moves past Alzheimer's flops with an­oth­er CEO chal­lenge

Michelle Berrey

Ja­son Cam­pagna and Sandip Ka­pa­dia were two ex­ecs who punched their tick­ets out of In­ter­cept as things went pear-shaped, and the tee­ter­ing NASH biotech has found their re­place­ments as CMO Michelle Berrey and CFO An­drew Saik take over their po­si­tions. Berrey, the ex-pres­i­dent and CEO at Chimerix, was Phar­mas­set’s CMO from 2007-12. Just be­fore her Phar­mas­set days, she had been with Glax­o­SmithK­line as VP, vi­ral dis­eases, clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy & dis­cov­ery med­i­cine. Berrey will al­so be In­ter­cept’s pres­i­dent of R&D in ad­di­tion to CMO. SVP Gail Cawk­well had been pinch-hit­ting af­ter Cam­pagna’s de­par­ture and sub­se­quent move to Q32 Bio.

For the last year, Saik was CFO at Vyne Ther­a­peu­tics and held the same ti­tle at PDS Biotech, Ver­tice Phar­ma and Aux­il­i­um Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Chief ac­count­ing of­fi­cer Roc­co Venezia had been fill­ing the gap be­tween Ka­pa­dia and Saik as in­ter­im CFO at In­ter­cept, which al­so saw CEO Mark Pruzan­s­ki ex­it stage left af­ter the FDA re­buffed its NASH drug — a rul­ing that seems pos­i­tive­ly quaint in light of Mon­day’s high­ly con­tro­ver­sial ad­u­canum­ab ap­proval.

→ One of the com­pa­nies that tried and cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly failed in its Alzheimer’s ef­forts was Neu­rotrope. For ex-CEO Charles Ryan, it’s a fresh start at an­oth­er biotech as he be­comes pres­i­dent and CEO of Sin­ga­pore-based Travec­ta Ther­a­peu­tics, which is set­ting its sights on drugs that can cross the blood-brain bar­ri­er. Be­fore lead­ing Neu­rotrope, Ryan was SVP and chief in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty coun­sel for For­est Lab­o­ra­to­ries (now Ab­b­Vie) and spent a year as gen­er­al coun­sel at Cold Spring Har­bor Lab­o­ra­to­ry.

Gi­na Con­syl­man

Mark Mal­lon de­cid­ed to walk away as Iron­wood’s CEO in March, leav­ing pres­i­dent Thomas Mc­Court to pick up the pieces af­ter the tri­al fail­ures of two drugs last year. Mc­Court has shaved off the in­ter­im la­bel this week and will of­fi­cial­ly make his CEO du­ties at Iron­wood per­ma­nent. Mean­while, CFO Gi­na Con­syl­man fol­lows Mal­lon out the door af­ter sev­en years at Iron­wood, ef­fec­tive Ju­ly 2. Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease, “Ms. Con­syl­man’s res­ig­na­tion is not due to any dis­agree­ment with Iron­wood on any mat­ter re­lat­ing to the Com­pa­ny’s fi­nan­cial re­port­ing.”

Ne­ha Kr­ish­namo­han

→ Ex­pand­ing its reach in­to Chi­na with a joint ven­ture that raised $35 mil­lion in a Se­ries A, Kin­nate has wel­comed Ne­ha Kr­ish­namo­han as CFO and EVP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment, along with a whole host of oth­er ex­ecs. Kr­ish­namo­han’s tenure at Gold­man Sachs be­gan in 2008 and for the last six years was VP in the Health­care In­vest­ment Bank­ing Group be­fore join­ing Ni­ma Farzan’s squad.

In ad­di­tion to Kr­ish­namo­han, Kin­nate has added Ken Kobayashi (SVP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment), Ja­son Cox (VP, med­i­c­i­nal chem­istry), Ja­son Hamp­son (VP, head of reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs), David Mad­den (VP, fi­nance), Clement Pi­mor (VP, strat­e­gy and port­fo­lio man­age­ment) and Bar­bara War­ren (VP, hu­man re­sources) to its bur­geon­ing team.

→ What was ini­tial­ly sketched out as a $75 mil­lion IPO ac­tu­al­ly bal­looned in­to a $222 mil­lion IPO for Emeryville, CA-based 4D Mol­e­c­u­lar Ther­a­peu­tics in De­cem­ber. Go­ing full steam ahead with its gene ther­a­pies, 4DMT has ap­point­ed Car­olyne Zim­mer­mann as CBO. Zim­mer­mann starts afresh here af­ter she was VP of trans­ac­tions at John­son & John­son In­no­va­tion, and she took on var­i­ous roles in a 13-year pe­ri­od at No­var­tis, in­clud­ing head of the glob­al car­dio-meta­bol­ic fran­chise’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and li­cens­ing.

Fil­ip Janku

Fil­ip Janku has been giv­en the nod as CMO of ubiq­ui­tous Peer Re­view en­trant Monte Rosa, the “mol­e­c­u­lar glue” biotech that raked in an­oth­er $95 mil­lion worth of Se­ries C fund­ing in March. Since 2009, Janku has filled sev­er­al roles at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter, and for the last three years he had been cen­ter med­ical di­rec­tor at the can­cer fa­cil­i­ty’s Clin­i­cal and Trans­la­tion­al Re­search Cen­ter. Monte Rosa has been adding staffers at a fu­ri­ous pace in the last nine months, al­so bring­ing in a CFO, CTO, COO, CSO and oth­er ex­ecs in that span to flesh out CEO Markus War­muth’s team.

Jill Howe

DTx Phar­ma makes an­oth­er C-suite move as CFO Jill Howe heads over to the RNA-fo­cused biotech. Howe has stayed in the San Diego area for a while now, where she has been con­troller at Re­cep­tos and Am­plyx and then re­joined Fa­heem Has­nain and Sheila Gu­jrathi from Re­cep­tos as Gos­samer Bio’s trea­sur­er and VP of fi­nance. Back in Jan­u­ary, DTx Phar­ma pro­mot­ed Bryan Laf­fitte to CSO just months af­ter he was named VP, bi­ol­o­gy.

David Fontana

→ Peer Re­view fre­quent fly­er Umo­ja Bio­phar­ma has named a CMO and CFO in re­cent weeks. This time it’s David Fontana’s turn at bat as he be­comes chief busi­ness and strat­e­gy of­fi­cer at the Seat­tle on­col­o­gy play­er. While at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb, Fontana was VP of the cell ther­a­py fran­chise, pre­sid­ing over the de­vel­op­ment of liso-cel and see­ing it through to its ap­proval as Breyanzi. He’s al­so served as Pfiz­er’s VP of im­muno-on­col­o­gy with in­volve­ment in such drugs as Baven­cio.

→ A year af­ter Li Peng be­came Palleon Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ first chief sci­en­tist, David Feltquate has jumped on board at the gly­col-im­munol­o­gy biotech as Palleon’s first CMO. Feltquate, re­cent­ly the glob­al head of hema­tol­ogy de­vel­op­ment and chair of the pre­ci­sion med­i­cine lead­er­ship team for No­var­tis, had a 13-year jour­ney at Bris­tol My­ers that in­clud­ed work as clin­i­cal head for nivolum­ab, de­vel­op­ment leader for ip­il­i­mum­ab/nivolum­ab life cy­cle man­age­ment, and head of on­col­o­gy ear­ly clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment.

An­gela Wang

→ Run­ning along­side what they be­lieve are sparkling Phase II da­ta for the in­haled form of fle­cainide, San Fran­cis­co’s In­Car­da has wel­comed Big Phar­ma vet An­gela Wang as CFO. For­mer­ly the CFO at MA­IA Biotech­nol­o­gy, Wang de­vot­ed 12 years to No­var­tis in a num­ber of ca­pac­i­ties, cul­mi­nat­ing in her lead­er­ship of the oph­thalmics busi­ness unit, and he’s al­so held roles at Sanofi and Syn­gen­ta.

Chris Free­man

Chris Free­man has left Gilead af­ter 10 years to take on the chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer role at Red­wood City, CA liq­uid biop­sy out­fit Guardant Health. Af­ter be­ing a cap­tain in the US Army, Free­man joined Genen­tech lead­ing mar­ket­ing for Rit­ux­an and Xo­lair. He then rose through the ranks at Gilead, get­ting pro­mot­ed to VP of the HIV busi­ness unit and lead­ing the Vek­lury EUA launch for Covid-19 be­fore mak­ing the switch here.

→ Van­cou­ver-based In­ci­sive Ge­net­ics has tapped Kevin Chow as pres­i­dent. Chow brings with him ex­pe­ri­ence from his stints at Vi­taeris, Gilead and Alder Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Dur­ing his time at Vi­taeris (ac­quired by CSL Behring), Chow was co-founder, pres­i­dent and CEO.

→ New­ly-launched Au­ri­on Biotech has plucked up Greg Kun­st as its CEO. Kun­st comes from Glaukos, where he spent 6 years lead­ing world­wide mar­ket­ing, re­im­burse­ment, health eco­nom­ics and out­comes re­search, gov­ern­ment af­fairs, and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment teams. Be­fore Glaukos, Kun­st was glob­al fran­chise di­rec­tor over the glau­co­ma surgery and reti­na phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal busi­ness­es at Al­con.

No­ra Yang

No­ra Yang has been ap­point­ed CSO at French hear­ing loss biotech Sen­so­ri­on. Yang co-found­ed and was CSO of Strat­i­fy Ther­a­peu­tics for the last year, and she has lived among the phar­ma gi­ants, both as a pro­gram team leader at Eli Lil­ly and a glob­al project man­ag­er at Am­gen de­vel­op­ing on­col­o­gy and meta­bol­ic dis­ease ther­a­pies. While at the NIH from 2010-19, Yang was di­rec­tor, port­fo­lio man­age­ment and strate­gic op­er­a­tions, ther­a­peu­tics for rare and ne­glect­ed dis­eases for NCATS.

Chi­nook Ther­a­peu­tics, which merged with the strug­gling Aduro, has made two pro­mo­tions in its lead­er­ship team: CBO Tom Frohlich is now COO and An­drew King, head of re­nal dis­cov­ery and trans­la­tion­al med­i­cine, is now CSO. Frohlich joined Chi­nook in Jan­u­ary 2019. Pri­or to his role with the com­pa­ny, Frohlich was VP of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Ar­bu­tus Bio­phar­ma. Be­fore that, he was with J&J and Mer­ck.

Mean­while, King joined Chi­nook in May 2019. King pre­vi­ous­ly served as se­nior di­rec­tor of dis­cov­ery and trans­la­tion­al bi­ol­o­gy at Arde­lyx and held a va­ri­ety of roles at Ab­b­Vie.

Iman Bar­ilero

Sol­id Bio­sciences is re­ly­ing on the ex­per­tise of new chief reg­u­la­to­ry of­fi­cer and Big Phar­ma alum Iman Bar­ilero, hop­ing to turn the cor­ner with its IG­NITE-DMD tri­al af­ter build­ing an en­tire ob­sta­cle course full of safe­ty con­cerns and clin­i­cal holds with its Duchenne mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phy drug. Bar­ilero has phar­ma­covig­i­lance and reg­u­la­to­ry ex­pe­ri­ence from Sanofi, Roche and J&J and was Lund­beck’s VP, glob­al head, reg­u­la­to­ry sci­ence & pol­i­cy from 2007-16. She joins Sol­id af­ter a run as SVP, glob­al head reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs at Pox­el that be­gan in 2019.

Richard Mor­ris

Dos­ing its first pa­tient with CAR-macrophages (CAR-M) in March, UPenn spin­out Caris­ma Ther­a­peu­tics (for­mer­ly known as Car­ma) has turned to Richard Mor­ris to be CFO. Mor­ris hails from Pas­sage Bio, where he was CFO since Oc­to­ber 2019, and he owned the same ti­tle at Con­text Ther­a­peu­tics and at Vi­tae Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals be­fore it was snapped up by Al­ler­gan in 2016.

→ Just as J&J ditched a two-and-a-half-year cusat­uzum­ab col­lab­o­ra­tion, ar­genx has locked in Karl Gu­b­itz as CFO, re­plac­ing Er­ic Castal­di when he leaves June 30. Gu­b­itz makes the tran­si­tion af­ter more than 17 years’ worth of fi­nan­cial posts at Pfiz­er, capped by his re­cent gig as VP, fi­nance in the glob­al on­col­o­gy busi­ness. He al­so served as VP of fi­nance, North Amer­i­ca in the phar­ma gi­ant’s glob­al in­no­v­a­tive prod­ucts busi­ness.

Kevin D’Amour

→ Con­cen­trat­ing on cy­tokine-based cell ther­a­pies with IRX-2 for squa­mous cell can­cer of the head and neck, Brook­lyn Im­munoTher­a­peu­tics has placed Kevin D’Amour in the CSO slot. D’Amour was di­rec­tor of stem cell bi­ol­o­gy, VP of re­search and even­tu­al­ly CSO dur­ing his 10-plus years at Vi­a­Cyte. A cou­ple months ago, Howard Federoff took com­mand as CEO of Brook­lyn Im­munoTher­a­peu­tics af­ter briefly helm­ing As­pen Neu­ro­science.

→ And what about D’Amour’s re­place­ment at Vi­a­Cyte? It’s Evert Kroon on an in­ter­im ba­sis for the time be­ing. Since start­ing out as a sci­en­tist 18 years ago at the stem cell biotech set­ting its sights on type 1 di­a­betes, Kroon has climbed the lad­der to his cur­rent role of VP, trans­la­tion re­search, one that he’ll hold for two more weeks be­fore D’Amour leaves June 25.

Ritu Shah

→ Spin­ning out Ky­ma Ther­a­peu­tics in a col­lab­o­ra­tion just a cou­ple weeks ago with Al­loy Ther­a­peu­tics, Pyx­is On­col­o­gy has bol­stered the C-suite with Steve Monks as chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer and Ritu Shah as COO. Monks was with Au­ra Bio­sciences from 2015-19 — the last three of those years as SVP of de­vel­op­ment — and spent the pre­vi­ous six years with Agenus as VP, man­u­fac­tur­ing, process & an­a­lyt­i­cal tech­nolo­gies and lat­er, VP of tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment. Shah, a Bax­ter and Shire vet who was chief of staff to the CEO and VP of pro­gram man­age­ment at AveX­is, joins the Pyx­is fam­i­ly af­ter al­most three years as Le­vo Ther­a­peu­tics’ VP of busi­ness op­er­a­tions and pro­gram man­age­ment.

→ Eli Lil­ly vet Je­re­my Graff has signed on as CSO of No­va Sco­tia-based IMV, which is tar­get­ing breast and ad­vanced ovar­i­an can­cer with its lead drug maveropepimut-S. Graff, the ex-pres­i­dent and CSO of Bio­thera Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals whose first day on the job is Mon­day, was re­cent­ly Hi­ber­Cell’s chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer and SVP of re­search. He round­ed out his 16 years at Eli Lil­ly by build­ing the trans­la­tion­al on­col­o­gy unit as group leader, can­cer bi­ol­o­gy and pa­tient tai­lor­ing. Fur­ther­more, IMV has made for­mer Bris­tol My­ers ex­ec Stan­ley Frankel a clin­i­cal ad­vi­sor.

Thomas Rus­so

→ Push­ing for­ward with a slate of vac­cine can­di­dates — in­clud­ing for Covid-19 — us­ing VLP tech­nol­o­gy from Neil King at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton, Icosavax has re­cruit­ed Thomas Rus­so as CFO. Rus­so piv­ots to Icosavax, which just raised $100 mil­lion a cou­ple months ago in a Se­ries B, af­ter be­ing John McHutchi­son’s CFO at As­sem­bly Bio­sciences. They were both at Gilead to­geth­er, with Rus­so mov­ing on up to VP, head of com­mer­cial fi­nance dur­ing his sev­en years there.

Zim­mer Bio­met has re­cruit­ed two new faces to its lead­er­ship team: Wil­fred van Zuilen as pres­i­dent of Eu­rope, Mid­dle East and Africa, and Nitin Goy­al in the new­ly cre­at­ed role of chief sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy and in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer. Van Zuilen comes to Zim­mer from Medtron­ic, where he was serv­ing as re­gion­al VP, North West­ern Eu­rope (Unit­ed King­dom, Ire­land, Nordics and Benelux). Pri­or to his role at Medtron­ic, van Zuilen was with Co­vi­di­en, No­var­tis and Ed­wards Life­sciences.

Mean­while, Goy­al hops aboard from Ral­ly Health, where he was CMO and SVP of in­no­va­tion and dig­i­tal care de­liv­ery. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, Goy­al is the founder and CEO of Pulse Plat­form.

→ Se­cur­ing big-time Se­ries C fund­ing a cou­ple weeks ago while main­tain­ing a bare-bones web­site, Wilm­ing­ton, DE-based NiKang Ther­a­peu­tics has made Robert Xin CMO. Since Jan­u­ary 2019, Xin served as SVP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Turn­ing Point Ther­a­peu­tics, and be­fore that he was in­ter­im VP of on­col­o­gy ear­ly clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at the con­clu­sion of his sev­en years at Pfiz­er.

Jamie Iu­di­ca

→ With a glioblas­toma drug in de­vel­op­ment, Re­search Tri­an­gle biotech Is­tari On­col­o­gy has se­lect­ed Jamie Iu­di­ca as chief man­u­fac­tur­ing of­fi­cer. Pri­or to his lat­est role at Xel­lia Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals as SVP, glob­al prod­uct sup­ply, Iu­di­ca was Pfiz­er’s VP, glob­al bi­o­log­ics op­er­a­tions and brings more Big Phar­ma ex­pe­ri­ence from Mer­ck, Glax­o­SmithK­line and No­var­tis.

Arecor Ther­a­peu­tics has bagged Lind­sey Foulkes as COO. Foulkes start­ed her ca­reer with McK­in­sey & Com­pa­ny in 1995 be­fore jump­ing aboard med de­vice start­up Nex­an. Af­ter­ward, Foulkes had roles at Acam­bis, Can­gene and Lim­i­nal Bio­sciences.

Stra­ta On­col­o­gy has wel­comed Mark Szew­czyk to the team as CCO. Szew­czyk brings with him a va­ri­ety of ex­pe­ri­ences from his time spent at Ab­bott as VP, glob­al com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions, mol­e­c­u­lar di­ag­nos­tics; Philips Health­care and Cleve­land Clin­ic Home Care.

Brent Di­al

→ Can­cer ge­nomics-fo­cused Per­son­al Genome Di­ag­nos­tics (PGDx) has brought on Brent Di­al as CFO. Di­al comes aboard af­ter be­ing a prin­ci­pal with Chor­da­ta Ven­tures. Pri­or to that he was CFO at An­heuser-Busch’s high-end beer busi­ness unit. Di­al has al­so led ini­tia­tives at JP Mor­gan Chase, Deutsche Bank Se­cu­ri­ties and TCOM.

→ Look­ing for the FDA’s ap­proval with omidu­bi­cel — a stem cell ther­a­py for blood can­cer pa­tients— Boston-based Gami­da Cell has brought on Vladimir Mel­nikov as SVP, glob­al op­er­a­tions and man­u­fac­tur­ing. Mel­nikov was re­cent­ly a gen­er­al man­ag­er at Om­rix Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, spend­ing near­ly a decade at the com­pa­ny J&J bought in 2008. He was al­so bi­o­log­ic tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions lead at J&J sub­sidiary Ethicon Bio­surgery.

Niels Sven­strup

RA Cap­i­tal-backed Pep­Gen de­buted with a $45 mil­lion round in De­cem­ber, then named RA Cap­i­tal ven­ture part­ner (and Cy­dan and Vtesse co-founder) James McArthur pres­i­dent and CEO in Feb­ru­ary. The neu­ro­mus­cu­lar dis­ease play­er is shoring up its staff this week with Niels Sven­strup as SVP, CMC and David Pelissier as VP of fi­nance. A Lund­beck and Bay­er vet, Sven­strup piv­ots to Pep­Gen af­ter his time at Cy­dan as SVP, de­vel­op­ment, and he’s al­so been As­cendis Phar­ma’s di­rec­tor of project man­age­ment and CMC. Pelissier’s stay as VP, con­troller at Avro­bio didn’t last a year, but he did spend the pre­vi­ous three years at Ra Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, where he was pro­mot­ed to se­nior di­rec­tor, con­troller.

Hu­mani­gen, which filed an EUA for lenzilum­ab last week to treat se­vere Covid-19 cas­es, has locked in Ken Tr­bovich as SVP, in­vestor re­la­tions. Tr­bovich was a spe­cial­ty phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal an­a­lyst with RBC, lat­er be­com­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, health­care re­search at Jan­ney Mont­gomery Scott. Hu­mani­gen re­vealed da­ta in late March as­sert­ing that lenzilum­ab helped keep Covid-19 pa­tients off ven­ti­la­tion.

→ South­ern Cal­i­for­nia medtech In­o­gen, spe­cial­iz­ing in portable oxy­gen for home use, has waved in Stanislav Glez­er as CMO. Since Sep­tem­ber 2018, Glez­er had been Bec­ton Dick­in­son’s world­wide VP of med­ical af­fairs for di­a­betes care. Af­ter 14 years of nu­mer­ous posts at Sanofi, Glez­er then spent a year with No­vo Nordisk as VP of glob­al med­ical af­fairs and an­oth­er year as CMO of Ado­cia.

Lau­ra Shawver

Sil­ver­back CEO Lau­ra Shawver and Bridge­Bio COO-in-res­i­dence Chris­tine Siu are now board mem­bers at Bright Peak Ther­a­peu­tics. The cy­tokine im­munother­a­py biotech just scored a $107 mil­lion Se­ries B round this week with RA Cap­i­tal lead­ing the pack of in­vestors.

→ Pan-vari­ant ki­nase in­hibitor biotech The­seus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, which launched with a $100 mil­lion Se­ries B in April, has added Kathy Yi to the board of di­rec­tors. Yi, the CFO for Tony Coles at Cerev­el, held the same post at Sang­amo from 2017-19.

Sap­na Sri­vas­ta­va

Au­ra Bio­sciences has pulled in Sap­na Sri­vas­ta­va to its board of di­rec­tors. Sri­vas­ta­va cur­rent­ly serves as chief fi­nan­cial and strat­e­gy of­fi­cer at eGe­n­e­sis. Pri­or to that, she held the same role at Abide Ther­a­peu­tics and In­tel­lia Ther­a­peu­tics and was a se­nior biotech­nol­o­gy an­a­lyst for Gold­man Sachs, Mor­gan Stan­ley and ThinkE­quity Part­ners.

→ Bryan, TX CMO iBio has elect­ed Eef Schim­melpen­nink to its board of di­rec­tors. Schim­melpen­nink, the ex-pres­i­dent and CEO of Pfenex, was an ex­ec at Hos­pi­ra and af­ter Pfiz­er bought the com­pa­ny, was fleet­ing­ly the phar­ma’s VP of glob­al ster­ile in­jecta­bles.

Sue-Jean Lin

Frank Watan­abe’s crew at Ar­cutis is bring­ing Sue-Jean Lin in­to the fold as a mem­ber of its board of di­rec­tors, while Jonathan Sil­ver­stein ex­its the board “for per­son­al rea­sons.” Lin, a 26-year Al­ler­gan vet­er­an, is Al­con’s SVP and chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer.

Heather Be­han­na and Deepa Prasad have joined the board of di­rec­tors at Friedre­ich’s atax­ia biotech De­sign Ther­a­peu­tics, now led by ex-Abeona CEO João Sif­fert. Be­han­na has been a prin­ci­pal at SR One for two years, and Prasad is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at WestRiv­er Group.

Pi­ratip Pra­tum­suwan

→ As part of se­cur­ing $23 mil­lion in fund­ing for this week’s launch, Al­cy­one has added Pi­ratip Pra­tum­suwan to its board of di­rec­tors. Pra­tum­suwan is a man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at RTW In­vest­ments — one of the com­pa­nies that chipped in with Al­cy­one’s fund­ing. Pra­tum­suwan joined RTW in 2014.

→ San Diego-based on­va­nsert­ib de­vel­op­er Cardiff On­col­o­gy has re­served board seats for Mani Mo­hin­dru and Re­nee Tan­nen­baum. Mo­hin­dru, who joined the board of di­rec­tors at Cy­tomX in De­cem­ber, is CEO of No­vasen­ta and the ex-CEO of CereX­is. Be­fore her cur­rent role as VP of glob­al part­ner­ing at Halozyme, Tan­nen­baum was Ab­b­Vie’s head of glob­al cus­tomer ex­cel­lence.

Mary Smith

PTC Ther­a­peu­tics has elect­ed Mary Smith to its board of di­rec­tors. Smith is the cur­rent vice chair at the VENG Group. Smith pre­vi­ous­ly served as the prin­ci­pal deputy di­rec­tor and CEO equiv­a­lent at the In­di­an Health Ser­vice, an HHS di­vi­sion that pro­vides med­ical care to Na­tive Amer­i­cans.

→ Non-prof­it n-Lorem Foun­da­tion has named Claire Grezemkovsky as di­rec­tor of phil­an­thropy. Grezemkovsky has worked with the Salk In­sti­tute for Bi­o­log­i­cal Stud­ies, the Keck Ob­ser­va­to­ry and most re­cent­ly The Scripps Re­search In­sti­tute.

At­lantic Health­care has en­list­ed Robert Dow and Ju­lian Thurston as non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors of its board. Dow comes with ex­pe­ri­ence from his times as head of glob­al drug de­vel­op­ment at Roche and CMO of PPD. Mean­while, Thurston has 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with mul­ti-na­tion­al law firms.

Adap­tive De­sign Meth­ods Of­fer Rapid, Seam­less Tran­si­tion Be­tween Study Phas­es in Rare Can­cer Tri­als

Rare cancers account for 22 percent of cancer diagnoses worldwide, yet there is no universally accepted definition for a “rare” cancer. Moreover, with the evolution of genomics and associated changes in categorizing tumors, some common cancers are now characterized into groups of rare cancers, each with a unique implication for patient management and therapy.

Adaptive designs, which allow for prospectively planned modifications to study design based on accumulating data from subjects in the trial, can be used to optimize rare oncology trials (see Figure 1). Adaptive design studies may include multiple cohorts and multiple tumor types. In addition, numerous adaptation methods may be used in a single trial and may facilitate a more rapid, seamless transition between study phases.

Marianne De Backer (L) and Jeff Hatfield

Bay­er nabs star biotech Vi­vid­ion with a $2B buy­out and an ‘arms-length’ pact, pulling a part­ner out of the IPO con­ga line

Vividion is canceling that IPO it filed. Instead of following the industry-wide migration to Nasdaq, the biotech that has captured considerable attention for its still-preclinical work finding cryptic pockets to bind to on proteins is going to work for Bayer now.

The pharma giant is putting out word today that it has bought out Vividion for $1.5 billion in cash and another half-billion dollars in milestones.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 113,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Tadataka Yamada (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sci­ence pi­o­neer, phar­ma re­search chief, glob­al health ad­vo­cate and biotech en­tre­pre­neur Tadata­ka ‘Tachi’ Ya­ma­da has died

Tadataka Yamada, a towering physician-scientist who made his name in academia before transforming drug development at GlaxoSmithKline and developing vaccines for malaria and meningitis at the Gates Foundation, died unexpectedly of natural causes at his home in Seattle Wednesday morning.

He was 76. Frazier Healthcare Partners’ David Socks confirmed his death.

Known widely by the mononym “Tachi,” Yamada had a globetrotting career and arrived in industry relatively late in life. A 2004 Independent article noted GSK had asked Yamada to stay on beyond his approaching 60th birthday, the company’s usual retirement age. Yamada would continue working for the next 17 years, steering the Gates Foundation’s global health division for 6 years, funding Jim Wilson’s gene therapy work when few would touch it, launching Takeda Vaccines and co-founding a series of high-profile biotechs.

Covid-19 roundup: Pfiz­er im­pos­es vac­cine man­date for US work­ers; WHO calls for mora­to­ri­um on boost­ers, while some coun­tries make plans any­way — re­port

As the US struggles to keep pace with the fast-spreading Delta variant, big companies like Walmart and Disney are imposing vaccine mandates for some workers. It may come as no surprise that Pfizer — the Big Pharma behind the US’ first authorized Covid-19 vaccine — is joining them.

Pfizer will start requiring all US employees and contractors to get vaccinated, or participate in weekly Covid-19 testing, spokesperson Pamela Eisele told Reuters. Workers outside the US are strongly urged to get a vaccine if they can, according to the report. And those with medical conditions or religious objections can seek accommodations.

Tien Lee, Aardvark Therapeutics CEO

Emerg­ing from stealth mode, Aard­vark rounds up enough cash to put its lead drug through Prad­er-Willi PhII

When Aardvark Therapeutics CEO Tien Lee started his work on the biotech’s lead candidate, appetite suppression was the goal for the small molecule.  Soon after, his team started to see added benefits with lower blood glucose levels and anti-inflammatory activity. On the tail end of that, the company has emerged from stealth mode and announced today that they’ve raised enough cash in the B round to cover mid-stage development work.

Josh Hoffman, outgoing Zymergen CEO (Zymergen)

UP­DAT­ED: Syn­bio uni­corn Zymer­gen jet­ti­sons found­ing CEO, cuts guid­ance as cus­tomers re­port lead prod­uct does­n't work

Zymergen, just months off a $500 million IPO that put the synthetic bio firm in rarified air, has now ejected its founding CEO and downgraded its revenue forecasts after customers reported its lead film product doesn’t work as advertised, the company said Tuesday afternoon.

CEO Josh Hoffman will leave his role and sacrifice his board seat immediately in favor of Jay Flatley, the former CEO of Illumina who will take the lead role on an interim basis as the company conducts a search for its next leader.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 113,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

UK re-in­ves­ti­gates Pfiz­er's eye-pop­ping price goug­ing on an epilep­sy drug

When a drugmaker raises the price of a drug in the US by more than 2,000% overnight, and without any particular reason for that increase, nothing typically happens to the company. No fines, no court orders, just business as usual.

Martin Shkreli’s decades-old anti-parasitic drug Daraprim was the perfect example — massive price spike on an old drug, lots of media attention, public outcry, congressional committees dragging his former company through multiple hearings, and at the end of it? Nothing happened to the price or the company (until generic competition came).

Thomas Lingelbach, Valneva CEO

A small vac­cine de­vel­op­er fa­vored by the UK gov­ern­ment in Covid-19 touts a PhI­II first in chikun­gun­ya

Before Valneva garnered the favor of the UK government as a potential supplier of Covid-19 vaccines, the French biotech prided itself on being the first company to bring a chikungunya vaccine into Phase III.

It now has positive pivotal results to back up the breakthrough therapy designation the FDA granted just weeks ago.

There are currently no approved jabs to prevent chikungunya virus infection despite decades of R&D efforts, a fact that underscores just how arduous traditional vaccine development can be, particularly for neglected tropical disease. In a absence of a major commercial market, the US government and NGOs such as CEPI have deployed various grants and incentives to spur on a small crew of academics and industry players, with Merck, via its acquisition of Themis, claiming a spot in that race.

Zymergen co-founders Zach Serber, Josh Hoffman, and Jed Dean (Zymergen via website)

Zymer­gen's sud­den im­plo­sion shocked biotech. A lin­ger­ing loan could make things even worse

As former synbio unicorn Zymergen picks up the pieces from its spectacular implosion Tuesday, an outstanding loan from Perceptive Advisors — the only blue-chip biotech crossover investor to touch Zymergen’s fundraising efforts — could make the situation worse, according to public documents.

In December 2019, more than a year before Zymergen filed for what would eventually become a $500 million IPO, the “biofacturing” firm signed a $100 million credit facility with Perceptive to help supplement the nearly $700 million the company had raised across four VC rounds.