Peer Review

Merck vet Robert Plenge moves to Celgene, Gritstone recruits a Genentech star and more

ImCheck not only has a recent €20 million Series A under its belt, the biotech also named Pierre d’Epenoux as it Chief Executive Officer. D’Epenoux’s previous gigs include head of strategy and business development at Theravectys, VP of strategy & business development Europe at Sanofi and director of M&A at Merck KGaA.

Intec Pharma says that Zeev Weiss has resigned as CEO and a director of the company “to pursue other professional opportunities.” Weiss will now serve in a consultancy role. The board appointed Giora Carni, a director since 2006 and previous CEO as interim head while a search for a new chief executive has begun.

Gritstone Oncology recruited Genentech vet and longtime cancer researcher Raphaël F. Rousseau as its new chief medical officer. Rousseau’s long resume includes a stint as global franchise head for pediatrics in Genentech’s product development oncology division. Before joining Genentech in 2009, Rousseau worked in hematology at Roche. Gritstone also promoted Roman Yelensky to chief technology officer, where he will oversee the company’s genomics, proteomics and informatics programs.

Robert Plenge

→ Robert Plenge is taking the plunge at Celgene. The ex-Merck investigator is moving out of Big Pharma to take charge of immunology research for the big biotech.

Paolo Paoletti, the former president of GSK’s oncology R&D group, has taken the helm at Abingworth-backed GammaDelta TherapeuticsPfizer vet Natalie Mount has also joined the London biotech as CSO.

→ Germany’s CureVac has named Daniel Menichella as its US CEO to help advance its work on mRNA. And not surprisingly he’ll be based in the Boston/Cambridge hub, where rival Moderna has been attracting attention — of all varieties.

→ Anavex’s latest SVP hails from the other side of the tracks — once an officer at the FDA’s CDEREmmanuel O. Fadirant is now senior vice president of regulatory affairs at the New York biotech.

Toby Cosgrove is retiring after 13 years as CEO of the Cleveland Clinic.

Judy Walker

→ Boulder-based Accera named Judy (Judith) Walker to the role of chief medical officer. She arrives via QuintilesIMS, where she was vice president of product development.

Mohamad Genead is now Gensight Biologics‘ new CMO. The Paris-based neurodegenerative retinal diseases biotech plucked Genead from Biogen, where he was the VP and global therapeutic head for ophthalmology /retine gene therapy. He’ll continue working from the US.

David Lipman

David Lipman, longtime director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, is moving to the private sector and becoming CSO at Impossible Foods.  “It’s hard to think of anyone at NIH who has had a greater impact on the way research is conducted around the world than David Lipman,” noted NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan. “Under his visionary leadership, NCBI has greatly improved access to biomedical information and genomic data for scientists, health professionals, and the public worldwide—something we now practically take for granted.”


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