GSK vaccine chief heads for AIDS vaccine initiative; Pfizer enlists Sue Desmond-Hellmann to its board of directors
→ Rip Ballou, who until very recently led vaccine research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, is joining the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to lead its USAID-funded ADVANCE program. The program uses a network of researchers and institutions in Africa to help develop a vaccine for HIV. Ballou had worked at GSK since 2010 and has led global vaccine R&D since 2015. Prior to that he held posts at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a different post at GSK, Medimmune, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. IAVI is led by Mark Feinberg, the former CSO of Merck Vaccines.
→ As we reported yesterday, Sue Desmond-Hellmann has been elected to Pfizer’s board of directors alongside a veritable who’s-who that includes Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey and former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb. Desmond-Hellmann was CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2014 until she announced her departure in December, and before signing on there, was chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco. In her 14-year tenure at Genentech, she led the development of two landmark cancer drugs, Avastin and Herceptin.
→ Locana, which concentrates on an RNA-targeting gene therapy platform, has appointed Micah Mackison as its CBO. Mackison leaves Assembly Biosciences, where he was SVP, corporate development & strategy since 2015. He had been at a cornucopia of biopharma players before Assembly: H. Lundbeck A/S, as head of corporate strategy and senior director, new ventures; Ovation Pharmaceuticals, as director, corporate development and M&A; and financial roles at Eli Lilly and Pfizer.
→ Jesse McCool has been promoted to CEO of Cytovance Biologics, a CDMO that develops and manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from both mammalian cell culture and microbial fermentation. He replaces Yan Wang, who is stepping down from the interim CEO post. McCool, who was previously chief technology officer at Oklahoma City-based Cytovance, also held positions at Lonza and Mascoma Corp.
→ Owlstone Medical gets a breath of fresh air as it welcomes Neil Tween as its CFO. Owlstone is the developer of Breath Biopsy, which acts as a breathalyzer to measure chemicals in the breath for early disease detection and precision medicine. Tween jumps to Owlstone from GW Pharmaceuticals, where he was VP and group financial controller. He also spent time at Jagex and Deloitte.
→ Seneca Biopharma has made some new changes to its leadership team. The company welcomed Matthew Kalnik as president and COO and Dane Saglio as CFO. In addition, Seneca promoted Thomas Hazel — who joined the company in 1998 — to the new position of SVP of research and development. Kalnik joins the company from Antidote Therapeutics and held positions at Pfizer and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. Previously, Saglio served as the CFO of RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals.
→ AAV gene therapy developer StrideBio has added Maritza McIntyre to its executive team as chief development officer. McIntyre brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry to the Research Triangle-based biotech. The former president of Advanced Therapies Partners, she also held VP positions at Bamboo Therapeutics and Regenxbio, and was also chief of the gene therapy branch at the FDA.
→ After a short stint at Gyroscope Therapeutics, Laura Roca-Alonso has made the leap to CBO at the AI drug discovery biotech e-therapeutics. She was Gyroscope’s director of business development, and before that, she had a number of roles at Silence Therapeutics, most recently as VP, head of corporate development.
→ China-based biologics developer and manufacturer CMAB Biopharma has tapped Ye Shi as the head of quality. Before making the leap to CMAB, Shi served as deputy general manager and quality assurance director at QILU Pharmaceutical. In addition, Shi held posts at the PDI Company and Immunomedics.
→ Joseph McCracken has hopped aboard Lumos Pharma‘s board of directors. McCracken brings experience from stints at Roche, Genentech and Aventis Pharmaceuticals. In addition, the company has tapped its CEO Rick Hawkins as chairman of the board.
→ Former president of Pfizer Oncology Garry Nicholson has joined NextCure‘s board of directors. In addition, board member Timothy Shannon will be stepping down from his position.
→ Kim Popovits, former CEO of Genomic Health, is joining the board of directors of sequencing company 10x Genomics. Popovits also serves on the boards of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals and MyoKardia.