Peer Review: KSQ woos Beni Wolf from Blueprint with CRISPR platform; AstraZeneca exec jumps to CNS biotech spun out of Takeda
→ After four years at Blueprint Medicines, Beni Wolf is hopping over to Cambridge, Massachusetts-based KSQ Therapeutics as chief medical officer, as it prepares to take its lead experimental drug into the clinic in 2020. “KSQ’s CRISPRomics approach holds tremendous potential for developing high-impact cancer medicines,” Wolf said in a statement.
→ An embattled Merrimack $MACK — having been forced to abandon its clinical experimental drugs after a series of setbacks and job cuts — last week lost its chief medical officer. In a filing, the company said CMO Sergio Santillana had tendered his resignation.
→ Founded in 1994, London-based RNA focused biotech Silence Therapeutics has appointed Giles Campion as chief medical officer, starting June 1. Most recently, Campion served as CMO for DMD drug developer Prosensa, which was acquired by BioMarin $BMRN in 2015 for $680 million.
→ As Translate Bio founder Michael Heartlein explores new frontiers for its mRNA platform, Richard Wooster is stepping in to take up the CSO charge. Wooster, who jumps from the same role at Tarveda Therapeutics, will lead the research team in supporting current programs while plucking new ones to send to the pipeline. Translate Bio’s most advanced program is currently in a Phase I/II trial for cystic fibrosis. Heartlein will retain the chief technical officer title.
→ After six years leading medicinal chemistry for AstraZeneca’s neuroscience team, Roland Bürli is taking his drug discovery and CNS expertise to Cerevance. At the Takeda spinout, he will manage the early life of new programs that modulate novel targets identified by its tech platform. Between AstraZeneca, Amgen and BioFocus, Bürli’s experience across pharma, biotech and CRO will be critical as Cerevance builds a pipeline for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, CSO Mark Carlton said.
With contribution by Amber Tong.