Swat­ting away a takeover at­tempt, Zymeworks keeps re­tool­ing staff; Af­ter Cyg­nal-ing her ex­it from Flag­ship, Pearl Huang starts afresh

Paul Moore

Zymeworks used a poi­son pill ma­neu­ver a cou­ple weeks ago as the coun­ter­punch to a $773 mil­lion takeover bid by All Blue Fal­cons, and new CEO Ken­neth Gal­braith isn’t done piec­ing the staff to­geth­er ei­ther.

Paul Moore will end his 14-year as­so­ci­a­tion with Macro­Gen­ics, where he was VP, cell bi­ol­o­gy, and im­munol­o­gy, and step up to the plate as CSO of Zymeworks on Ju­ly 18. Tony Polveri­no, the chief sci­en­tist who pre­ced­ed Moore, didn’t es­cape the sweep­ing changes that were en­act­ed by Gal­braith in Jan­u­ary, when half the C-suite and 25% of the staff over­all re­ceived pink slips. Neil Klom­pas and Neil Joseph­son were named COO and CMO, re­spec­tive­ly, and Chris As­tle took over as CFO a month lat­er.

Pearl Huang

Pearl Huang — one of our Women in Bio­phar­ma R&D hon­orees from 2020 — is a CEO again, this time at Cam­bridge, UK, pro­tein degra­da­tion biotech Dunad Ther­a­peu­tics. Huang was Roche’s head of ther­a­peu­tic modal­i­ties un­til 2018 and be­came CEO of Flag­ship’s ex­oneur­al bi­ol­o­gy com­pa­ny Cyg­nal Ther­a­peu­tics a short time lat­er. When Flag­ship com­bined Inzen and Cyg­nal to form Sonata Ther­a­peu­tics in mid-May, Volk­er Her­rmann was named chief ex­ec­u­tive, leav­ing Huang to ex­plore oth­er op­tions. She lands at Dunad af­ter No­var­tis inked a $1.3+ bil­lion deal with the start­up in No­vem­ber 2021.

Michael Sum­n­er

→ Hop­ing to re­vi­tal­ize a pipeline that has yet to see an FDA ap­proval in its 20-plus year his­to­ry, In­ovio has tapped Michael Sum­n­er as CMO, join­ing new chief ex­ec­u­tive Jacque­line Shea. For the last nine years, Sum­n­er was med­ical chief for Swedish biotech Orexo, and he’s worked in med­ical af­fairs for Shire and No­vo Nordisk. A month ago, Shea took over for Joseph Kim af­ter In­ovio hit mul­ti­ple pot­holes with its Covid-19 vac­cine, lead­ing to a dif­fer­ent ap­proach with INO-4800 as a het­erol­o­gous boost­er.

James Cullem

→ There’s a lot to sift through at the US-Dan­ish can­cer biotech Al­lar­i­ty Ther­a­peu­tics, start­ing with CEO Steve Carche­di, who has yield­ed the top spot to CBO James Cullem on an in­ter­im ba­sis. Cullem had been SVP of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment for sev­en years be­fore as­cend­ing to the role of busi­ness chief in De­cem­ber. CFO Jens Knud­sen is al­so out, and Al­lar­i­ty has lined up di­rec­tor of fi­nan­cial re­port­ing Joan Brown to pinch-hit. Mean­while, Thomas Jensen — who co-found­ed the com­pa­ny in 2004 — will now be SVP of in­vestor re­la­tions af­ter two years as SVP, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy. Al­lar­i­ty’s board “ex­pects to name a per­ma­nent CEO and CFO in H1 2023,” ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease.

John Snis­arenko

→ The un­re­lent­ing job cuts in the in­dus­try haven’t spared hit eye dis­ease-fo­cused Oys­ter Point Phar­ma, which will scrap about 50 em­ploy­ees as part of its new “stream­lin­ing plan.” Changes have fil­tered in­to the se­nior lead­er­ship too as Genen­tech alum John Snis­arenko — the chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer since 2019 — heads in­to re­tire­ment, while sales and com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions VP Michael Camp­bell be­comes head of com­mer­cial. Else­where at Oys­ter Point, Daniel Lochn­er will al­so tack­le the role of CBO in ad­di­tion to his CFO du­ties.

Vivek Shar­ma

→ In Oc­to­ber 2021, The Car­lyle Group jumped on the AI band­wag­on along­side the in­vest­ment arms of Pfiz­er, Mer­ck, Am­gen and McKesson with the $430 mil­lion buy­out of cloud-based Saa­ma Tech­nolo­gies. Saa­ma’s found­ing CEO Suresh Kat­ta has now stepped aside af­ter 25 years and will tran­si­tion to the role of chair­man emer­i­tus as Vivek Shar­ma takes con­trol at the Cal­i­for­nia AI play­er. Shar­ma has been a chief ex­ec­u­tive be­fore with De­ci­sion Re­sources Group, Pi­ra­mal Phar­ma So­lu­tions and more re­cent­ly, Adare Phar­ma So­lu­tions. In ad­di­tion to his new ti­tle at Saa­ma, Kat­ta will al­so be an ad­vi­sor for Car­lyle.

Tra­cy Cun­ning­ham

→ Fir­ing back at the FDA with a for­mal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion re­quest for its epi­der­mol­y­sis bul­losa drug Fil­su­vez, Am­ryt Phar­ma has pro­mot­ed Tra­cy Cun­ning­ham to CMO. Cun­ning­ham is a Sanofi alum who had been clin­i­cal lead for selume­tinib — now mar­ket­ed as Kosel­u­go — with As­traZeneca be­fore mak­ing her way to Am­ryt as head of de­vel­op­ment in 2020. Ear­li­er, Cun­ning­ham held med­ical af­fairs roles at No­var­tis and GSK.

Mark Sumer­ay

→ As for Cun­ning­ham’s pre­de­ces­sor, he on­ly has to switch out a few let­ters: Mark Sumer­ay has left Am­ryt to be­come CMO at Amolyt Phar­ma, a French-Amer­i­can en­docrine dis­ease biotech that filled the pig­gy bank with an $80 mil­lion Se­ries B round in Sep­tem­ber 2021. Be­fore his six years as CMO at Am­ryt, Sumer­ay was the med­ical chief for Aege­ri­on Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and VP, US car­dio­vas­cu­lar and meta­bol­ic med­ical af­fairs with Bris­tol My­ers Squibb.

Rami­ta Tan­don

→ To ac­com­mo­date its en­try in­to the clin­i­cal tri­al busi­ness, as re­port­ed from Cannes last week, Wal­greens has lined up a string of hires, with chief clin­i­cal tri­als of­fi­cer Rami­ta Tan­don bat­ting lead­off. Oth­er ap­point­ments in­clude: Kendal Whit­lock (head of dig­i­tal op­ti­miza­tion, re­al world ev­i­dence clin­i­cal tri­als), John Camp­bell (head of de­cen­tral­ized clin­i­cal tri­als), Liam Wood (head of prod­uct, clin­i­cal tri­als) and Adam Sam­son (head of clin­i­cal de­liv­ery op­er­a­tions, clin­i­cal tri­als).

Thier­ry Guil­laudeux has been pro­mot­ed to CSO of Seat­tle-based Kine­ta, which merged with Tony Coles’ Parkin­son’s play Yu­man­i­ty in ear­ly June. A long­time pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Rennes 1 in France, Guil­laudeux came to Kine­ta as SVP, im­muno-on­col­o­gy in 2019 and has helped de­vel­op its im­munother­a­py can­di­date KVA12.1, an IgG1 mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body.

Shirley Liu

→ Cam­bridge, MA-based GV20 Ther­a­peu­tics is lock­ing in Shirley Liu as CEO and bring­ing in duo Steven Lan­dau and Ying Gong as CMO and CBO, re­spec­tive­ly. Liu co-found­ed GV20 in 2016, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly served as pro­fes­sor of bio­sta­tis­tics and com­pu­ta­tion­al bi­ol­o­gy at the Dana-Far­ber Can­cer In­sti­tute and Har­vard TH Chan School of Pub­lic Health. Mean­while, Lan­dau for­mer­ly ran op­er­a­tions as CMO at Shape Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Ten­sha Ther­a­peu­tics, while Gong most re­cent­ly served as project team leader for on­col­o­gy at Genen­tech.

Er­ic Sul­li­van

Er­ic Sul­li­van has been ap­point­ed CFO at next-gen T cell out­fit TCR² Ther­a­peu­tics. Sul­li­van, a blue­bird and Mer­ri­mack vet, served as pres­i­dent, CFO and COO at Triplet Ther­a­peu­tics, and has al­so served as SVP at Gem­i­ni Ther­a­peu­tics and On­corus pri­or to join­ing TCR², which is de­vel­op­ing its lead pro­gram ga­vo-cel in sev­er­al in­di­ca­tions.

Lin­ea As­pe­si

→ Hema­to­log­ic dis­ease biotech For­ma Ther­a­peu­tics will gain two ex­ecs on Ju­ly 11: Agustín Melián (head of R&D) left AlloVir at the end of 2021 and was the Di­ana Brainard-led biotech’s first CMO. Pri­or to this, he spent 13 years at Mer­ck and was SVP in glob­al clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and med­ical sci­ences. Lin­ea As­pe­si (chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer) is a Sanofi Gen­zyme alum who held the same po­si­tion at San­iona and led HR at So­bi.

Par­a­digm Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has hand­ed over the CEO hat to Mar­co Polizzi. Pri­or to his new role, Polizzi was the founder and CEO of Oakrum Phar­ma. Polizzi has had a long ca­reer span­ning roles at Casper Phar­ma (EVP com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment), San­doz (head of sales and mar­ket­ing in­sti­tu­tion­al), Mallinck­rodt (VP/GM) and Te­va.

Pe­ter Con­don

→ San Diego-based RNA play­er DTx Phar­ma has locked in Pe­ter Con­don as CBO. From 2018-21, Con­don was head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and al­liance man­age­ment at Gos­samer Bio, and af­ter 10 years at Genen­tech, he held the role of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Alex­ion and Google’s an­ti-ag­ing up­start Cal­i­co.

James Tay­lor

So­sei Hep­tares CBO James Tay­lor has left to fill the same po­si­tion at Achilles Ther­a­peu­tics, a T cell play­er that went pub­lic on the strength of a $175.5 mil­lion IPO in the spring of 2021. (Re­mem­ber those?) Tay­lor was al­so a se­nior di­rec­tor of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at GSK and held posts at As­traZeneca, Sum­mit Ther­a­peu­tics and Cel­l­zome. Achilles has al­so added Cass­ian Yee, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter, to its sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

Fletch­er Payne

→ We told you about Jotin Marango leav­ing Ap­tose for Ike­na On­col­o­gy in April, and this week Fletch­er Payne has re­placed Marango as CFO. Payne heads to Ap­tose af­ter near­ly three years as fi­nance chief at Syapse, and he’s al­so been CFO at Plexxikon, Cy­tomX and the now-shut­tered Cat­a­lyst Bio­sciences. Ap­tose’s lead as­set, HM43239, is in a Phase I/II tri­al for re­lapsed or re­frac­to­ry acute myeloid leukemia.

Gail Cawk­well

→ Now fo­cused on in­di­ca­tions like rheuma­toid arthri­tis and hidradeni­tis sup­pu­ra­ti­va with zunseme­tinib af­ter mis­fir­ing in alope­cia area­ta with ATI-502, Aclaris Ther­a­peu­tics has se­lect­ed Gail Cawk­well as CMO. Cawk­well, the ex-CMO and spe­cial ad­vi­sor to the board of di­rec­tors at Pur­due Phar­ma, spent the last four years as the SVP, med­ical af­fairs, safe­ty & phar­ma­covig­i­lance for In­ter­cept, and she al­so worked on Xel­janz in her 14 years with Pfiz­er. Cawk­well’s pre­de­ces­sor, David Gor­don, stepped aside at Aclaris on Jan. 7.

Paulette Dil­lon

Celli­no’s “GMP-in-a-box” idea made a be­liev­er out of Leaps by Bay­er, lead­ing the $80 mil­lion Se­ries A in Jan­u­ary. Fast for­ward to this week, where Celli­no has named Ab­hi­jit Kulka­rni as COO and Paulette Dil­lon as CBO. Kulka­rni had led the Neu­ro­mod­u­la­tion Tech­nol­o­gy De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter at Medtron­ic, while Dil­lon co-found­ed and was SVP of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment at re­cent­ly down­sized Atre­ca. “Their vi­sion is to be a cell man­u­fac­tur­ing foundry, where you can pro­duce tar­get­ed cells at a frac­tion of the cost,” Jür­gen Eck­hardt, the head of Leaps by Bay­er, said of Celli­no.

Siob­han Nolan Mangi­ni

NGM Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals — which has col­lab­o­rat­ed with Mer­ck — has an­nounced that its CFO Siob­han Nolan Mangi­ni will be tak­ing over as pres­i­dent on top of her cur­rent du­ties. Mangi­ni joined NGM in Ju­ly 2016 and hailed from Cast­light Health, where she was pres­i­dent and CFO. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, William Rieflin, NGM’s ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and for­mer CEO, is tran­si­tion­ing to the role of chair­man on NGM’s board of di­rec­tors.

Christo­pher Hoppe

→ Peer Re­view has learned that 64x Bio, the George Church gene ther­a­py man­u­fac­tur­ing start­up run by a 20 un­der 40 hon­oree from this year (Lex Rovn­er), has in­stalled Christo­pher Hoppe as head of op­er­a­tions. Hoppe joins from Nek­tar, where he was clin­i­cal, op­er­a­tional, and strate­gic ad­vance­ment lead for the biotech’s cy­tokine port­fo­lio.

Scott Bat­ty has joined au­toim­mune dis­ease biotech Ar­tax Bio­phar­ma as CMO. Bat­ty, the ex-glob­al di­rec­tor of med­ical af­fairs for the be­lat­a­cept im­muno­sup­pres­sion pro­gram at Bris­tol My­ers, had pre­vi­ous­ly been VP of reg­u­la­to­ry and sci­en­tif­ic af­fairs for CTI. He has al­so served as VP of glob­al med­ical af­fairs for Gen­zyme’s trans­plant and on­col­o­gy group.

Lau­na As­peslet

Lau­na As­peslet is set­tling in as COO of He­p­i­on Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, a New Jer­sey biotech us­ing AI to de­vel­op ther­a­pies for NASH and he­pa­to­cel­lu­lar car­ci­no­ma. As­peslet had helmed Trans­la­tion­al Re­search in On­col­o­gy, a clin­i­cal re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion out of Ed­mon­ton with of­fices in Paris and Mon­te­v­ideo, Uruguay, since 2015. She vault­ed to COO of an­oth­er Ed­mon­ton-based com­pa­ny, Isotech­ni­ka Phar­ma, be­fore it was sold to Au­rinia nine years ago.

In oth­er He­p­i­on news, cor­po­rate strat­e­gy ex­ecs Anand Red­di (Ad­verum) and Kaouthar Lbiati (Cy­tovia) have earned their seats on the board of di­rec­tors.

Der­mi­ra vet Luis Peña and his crew at Evom­mune have wel­comed Greg Moss as chief cor­po­rate strat­e­gy and le­gal of­fi­cer; he’ll al­so jug­gle the roles of cor­po­rate sec­re­tary and chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer at the in­flam­ma­to­ry dis­ease biotech. Moss comes to Evom­mune af­ter a decade at Sanofi sub­sidiary Kad­mon, where he was gen­er­al coun­sel & cor­po­rate sec­re­tary, chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer. This isn’t the first Kad­mon alum to be­come part of Evom­mune’s lead­er­ship: Ex-chief ac­count­ing of­fi­cer Kyle Carv­er has been CFO at Evom­mune since March.

Julie Per­son

→ Per­son to Per­son: Na­tal­ie Holles is grad­u­al­ly flesh­ing out her team at Third Har­mon­ic Bio with a new CFO (Robert Ho), CSO (Adri­an Ray) and CMO (Ed­ward Con­ner). This week Julie Per­son, who comes from ARCH’s “Re­al­ly Big Neu­ro­science Com­pa­ny” named Neumo­ra, is on board as chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer. Per­son spent a year as VP of hu­man re­sources at Sang­amo af­ter her time as glob­al head of tal­ent man­age­ment at Shire, and then had a brief run at Holles’ for­mer com­pa­ny, Au­dentes, pri­or to her ap­point­ment as Neumo­ra’s chief peo­ple of­fi­cer.

Pe­ter Led­dy has made his way to San Diego-based Mar­a­vai Life­Sciences as chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer. Pri­or to join­ing Mar­a­vai, Led­dy had such roles as chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer at Berke­ley Lights, chief peo­ple of­fi­cer at do­sist and EVP, glob­al hu­man re­sources and cor­po­rate in­tegri­ty at Nu­va­sive.

An­drea Paul

→ The lead­er­ship changes at Zen­tal­is haven’t de­cel­er­at­ed as the Pfiz­er part­ner brings in An­drea Paul as gen­er­al coun­sel and cor­po­rate sec­re­tary on Aug. 1. Paul, who filled le­gal roles at Mo­men­ta and Ake­bia Ther­a­peu­tics, had re­cent­ly been gen­er­al coun­sel and cor­po­rate sec­re­tary for a year at Log­icBio. Back in May, Kim­ber­ly Black­well suc­ceed­ed An­tho­ny Sun as Zen­tal­is’ CEO, while co-founder Cam Gal­lagher was el­e­vat­ed to pres­i­dent.

Bren­dan St. Amant

→ Syn­thet­ic bi­ol­o­gy play­er and Roche IBD part­ner Syn­log­ic has pro­mot­ed Bren­dan St. Amant to gen­er­al coun­sel and cor­po­rate sec­re­tary. Named VP, head of le­gal at Syn­log­ic in Ju­ly 2021, St. Amant was se­nior coun­sel at Ver­tex be­fore mov­ing to the now-de­funct Flag­ship com­pa­ny Ohana Bio­sciences as VP of le­gal in 2019.

→ What’s new at NeuBase? COO William Mann is tack­ing on the ti­tle of pres­i­dent to his cur­rent du­ties. Pri­or to his cur­rent stint, Mann was CEO and pres­i­dent of Helsinn Ther­a­peu­tics and held roles at Sap­phire Ther­a­peu­tics and No­var­tis.

Amol Ketkar

→ Lon­don-based Res­o­lu­tion Ther­a­peu­tics is bring­ing aboard Amol Ketkar as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. Ketkar had a 21-year gig at GSK, most re­cent­ly serv­ing as VP, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and sup­ply for the com­pa­ny’s cell and gene ther­a­py CMC group.

El­e­var Ther­a­peu­tics out of Salt Lake City is bring­ing in some new faces with the ap­point­ments of Jan Van Tornout as CMO and Gor­don Schoo­ley as chief reg­u­la­to­ry of­fi­cer. Van Tornout pre­vi­ous­ly served as CMO of Tyme Tech­nolo­gies while Schoo­ley jumps aboard af­ter a sev­en-year run with Be­yond­Spring.

→ Peer Re­view has been in­formed that Cam­bridge, MA medtech Cog­ni­to Ther­a­peu­tics has en­list­ed Steven Max­im as di­rec­tor of man­u­fac­tur­ing. Max­im owned the same ti­tle at Ave­dro (pur­chased by Glaukos in 2019) and has fur­ther man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­pe­ri­ence from IPG Med­ical and Palo­mar Med­ical Tech­nolo­gies.

Fa­heem Has­nain

→ Gos­samer Bio founder, CEO and chair­man Fa­heem Has­nain is adding an­oth­er board ap­point­ment to his ré­sumé with his lat­est chair­man stint at Sling Ther­a­peu­tics. Cur­rent­ly, Has­nain sits on the board of Ku­ra On­col­o­gy and serves as chair­man of the board for As­pen Neu­ro­science, Mi­rati Ther­a­peu­tics and SEN­TÉ.

→ With its NDA for va­morolone get­ting shelved for four to six months be­cause of con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ing hur­dles, Swiss biotech San­thera has named Thomas Meier chair­man of the board, re­plac­ing El­mar Schnee on Thurs­day. Meier, the chief ex­ec­u­tive at San­thera from 2011-19, has been a board mem­ber since 2017 and is man­ag­ing part­ner at Viopas Ven­ture Con­sult­ing in Zurich.

Tom­my Thomp­son

→ For­mer HHS Sec­re­tary and Wis­con­sin Gov. Tom­my Thomp­son has been named Covid-19 spe­cial con­sul­tant to CEO Hen­ry Ji at Sor­ren­to Ther­a­peu­tics. The 80-year-old Thomp­son was re­cent­ly at his al­ma mater as in­ter­im pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin Sys­tem from Ju­ly 2020 to March 2022.

→ Strik­ing a $1.25 bil­lion Gavre­to deal with Roy­al­ty Phar­ma and a sep­a­rate pact with Sixth Street, Blue­print Med­i­cines has re­served space for Habib Dable on to the board of di­rec­tors. Dable had a 22-year ca­reer at Bay­er be­fore his CEO stint at Ac­celeron, which was sold to Mer­ck last fall for $11.5 bil­lion.

Meenu Kar­son

→ Meenu Kar­son has suc­ceed­ed Ken­neth Fong as chair of the board at Apex­i­gen, which is merg­ing with Brook­line Cap­i­tal Ac­qui­si­tion Corp. de­spite a bat­tered mar­ket. The ex-Pro­teosta­sis Ther­a­peu­tics chief is al­so on the board of di­rec­tors at Fore Bio­ther­a­peu­tics.

Carsten Brunn

Sur­face On­col­o­gy is wel­com­ing Carsten Brunn to its ranks by pulling out a seat for the Se­lec­ta CEO and pres­i­dent on its board of di­rec­tors. Brunn for­mer­ly served in lead­er­ship roles at Bay­er (pres­i­dent of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for the Amer­i­c­as re­gion), Eli Lil­ly, No­var­tis, Basilea and Bausch + Lomb. Brunn cur­rent­ly sits on the board of BIO.

Led by GSK alum Jack Bai­ley, Cosela mak­er G1 Ther­a­peu­tics has added Jacks Lee to the board of di­rec­tors. Af­ter 19 years at Sanofi, Lee has been with Mer­ck since 2007 and is the phar­ma gi­ant’s SVP, man­u­fac­tur­ing & sup­ply.

Di­ane Seimetz

→ Chaired by for­mer HHS Sec­re­tary and ex-Kansas Gov. Kath­leen Se­be­lius, Lau­ra Nikla­son-led Hu­ma­cyte has added Bio­phar­ma Ex­cel­lence co-founder and for­mer CEO Di­ane Seimetz to the board of di­rec­tors. Seimetz al­so serves on the board at Cu­mu­lus On­col­o­gy.

Ax­el-Sven Malkomes and Don­ald Bergstrom are the newest ad­di­tions to the board of di­rec­tors at Cel­lec­tis. Malkomes, a Bar­clays vet, was CFO and CBO of Medi­gene from 2019 un­til the end of March. Bergstorm has been a board ob­serv­er at Cel­lec­tis since No­vem­ber and is head of R&D at Re­lay Ther­a­peu­tics, which took the cov­er off its in­ter­im da­ta for RLY-4008 in pa­tients with bile duct can­cer this week.

Tama­ra Joseph

→ UK-based Gen­flow Bio­sciences is swap­ping out some of its board mem­bers and trad­ing them in for Tama­ra Joseph (chief le­gal of­fi­cer at Spero Ther­a­peu­tics) and Guy-Charles Fan­neau de la Horie (for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive at Eu­ronext Growth). Joseph and Fan­neau de la Horie suc­ceed Gabrielle Sil­ver and An­drew Scott, who are step­ping down.

Ay­tu Bio­Phar­ma is pulling Vi­vian Liu on­to its board of di­rec­tors. Liu cur­rent­ly serves as head of cor­po­rate af­fairs for PRE­MIA Hold­ings and pre­vi­ous­ly held the ti­tles of pres­i­dent, CEO and CFO of In­novus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Ear­li­er in her ca­reer, Liu was pres­i­dent and CEO of Fas­Track Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and NexMed.

Ca­li­di Bio­ther­a­peu­tics has brought on WK Al­fred Yung to its med­ical ad­vi­so­ry board. Yung is a pro­fes­sor, neu­ro-on­col­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter and ad­vised Pres­i­dent Biden’s Can­cer Moon­shot ini­tia­tive.

Image courtesy of The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Pro­tect­ing the glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­no­va­tion ecosys­tem – what’s at stake?

We are living in a new era of healthcare that is rapidly advancing progress impacting patient outcomes and experiences. We’ve seen a remarkable pace of transformational innovation, applied research, and advanced clinical development over the last decade.

Despite this tremendous progress, there is much more work to be done, and patients are counting on us – now more than ever – to continue that momentum. At the heart of our industry is a focus on developing and delivering medicines for some of the world’s most challenging diseases, including those that have few or no effective treatments today.

End­points 20(+2) un­der 40, 2023; Bio­phar­ma's high­est-paid CEOs; N-of-1 CRISPR sto­ry goes on af­ter tragedy; and more

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We will be off Monday in observance of Memorial Day — and when we get back, it will be a straight march to ASCO, BIO and more. Enjoy the (long) weekend!

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Rich Horgan (R) with his late brother, Terry

Rich Hor­gan spear­head­ed a gene ther­a­py for his broth­er. The tri­al end­ed in tragedy, but the work con­tin­ues for more pa­tients

Rich Horgan’s quest to create a custom gene therapy for his brother, Terry, ended in tragedy. But Horgan doesn’t believe it’s the end of the story.

Terry, a 27-year-old patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, died last October just eight days after receiving the therapy in a clinical trial in which he was the only participant. The case raised questions about the safety of certain gene therapies and what would happen to other drug programs under a nonprofit that Horgan created, called Cure Rare Disease.

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Bio­phar­ma's 20 high­est-paid CEOs of 2022, each bring­ing in $20M+ pay­days

Even in a down year for much of the biopharma market, 20 CEOs brought in pay packages valued at more than $20 million, an Endpoints News analysis found.

Endpoints collected data on more than 350 CEO compensation packages, covering a wide range of pharma, biotech, and life sciences companies. All told, the 20 largest earners made over $725 million in 2022 — an average package of $36.4 million. Three brought in paydays over $50 million, and one CEO broke the $100 million mark.

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Mi­rati’s drug sitra­va­tinib flops PhI­II in com­bo with Op­di­vo for cer­tain lung can­cer

Mirati Therapeutics’ path to a second drug approval will likely have to wait. The San Diego biotech company said Wednesday that its investigational lung cancer drug failed a Phase III trial testing it in combination with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo.

The drug, sitravatinib, and Opdivo weren’t better than the chemo drug docetaxel at keeping patients alive, Mirati said in a press release. The spectrum-selective kinase inhibitor missed the primary goal of overall survival in patients with second- or third-line advanced non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer.

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The 20(+2) un­der 40: Your guide to the next gen­er­a­tion of biotech lead­ers

This year’s list of 20 biotech leaders under the age of 40 includes a huge range of ambitions. Some of our honorees are planning to create the next big drug giant. Others are pushing the bounds of AI. One is working to revolutionize TB testing. All are compelling talents who are still young in age, but already far along in achievement.

And, as in years past, we went over. The 20 are actually 22 because of two double profiles that reflect how important teamwork is in the industry. As one of our honorees, Joe Illingworth of DJS Antibodies, told me in our interview, “It takes a village to raise a biotech.”

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FDA ap­proves Lex­i­con’s heart-fail­ure drug af­ter de­feat in di­a­betes

The FDA on Friday approved Lexicon’s heart failure drug sotagliflozin following a string of setbacks for the pharma company, including an FDA rejection in diabetes and the loss of a development deal with Sanofi.

The dual SGLT1 and SGLT2 inhibitor will be marketed as Inpefa and is a once-daily tablet. It’s been approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and heart failure-related hospitalization or urgent visits in adults with heart failure or type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and other cardiovascular risk factors. The label spans the range of left ventricular ejection fraction, including preserved ejection fraction and reduced ejection fraction, as well as patients with or without diabetes, Lexicon said Friday.

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Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion to re­ceive few­er Pfiz­er-BioN­Tech vac­cine dos­es un­der amend­ed con­tract

The European Commission has made a few changes to its vaccine contract with Pfizer and BioNTech, reducing the dose volume while extending the delivery timeline to cope with “evolving public health needs.”

The Commission previously struck a contract in May 2021 for 900 million doses, with the option to purchase another 900 million. Of those, 450 million were expected to be delivered in 2023, though an amendment now calls for fewer doses. While neither the Commission nor Pfizer and BioNTech have revealed an exact amount, an unnamed source told Reuters that the amendment reduces the remaining expected doses by about a third.

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Teresa Bitetti, Takeda's president of the global oncology business unit

Take­da wins pri­or­i­ty re­view for $400M col­orec­tal can­cer drug, li­censed from Hutchmed in Jan­u­ary

Takeda and Hutchmed scored a priority review Thursday afternoon for a colorectal cancer drug, the companies announced.

The experimental drug in question is fruquintinib, previously approved in China in 2018 to treat metastatic colorectal cancer. Takeda and Hutchmed are aiming to bring fruquintinib to the US and other countries outside China in the same indication, and the FDA set its decision date for Nov. 30 of this year.

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