Back in April, Sigilon CEO Paul Wotton told me that the $473 million deal he had struck with Eli Lilly helped highlight the upstart’s approach to developing a new kind of stem cell therapy for diabetes.
“I think we’ve kind of discovered the Holy Grail to make cell therapy a reality,” Wotton said about their Flagship-seeded platform, which came out of the lab of MIT’s prolific Bob Langer.
But he’s no longer leading that charge. Instead, the biotech said this morning that Wotton is leaving the post to handle a family health issue, but will stay on the board.
The company is putting Rogerio Vivaldi — a former senior exec at Bioverativ ahead of the Sanofi buyout earlier this year — in his place at the helm.
It will be Vivaldi’s job now to get the startup in the clinic, looking to move the pipeline beyond its initial forays into diabetes, hemophilia and lysosomal storage disorders.
An endocrinologist by training, Vivaldi had been executive vice president, chief global therapeutic operations officer at Bioverativ. Vivaldi also co-founded and helmed Minerva Therapeutics.
The latest switch-up at Sigilon, along with other top executive appointments at Allergan and Elucida, underscore just how vibrant the headhunting scene is in the booming biotech business. A buyout or some other jarring event can open the door to new possibilities quickly these days.
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