ReViral taps Seth Hetherington to guide upcoming PhIIa; Incyte, Aquinox execs move to AI shop Notable Labs
→ Oxford, England-based vaccine developer Emergex has recruited Big Pharma vet Athanasios Papadopoulos to be its CMO. Jumping from Sanofi — where he helped develop the groundbreaking but ill-fated Dengvaxia — Papadopoulos inherits a universal Flavivirus vaccine candidate now poised for Phase I in H2 2019 and a new R&D facility for Emergex’s synthetic vaccines.
→ ReViral has tapped Seth Hetherington to steer its lead RSV candidate into pediatric Phase IIa trials. As CMO (a role he recently held for seven years at Genocea Biosciences), Hetherington will lead the biotech in navigating a field full of nasty surprises, though ReViral has reasons to be confident given positive results in a previous PhIIa. He will be based in the British company’s US office.
→ On a quest to prove its automated laboratory can lead to faster, cheaper development of drugs, AI startup Notable Labs has recruited two industry vets to steer the cancer drug program it’s just launched. Hiroomi Tada, a recent Incyte exec and GlaxoSmithKline alum, comes on as chief medical officer while Lloyd Mackenzie will assume the title chief development officer after running R&D at Aquinox for 11 years.
→ Atreca has brought in Herb Cross to replace retiring CFO Susan Berland, who will remain a consultant to the company. This will be Cross’ fifth time in the role, having recently led Armo Biosciences through an IPO and ultimately a sale to Eli Lilly.
→ After spending six years scouting collaborations for PCI Biotech’s photochemical internalization tech platform for cancer, Gaël L’Hévéder is moving onto a new stint. His resignation will be effective at the end of the month. A seasoned BD exec, L’Hévéder’s resume features stints at Roche and Sanofi as well as a short time running his own startup in Switzerland.
→ Two years after bringing out the budget ax and shaking up its global R&D group, Daiichi Sankyo is revamping the leadership of its research arm and shifting the center of gravity to the US. Who’s out: Glenn Gormley, who took the R&D reins at Daiichi Sankyo in 2011 after a 20-year run at three big pharma groups: Merck, AstraZeneca and Novartis. He’ll stay on, though, as chairman of the board and special adviser to global CEO Joji Nakayama. Who’s in: Junichi Koga, who’s getting a promotion from head of the R&D group in Japan to the overall chief’s position, based in New Jersey.
→ Following a rough few weeks, the revolving door at the executive suite to Immunomedics $IMMU is turning once more. CEO Michael Pehl has decided to leave for personal reasons. His abrupt exit after 15 months on the job comes a little more than a month after the FDA handed the company a CRL for its application to market the antibody drug conjugate IMMU-132, or sacituzumab govitecan. Pehl was brought in to end the long-running drama over the drug and the company, which had been taken over by the crew led by venBio’s Behzad Aghazadeh.
→ Amy McKee, one of Richard Pazdur’s close allies in building out the Oncology Center of Excellence at the FDA, has left the agency to become VP of regulatory consulting services at Parexel. At the CRO, she joins a nascent oncology initiative dedicated to connecting different business units to work up development plans, guiding companies in navigating a regulatory landscape she helped shape.
→ Mitsubishi Tanabe’s US unit has elevated Sam Shum to its leadership team as VP of operations and strategy, trusting him with everything from finance, business process and public affairs to supply chain and quality assurance. That marks a significant expansion in responsibilities from Shum’s previous role as senior director of financing planning and analytics. He fills the shoes of Armand Famiglietti, who is becoming an adviser to the company.
→ Todd Wood is the new chief commercial officer at DermTech, tasked with lining up reimbursements for its precision diagnostic products for skin cancers, inflammatory diseases and other dermatological indications.