Just like start­ing over: Mod­er­na tees up an­oth­er CFO; Ge­of­frey Porges puts down his SVB pen to join Schrödinger

James Mock

Mod­er­na is hop­ing this CFO is the one that sticks.

The mR­NA ti­tan has poached James Mock from PerkinElmer, an ap­point­ment that Peer Re­view has been wait­ing on CEO Stéphane Ban­cel to make since the last hire took a strange turn in May. Jorge Gomez played fi­nance chief for a day when Mod­er­na was made aware of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to his fi­nan­cial re­port­ing prac­tices by the com­pa­ny he just left, Dentsply Sirona. Gomez was out be­fore he was ever re­al­ly in, trig­ger­ing yet an­oth­er search for a CFO and de­lay­ing David Meline’s re­tire­ment.

The ap­point­ment fol­lows the UK ap­proval of Mod­er­na’s Omi­cron-spe­cif­ic Covid-19 vac­cine ear­li­er in the week. Mock, a GE vet who had spent four years as PerkinElmer’s CFO, will take over on Sept. 6.

Ge­of­frey Porges

→ In a move that caused Peer Re­view to do a bit of a dou­ble take, Ge­of­frey Porges has left SVB Se­cu­ri­ties to take the CFO job at Schrödinger. Porges had pro­vid­ed his takes on the in­dus­try at SVB since 2015 as se­nior man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, di­rec­tor of ther­a­peu­tics re­search and se­nior re­search an­a­lyst, and he was al­so a mar­ket­ing ex­ec at Mer­ck’s vac­cine di­vi­sion in the 1990s. Add Porges to the grow­ing list of big-name an­a­lysts who have moved on to oth­er com­pa­nies in the last year: Biren Amin said good­bye to Jef­feries in April 2021 to be­come CFO of Im­muneer­ing, while Bern­stein’s Ron­ny Gal chose the Big Phar­ma route by start­ing his new gig as No­var­tis’ chief strat­e­gy & growth of­fi­cer on Ju­ly 18. Kyle LaHu­cik spoke with Porges about his ap­point­ment on Thurs­day.

Sanuj Ravin­dran

→ Found­ed by Aaron Ring — one of our 20(+1) un­der 40 hon­orees this year — and scor­ing a $40 mil­lion Se­ries B in Jan­u­ary, cy­tokine-cen­tered Sim­cha Ther­a­peu­tics has in­stalled Sanuj Ravin­dran as CEO. Ravin­dran con­clud­ed a four-year run as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bridge­Bio sub­sidiary Pelle­Pharm, and he’s al­so been CBO of aTyr Phar­ma and SVP of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment at The Med­i­cines Com­pa­ny. Else­where at Sim­cha, ARCH ven­ture part­ner and ex-MyoKar­dia CBO Jake Bauer has been named chair­man of a board that in­cludes Ring, Ravin­dran, SR One’s Sime­on George, WuXi AppTec’s Sean Li and Ar­cus CEO Ter­ry Rosen.

Kate Her­mans

Am­brx Bio­phar­ma had a lot go­ing for it last year, rid­ing to Nas­daq with a $126 mil­lion IPO af­ter a $200 mil­lion crossover round in No­vem­ber 2020. But the bear mar­ket has shat­tered its stock and the run­away suc­cess of As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi Sankyo’s HER2 drug En­her­tu has put a crimp in its pipeline plans, prompt­ing a shake­up at the top. Just last month, Kate Her­mans joined Am­brx’s board of di­rec­tors, but she’s now been named in­ter­im CEO as Feng Tian steps down. Her­mans, the ex-VP of mar­ket­ing at Ra­dius Health, spent 13 years with Pfiz­er in myr­i­ad roles be­fore piv­ot­ing to Bris­tol My­ers Squibb in 2012, even­tu­al­ly lead­ing spe­cial­ty port­fo­lio com­mer­cial­iza­tion strat­e­gy. One more Am­brx note: Ym­muno­bio CEO Ka­trin Ru­pal­la has suc­ceed­ed Tian as chair of the board.

Amy Ma­h­ery

Amy Ma­h­ery has fin­ished up an 18-year stay at EMD Serono and will join Roivant as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer, an an­nounce­ment that Matt Gline’s crew dis­closed in its quar­ter­ly re­port this week. Ma­h­ery held a whole slew of posts at EMD Serono and led the glob­al busi­ness fran­chise, neu­rol­o­gy and im­munol­o­gy be­fore ven­tur­ing off to Roivant. One of its many sub­sidiaries, Der­ma­vant, passed through the ap­proval gate at the FDA three months ago with the plaque pso­ri­a­sis top­i­cal med Vta­ma.

Gar­rett Nichols

Cara Cassi­no has re­signed af­ter near­ly sev­en years as CMO of Con­tra­Fect, which is chop­ping 37% of its staff fol­low­ing a Phase III prat­fall with exe­ba­case in Ju­ly. Is­tari On­col­o­gy CMO Gar­rett Nichols will be pitch­ing in re­lief un­til Con­tra­Fect choos­es a per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor. Nichols, the ex-VP, glob­al HIV clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at GSK, has al­so served as med­ical chief of Chimerix.

Pe­dro Huer­tas

→ Pil­ing on the cash with a $270 mil­lion Se­ries C three months ago, Shankar Ra­maswamy’s gene ther­a­py play Kriya Ther­a­peu­tics has wel­comed Pe­dro Huer­tas as CMO of its rare dis­ease di­vi­sion. The role of med­ical chief isn’t a new one for Huer­tas as he ar­rives at a biotech where there are CMOs for dif­fer­ent ther­a­peu­tic ar­eas: There­sa Heah was named CMO and pres­i­dent of Kriya’s oph­thal­mol­o­gy di­vi­sion in Oc­to­ber 2021, and Ma’an Muhsin ar­rived in Feb­ru­ary as CMO and pres­i­dent of the on­col­o­gy di­vi­sion. Huer­tas was pre­vi­ous­ly the CMO with In­ozyme Phar­ma, Sen­tien Biotech­nolo­gies and Eloxx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, and ear­li­er he was a glob­al med­ical lead with Shire and Pfiz­er.

Joanne Quan

→ Bay Area-based Nu­vig Ther­a­peu­tics, a start­up sprout­ing from the lab of Jeff Ravetch at The Rock­e­feller Uni­ver­si­ty, has propped the door open for Joanne Quan as CMO fol­low­ing its $47 mil­lion Se­ries A in May. Quan, a for­mer clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment ex­ec at Are­na Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, is the ex-CMO of Eiger Bio­Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals who was pre­vi­ous­ly the med­ical chief at Modis Ther­a­peu­tics from 2018-21.

Ja­son Katz

→ Af­ter tak­ing the in­ter­im tag off co-founder and now-CEO Do­minique Ver­helle, the Bob Langer-linked Nex­tR­NA Ther­a­peu­tics out of Dana-Far­ber has tapped Ja­son Katz as head of drug dis­cov­ery. Katz put in 13 years at Mer­ck be­fore be­com­ing di­rec­tor of chem­istry (and lat­er se­nior di­rec­tor of chem­istry) at IFM Ther­a­peu­tics. Ver­helle, the in­ter­im chief when Nex­tR­NA took the wraps off a $56 mil­lion round of fund­ing in ear­ly March, pre­vi­ous­ly held lead­er­ship posts at Cel­gene, Pfiz­er and Take­da, where she was head of aca­d­e­m­ic in­no­va­tion at the Japan­ese phar­ma’s Cen­ter for Ex­ter­nal In­no­va­tion.

→ As NetSci­en­tif­ic com­pletes its stake buy of Vor­tex Bio­sciences, the com­mer­cial­iza­tion and in­vest­ment com­pa­ny has now named Paul Jones as CEO. Jones joins Vor­tex from Il­lu­mi­na, where he served as glob­al head of pop­u­la­tion ge­nomics. Jones is al­so the founder and CEO of My­Gene and ear­li­er in his ca­reer held roles at As­traZeneca, Sanofi and No­var­tis.

Cheryl Col­lett

→ Look­ing to tar­get can­cers caused by HPV, San Diego-based Tor­a­gen is bring­ing in some new faces to its team. The com­pa­ny an­nounced the ap­point­ments of Cheryl Col­lett as CFO, Richard Lump­kin as di­rec­tor, re­search & de­vel­op­ment, and Paul En­gler (founder of Cac­tus Feed­ers) to its board of di­rec­tors. Col­lett sad­dles up to the com­pa­ny af­ter a stint as CFO of Ani­vive Life­sciences and pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence with Puma Biotech­nol­o­gy, Sier­ra Sci­en­tif­ic In­stru­ments, Cougar Biotech­nol­o­gy, Hythi­am and 20th Cen­tu­ry Fox.

Mean­while, Lump­kin served as for­mer se­nior di­rec­tor at re­cent­ly Pfiz­er-ac­quired Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics. Lump­kin’s oth­er stints in­clude roles at Por­to­la Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Mil­len­ni­um Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Cor Ther­a­peu­tics, Ri­bo­gene, Amylin and Cor­vas In­ter­na­tion­al.

Allen Hodge

→ Health tech out­fit Zephyr AI has pegged Allen Hodge as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer. The erst­while VP of US on­col­o­gy sales at Ar­ray Bio­phar­ma and an ex-re­gion­al sales di­rec­tor with Cel­gene, Hodge spent the last three years as BioCryst’s SVP and gen­er­al man­ag­er, US com­mer­cial.

Jacque­lyn Sumer

→ Get­ting a fresh cash in­jec­tion this spring through a $275 mil­lion up­front pay­ment from Tai­ho Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal as part of an al­liance that was forged in 2019, Cul­li­nan On­col­o­gy has named Jacque­lyn Sumer as chief le­gal of­fi­cer. Sumer, a Big Phar­ma le­gal vet with No­var­tis and Bris­tol My­ers, had been chief le­gal and com­pli­ance of­fi­cer at Geno­cea Bio­sciences be­fore the com­pa­ny de­cid­ed to shut­ter op­er­a­tions.

Justin Fairchild

Portage Biotech CEO Ian Wal­ters has tacked on the role of chair­man, while the Con­necti­cut-based I/O play­er that just took full own­er­ship of iOx Ther­a­peu­tics has en­list­ed Justin Fairchild as VP of de­vel­op­ment. Fairchild is a 14-year vet of Bris­tol My­ers who’s been VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at the Park­er In­sti­tute for Can­cer Im­munother­a­py. Wal­ters, who al­so has Bris­tol My­ers ties, has helmed Portage since 2019.

Lisa Sin­clair

→ The pro­tein degra­da­tion spe­cial­ists at Arv­inas have picked up their sec­ond ex­ec of the month with Lisa Sin­clair as SVP, cor­po­rate op­er­a­tions, and the biotech al­so put out word late Thurs­day that it would carve out space for ex-Pfiz­er busi­ness chief John Young on the board of di­rec­tors as Liam Rat­cliffe moves on. Sin­clair spent 18 years with Pfiz­er be­fore mov­ing on to As­traZeneca in 2011 as VP of R&D port­fo­lio and per­for­mance. At her last two stops, she was head of pro­gram and al­liance man­age­ment with Pfiz­er spin­out Spring­Works Ther­a­peu­tics and head of cor­po­rate & com­mer­cial strat­e­gy since 2019 for Rally­bio. Arv­inas be­gan the month of Au­gust by nab­bing Nek­tar vet John North­cott as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer.

South Ram­part Phar­ma is adding Josh Blach­er to its team as CFO. Blach­er, who helped man­age Te­va In­no­v­a­tive Ven­tures, has pre­vi­ous­ly been the CFO of Galmed Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Ther­a­pix Bio­sciences, and he al­so has CBO ex­pe­ri­ence from his time at In­med Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Eweli­na Ku­likows­ki

→ At Resver­logix, CSO Nor­man Wong is pass­ing the ba­ton to Eweli­na Ku­likows­ki as he heads off to re­tire­ment. Ku­likows­ki joined Resver­logix in 2005, hav­ing start­ed out as di­rec­tor of re­search de­vel­op­ment and cul­mi­nat­ing in her role as SVP, re­search & de­vel­op­ment.

Re­lief Ther­a­peu­tics has ush­ered in David Mc­Cul­lough as se­nior di­rec­tor and head of US mar­ket ac­cess. Mc­Cul­lough hails from Mirum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, where he was na­tion­al ac­count di­rec­tor (pay­er ac­count lead). Mc­Cul­lough al­so has ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt from gigs at No­var­tis Gene Ther­a­pies, Spark Ther­a­peu­tics, Shire, Med­Im­mune and Ab­bott Labs.

→ Just af­ter adding Sabine Sydow and Falk Nuern­berg­er to its lead­er­ship team last week, Ger­man CD­MO Rentschler Bio­phar­ma is now wel­com­ing aboard Mark Caswell as VP, site head of its Mass­a­chu­setts fa­cil­i­ties. Caswell joins the com­pa­ny from Lon­za, hav­ing served as head of op­er­a­tions at its site in New Hamp­shire. Pri­or to that Caswell had stints at Sanofi Gen­zyme, cul­mi­nat­ing in his role as di­rec­tor, glob­al en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­o­gy.

Eli­av Barr

Eli­av Barr has picked up a seat on the board of di­rec­tors at Bay­er’s thy­roid can­cer part­ner Ve­r­a­cyte. Barr took over for Roy Baynes — now CMO for Roger Perl­mut­ter at Eikon Ther­a­peu­tics — at Mer­ck Re­search Lab­o­ra­to­ries and has worked for the Big Phar­ma since 1995.

John Davis

Jeff Blue­stone has bol­stered the board at Sono­ma Bio­ther­a­peu­tics — chaired by Rick Klaus­ner — with the ad­di­tions of Kati­na Dor­ton and John Davis. Dor­ton has been a CFO with NodThera, Re­pare Ther­a­peu­tics and Avro­bio, while Davis is a Pfiz­er alum who led R&D and was CMO of Ma­gen­ta Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ While we’re think­ing of Davis’ old com­pa­ny, Michael Vas­con­celles is head­ed to Ma­gen­ta’s board of di­rec­tors. Be­fore his CMO gigs at Unum Ther­a­peu­tics and Roche’s Flat­iron Health, Vas­con­celles led the on­col­o­gy ther­a­py area unit at Take­da.

Rahul Bal­lal

Now un­der the di­rec­tion of Bri­an Goff with Jack­ie Fouse rid­ing off in­to the sun­set last week, Agios has made room for Rahul Bal­lal and Mer­ck alum Cyn­thia Smith on the board of di­rec­tors. Bal­lal has helmed Imara for the last four years, and Smith is the ex-chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer of ZS Phar­ma who has board seats with Pro­tara Ther­a­peu­tics, Spero Ther­a­peu­tics and Ake­bia Ther­a­peu­tics.

Rachel Humphrey has clinched a spot on the board of di­rec­tors at Pyx­is On­col­o­gy as it prunes the pipeline and shines the spot­light on PYX-201 and PYX-106. The ex-CMO at Black Di­a­mond is now pres­i­dent and CEO of I/O biotech Nor­mu­ni­ty.

Karen Ling

→ Mer­ck hu­man re­sources vet Karen Ling has joined the board of di­rec­tors at Mallinck­rodt. Ling was chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer at Al­ler­gan from 2014-19, then took the same po­si­tion at AIG for two years. She al­so sits on the board of di­rec­tors at iRhythm Tech­nolo­gies and Ther­a­peu­tic­sMD.

Lynne Par­shall

Dinged by a par­tial clin­i­cal hold on its blood can­cer drug FHD-286 af­ter a pa­tient death, Flag­ship biotech Foghorn Ther­a­peu­tics has giv­en a seat to Lynne Par­shall on the board of di­rec­tors. Par­shall has had a 30-year as­so­ci­a­tion with Io­n­is, where she’s now a se­nior strate­gic ad­vi­sor and board mem­ber, and she’s on the boards of Cy­to­ki­net­ics, Reper­toire Im­mune Med­i­cines, and Ring Ther­a­peu­tics.

Suzanne Bruhn

→ We pro­filed Schond Green­way not too long ago when he took the CFO job at MindMed — this time around, the psy­che­delics biotech has elect­ed Tia­ki Ther­a­peu­tics chief Suzanne Bruhn and Opi­ant Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals CEO Roger Crys­tal to the board of di­rec­tors. Bruhn just be­came a board mem­ber at Vig­il Neu­ro­science, and Crys­tal is on the board of di­rec­tors at BIO.

→ Fund man­ag­er Justin Yorke (the San Gabriel Fund, JMW Fund and Rich­land Fund) has been named chair­man of the board at Hanover, MD-based Proces­sa Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Khoso Baluch, the for­mer CorMedix CEO who was on the Eli Lil­ly team from 1984-2008, has joined XO­MA CEO Jim Neal on Proces­sa’s board.

Bri­an Fen­ton

→ Non­prof­it biotech Odylia Ther­a­peu­tics has pulled out two seats on its board of di­rec­tors for Sharon Walk­er and Bri­an Fen­ton. Walk­er joins the At­lanta-based com­pa­ny with ex­pe­ri­ence as Sanofi’s se­nior coun­sel, vac­cines patents. Mean­while, Fen­ton was CBO of Trans­late Bio and for­mer­ly worked with­in the busi­ness de­vel­op­ment group at Shire.

→ Ym­muno­bio, the Swiss-based CEA­CAM1 biotech we ref­er­enced ear­li­er, is bol­ster­ing its board of di­rec­tors with the ap­point­ment of Juer­gen Heit­mann. Cur­rent­ly, Heit­mann serves as di­rec­tor of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Nordic Phar­ma. Heit­mann is the ex-CBO of Sen­so­ri­on and has held roles at McK­in­sey & Com­pa­ny, No­var­tis, Ny­comed and Take­da.

→ Need­ing to hit the re­set but­ton with the FDA af­ter pulling its BLA for be­va­cizum­ab in late May, Out­look Ther­a­peu­tics has added Ju­lia Haller to the board of di­rec­tors. Haller chairs the oph­thal­mol­o­gy de­part­ment at Sid­ney Kim­mel Med­ical Col­lege at Thomas Jef­fer­son Uni­ver­si­ty and is oph­thal­mol­o­gist-in-chief at Wills Eye Hos­pi­tal in Philadel­phia.

Pi­o­neer­ing Click Chem­istry in Hu­mans

Reimagining cancer treatments

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, which is nearly one in six deaths. Recently, we have seen incredible advances in novel cancer therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, cell therapies, and antibody-drug conjugates that have revamped cancer care and improved survival rates for patients.

Despite this significant progress in therapeutic targeting, why are we still seeing such a high mortality rate? The reason is that promising therapies are often limited by their therapeutic index, which is a measure of the effective dose of a drug, relative to its safety. If we could broaden the therapeutic indices of currently available medicines, it would revolutionize cancer treatments. We are still on the quest to find the ultimate cancer medicine – highly effective in several cancer types, safe, and precisely targeted to the tumor site.

Justin Klee (L) and Joshua Cohen, Amylyx co-CEOs (Cody O'Loughlin/The New York Times; courtesy Amylyx)

Ad­vo­cates, ex­perts cry foul over Amy­lyx's new ALS drug, cit­ing is­sues with price, PhI­II com­mit­ment

Not 24 hours after earning the first ALS drug approval in five years, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ Relyvrio is already drawing scrutiny. And it’s coming from multiple fronts.

In an investor call Friday morning, Amylyx revealed that it would charge about $158,000 per year, a price point that immediately drew backlash from ALS advocates and some outside observers. The cost reveal had been highly anticipated in the immediate hours after Thursday evening’s approval, though Amylyx only teased Relyvrio would cost less than previously approved drugs.

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Land­mark Amy­lyx OK spurs de­bate; Some... pos­i­tive? Alzheimer's da­ta; Can­cer tri­al bot­tle­neck; Sanofi's CRISPR bet; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

After brief stops in Paris and Boston, John Carroll and the Endpoints crew are staying on the road in October with their return for a live/streaming EUBIO22 in London. The hybrid event fireside chats and panels on mRNA, oncology and the crazy public market. We hope you can join him there.

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Joshua Cohen (L) and Justin Klee, Amylyx co-CEOs

Up­dat­ed: Af­ter long and wind­ing road, FDA ap­proves Amy­lyx's ALS drug in vic­to­ry for pa­tients and ad­vo­ca­cy groups

For just the third time in its 116-year history, the FDA has approved a new treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS.

US regulators gave the thumbs-up to the drug, known as Relyvrio, in a massive win for patients and their families. The approval, given to Boston-area biotech Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, comes after two years of long and contentious debates over the drug’s effectiveness between advocacy groups and FDA scientists, following the readout of a mid-stage clinical trial in September 2020.

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Up­dat­ed: Al­ny­lam re­in­forces APOL­LO-B patisir­an da­ta be­fore head­ing to the FDA

Weeks after uncorking some mostly positive data for patisiran in transthyretin-mediated (ATTR) amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy, Alnylam is bolstering its package with new exploratory and subgroup data before shipping it off to regulators.

The RNAi drug maintained “generally consistent” benefits in efficacy and quality of life across several prespecified subgroups at month 12, Alnylam announced on Friday afternoon, including age, baseline tafamidis use, ATTR amyloidosis type, baseline six-minute walk test score and others.

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Nooman Haque, head of life sciences and healthcare at Silicon Valley Bank, and John Carroll

I’m head­ed to Lon­don soon for #EU­BIO22. Care to join me?

It was great getting back to a live ESMO conference/webinar in Paris followed by a live pop-up event for the Endpoints 11 in Boston. We’re staying on the road in October with our return for a live/streaming EUBIO22 in London.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Nooman Haque and I are once again jumping back into the thick of it with a slate of virtual and live events on October 12. I’ll get the ball rolling with a virtual fireside chat with Novo Nordisk R&D chief Marcus Schindler, covering their pipeline plans and BD work.

#AAO22: J&J’s first look at com­mon eye dis­ease port­fo­lio pads the case for PhII of gene ther­a­py

CHICAGO — While the later-stage drug developers in the geographic atrophy field are near the finish line, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen is taking a more deliberate route, with a treatment that it hopes to be a one-time fix.

The Big Pharma will take its Hemera Biosciences-acquired gene therapy into a Phase II study later this year in patients with GA, a common form of age-related macular degeneration that impacts about five million people worldwide. To get there, Janssen touted early-stage safety data at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual conference Saturday morning, half a day after competitors Apellis and Iveric Bio revealed their own more-detailed Phase III analyses.

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Jerome Durso, Intercept Pharmaceuticals CEO

In­ter­cep­t's OCA fails a PhI­II NASH tri­al, rais­ing fresh doubts about its years­long quest for an OK

Intercept Pharmaceuticals has run into another big setback in its yearslong quest to win an approval for OCA in NASH. The biotech put out word Friday morning that its Phase III REVERSE study failed the primary endpoint for the liver disease, sending its share price into a tailspin.

There was no significant improvement in fibrosis among the patients suffering from cirrhosis who were treated with obeticholic acid, with investigators hunting for a minimum 1-stage histological improvement in the disease after 18 months of therapy.

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Bo Cumbo, new Solid Bio CEO

Sol­id Bio gets a new CEO, $75M cash and drops lead drug as big in­vestors ju­ry-rig a merg­er deal

Three months after Endpoints News broke the story that gene therapy outfit AavantiBio had gutted its CMC group in a reorganization, the biotech’s CEO has helped engineer a merger with struggling penny stock player Solid Bio. And he’s going to remain in charge of the combined operation, as Solid founder Ilan Ganot steps aside.

The merger news this morning features some high-profile investors.

Perceptive Advisors, RA Capital Management and Bain Capital Life Sciences are leading a $75 million raise to add to the pool of cash Solid will have after the tie-up. That will leave Solid $215 million in cash as Bain’s Adam Koppel jumps on the board — enough to pay for ops and get through some key data milestones on their way into 2025.

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