Pe­ter Ciriel­lo takes over the reins at Vy­gon USA; Mirum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals taps Ian Clements to the role of CFO

Pe­ter Ciriel­lo has climbed to the up­per ech­e­lons of the French med­ical de­vice mak­er Vy­gon Group. He will run the com­pa­ny’s US op­er­a­tions from the com­pa­ny’s head­quar­ters in Penn­syl­va­nia and is al­so tasked with over­see­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at the New Hamp­shire fa­cil­i­ty. Ciriel­lo joined Vy­gon in 2018 and takes over from Les Davies, who served as CEO, Vy­gon UK and VP for the UK/North Amer­i­can re­gion. Ciriel­lo pre­vi­ous­ly served as co-founder and man­ag­ing part­ner at Clear­wa­ter Or­gan­ic Farms.

→ Af­ter re­gain­ing two liv­er dis­ease drugs from Shire and mak­ing its pub­lic de­but with a $67.3 mil­lion IPO, Mirum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has pro­mot­ed SVP, fi­nance of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ian Clements to CFO. Clements joined the com­pa­ny in May 2019 af­ter a stint as VP of in­vestor re­la­tions at Der­mi­ra. He pre­vi­ous­ly worked with To­bi­ra, Avanir Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Se­quenom and The Trout Group.

Scott Holmes Dis­arm

Dis­arm Ther­a­peu­tics — in­cu­bat­ed out of At­las Ven­ture’s Cam­bridge, MA hatch­ing grounds and led by for­mer CEO of En­zy­vant Alvin Shihhas wel­comed Scott Holmes as CFO. Holmes joins the com­pa­ny af­ter a stint as CFO at Kiadis Phar­ma, where he led the ac­qui­si­tion of Cy­toSen Ther­a­peu­tics. Be­fore that, Holmes served at Keryx Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and AM­AG Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

→ Af­ter sign­ing off on €120 mil­lion deal to pur­chase Ex­pe­deon AG‘s pro­teomics and im­munol­o­gy busi­ness last No­vem­ber, Ab­cam has ap­point­ed Michael Bal­dock as CFO and board mem­ber. Bal­dock has tak­en the role af­ter a stint as a found­ing part­ner at On­dra Part­ners, where he ad­vised Ab­cam for sev­er­al years. Bal­dock’s pre­vi­ous­ly worked with HS­BC, Lazard, Bent­ley Health Care, and SG War­burg.

→ Eye-fo­cused Avel­li­no Labs has named Chris Lehman as CFO. Lehman ar­rives at the com­pa­ny as it pre­pares to make its pub­lic de­but on the Ko­re­an stock ex­change. Most re­cent­ly, Lehman served in the same po­si­tion at Eu­re­ka Ther­a­peu­tics. Lehman’s pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes roles at Co­herus Bio­sciences, Quin­tiles and Genen­cor In­ter­na­tion­al (ac­quired by DuPont de Nemours).

→ While prepar­ing for the po­ten­tial ap­proval of their Mul­ti­Stem cell ther­a­py Ather­sys has tapped Ivor Macleod as CFO. Macleod served as CFO and CCO of Ei­sai be­fore mak­ing the leap over to Ather­sys. Pri­or to that, he held roles at Mer­ck, Hoff­man-La Roche, and Boehringer Mannheim Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ Wall Street new­bie BioN­Tech — which ob­tained a €50 mil­lion (around $55 mil­lion) loan from the Eu­ro­pean In­vest­ment Bank last month — has ap­point­ed Ryan Richard­son as CSO and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. Richard­son joined the com­pa­ny in 2018 as SVP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment & strat­e­gy. Be­fore that, Richard­son was at JP Mor­gan in Lon­don.

→ French life sci­ence VC Sofinno­va Part­ners has pro­mot­ed Michael Krel to part­ner in its in­dus­tri­al biotech­nol­o­gy team. Pre­vi­ous­ly, he served as prin­ci­pal on the team, fo­cus­ing on ear­ly-stage deals in Eu­rope and North Amer­i­ca. Krel joined the com­pa­ny as a se­nior as­so­ciate in 2013.

Rac­quel Brack­en Ven­rock

Ven­rock has pro­mot­ed two mem­bers of their tech team to the po­si­tion of part­ner — Ethan Ba­tras­ki and Rac­quel Brack­en. Ba­tras­ki joined the com­pa­ny in 2017 af­ter stints at Face­book, Box and Ya­hoo! Brack­en hopped over to Ven­rock in 2016,  af­ter serv­ing as CEO of Fed­er­a­tion Bio, lead­ing a Se­ries B round for Cyteir and a stint at Clo­vis On­col­o­gy. In ad­di­tion, the com­pa­ny wel­comed Todd Gra­ham to the tech team as VP in Pa­lo Al­to. Gra­ham makes the leap over to Ven­rock from Cis­co.

At­las-backed Dyne Ther­a­peu­tics has brought on Mol­ly White as VP, med­ical com­mu­ni­ca­tions and ad­vo­ca­cy. White pre­vi­ous­ly served as the CEO of My­oton­ic (for­mer­ly My­oton­ic Dy­s­tro­phy Foun­da­tion)

→ For­mer Gilead ex­ec John Mar­tin is hop­ping on­to the board of di­rec­tors at Sarep­ta Ther­a­peu­tics — which se­cured a $1.15 bil­lion DMD deal with Roche last month. Mar­tin served a 20-year tenure as CEO of Gilead.

→ MIT pro­fes­sor Bob Langer — who, along with Dan An­der­son, li­censed siR­NA de­liv­ery tech to Verseau for $50 mil­lion last Oc­to­ber — has joined the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board at can­cer-fo­cused  Gen­eMed­i­cine.

→ While blue­bird bio be­gins rolling out its $1.8 mil­lion gene ther­a­py Zyte­glo in Eu­rope, the com­pa­ny has tapped for­mer Cel­gene ex­ec Nico­la Hef­fron to head its Eu­ro­pean op­er­a­tions. Hef­fron is suc­ceed­ing An­drew Oben­shain — new ti­tle of “chief of wings” — who is head­ing to the com­pa­ny’s Boston of­fice to join CEO Nick Leschly.

→ Af­ter los­ing their CEO last month, Ipsen — which is grap­pling with an FDA hold on its lead rare dis­ease drug palo­varotenehas tapped for­mer Mer­ck Serono ex­ec Steven Hilde­mann as EVP, chief med­ical of­fi­cer, head of glob­al med­ical af­fairs and phar­ma­covig­i­lance. Dur­ing his time at Mer­ck, Hilde­mann served as CMO and SVP and head of glob­al med­ical af­fairs and pa­tient safe­ty. His pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence spans Mer­ck/Scher­ing Plough, Am­gen and Pfiz­er/Phar­ma­cia.

Vas Narasimhan (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­var­tis de­tails plans to axe 8,000 staffers as Narasimhan be­gins sec­ond phase of a glob­al re­org

We now know the number of jobs coming under the axe at Novartis, and it isn’t small.

The pharma giant is confirming a report from Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger that it is chopping 8,000 jobs out of its 108,000 global staffers. A large segment will hit right at company headquarters in Basel, as CEO Vas Narasimhan axes some 1,400 of a little more than 11,000  jobs in Switzerland.

The first phase of the work is almost done, the company says in a statement to Endpoints News. Now it’s on to phase two. In the statement, Novartis says:

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Peter Marks (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP Images)

FDA's VRB­PAC votes in fa­vor of adapt­ing the Covid-19 vac­cine to the lat­est Omi­cron vari­ant

The FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Tuesday gave the thumbs up — by a vote of 19-2 — that the FDA should require an Omicron-related component in this next season’s booster dose for Covid-19, which both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are hard at work on.

And while neither booster will likely be ready to go with adequate supplies for all American adults by the beginning of the next school year, the situation is still complex and fluid, with CBER Director Peter Marks telling the committee that it’ll take companies at least three months to ready their supplies for this expected next wave.

Bob Nelsen (Lyell)

As bear mar­ket con­tin­ues to beat down biotech, ARCH clos­es a $3B ear­ly-stage fund

One of the biggest names in biotech investing has a whole lot of new money to spend.

ARCH Venture Partners closed its 12th venture fund early Wednesday morning, the firm said, bringing in almost $3 billion to invest in early-stage biotechs. The move comes about a year and a half after ARCH announced its previous fund, for almost $2 billion back in January 2021.

In a statement, ARCH managing director and co-founder Bob Nelsen appeared to brush off concerns about the broader market troubles, alluding to the downturn that’s seen several biotechs downsize and the XBI fall back to almost pre-pandemic levels.

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Lina Gugucheva, NewAmsterdam Pharma CBO

Phar­ma group bets up to $1B-plus on the PhI­II res­ur­rec­tion of a once dead-and-buried LDL drug

Close to 5 years after then-Amgen R&D chief Sean Harper tamped the last spade of dirt on the last broadly focused CETP cholesterol drug — burying their $300 million upfront and the few remaining hopes for the class with it — the therapy has been fully resurrected. And today, the NewAmsterdam Pharma crew that did the Lazarus treatment on obicetrapib is taking another big step on the comeback trail with a €1 billion-plus regional licensing deal, complete with close to $150 million in upfront cash.

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How pre­pared is bio­phar­ma for the cy­ber dooms­day?

One of the largest cyberattacks in history happened on a Friday, Eric Perakslis distinctly remembers.

Perakslis, who was head of Takeda’s R&D Data Sciences Institute and visiting faculty at Harvard Medical School at the time, had spent that morning completing a review on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal. Moments after he turned it in, he heard back from the editor: “Have you heard what’s going on right now?”

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Sanofi to cut in­sulin prices for unin­sured from $99 to $35, match­ing the in­sulin cap com­ing through Con­gress

As the House-passed bill to cap the monthly price of insulin at $35 nationwide makes its way for a Senate vote soon, Sanofi announced Wednesday morning that beginning next month it will cut the monthly price of its insulins for uninsured Americans to $35, down from $99 previously.

The announcement from Sanofi, which allows the uninsured to buy one or multiple Sanofi insulins (Lantus, Insulin Glargine U-100, Toujeo, Admelog, and Apidra) at $35 for a 30-day supply effective July 1, follows House passage (232-193) of the monthly cap in March, with just 12 Republicans voting in favor of the measure.

Hank Safferstein, Generian CEO

Astel­las sub­sidiary to part­ner with Pitts­burgh up­start in search for 'un­drug­gable' pro­teins

As Astellas continues its drive to build out its gene therapy portfolio and capabilities, a subsidiary of the Japanese pharma company has entered into a collaboration with a little-known Pittsburgh biotech.

Astellas-owned Mitobridge and Generian Pharmaceuticals announced on Wednesday that they will work together in a new deal for “undruggable” protein targets. Generian will net an undisclosed upfront payment and could get up to $180 million in milestones, should anything from its platform prove successful, as well as single-digit royalties on global net sales.

Adam Simpson, Icosavax CEO

Reel­ing from Covid flop, Icosavax says its RSV can­di­date passed ear­ly test. But in­vestors need some more con­vinc­ing

Three months separated from a disappointing readout of its Covid-19 vaccine, Icosavax is back with what it calls positive topline data for a different VLP vaccine candidate — although investors aren’t impressed.

IVX-121, a vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), appeared to generate “robust” immune responses among both young and older adults, as measured by neutralizing antibodies, and appeared generally well-tolerated, Icosavax reported.

(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Some phar­ma com­pa­nies promise to cov­er abor­tion-re­lat­ed trav­el costs — while oth­ers won't go that far yet

As the US Department of Health and Human Services promises to support the millions of women who would now need to cross state lines to receive a legal abortion, a handful of pharma companies have said they will pick up employees’ travel expenses.

GSK, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, BeiGene, Alnylam and Gilead have all committed to covering abortion-related travel expenses just four days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and revoked women’s constitutional right to an abortion.

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