Peer Review

Teva boots its R&D chief; Ironwood grows the C-suite and Intercept taps new EVP of research

Michael Hayden

→ In the first major C-suite overhaul under new CEO Kåre Schultz, troubled Teva is parting ways with R&D chief Michael Hayden, Global Specialty Medicines head Rob Koremans, and Global Generic Medicines Group leader Dipankar Bhattacharjee by the end of the year. A number of staffers are being promoted to fill the vacancies, including Michael McClellan, who will become CFO, and Hafrun Fridriksdottir, the new EVP of global R&D.

Gina Consylman

→ Cambridge, MA-based Ironwood Pharmaceuticals $IRWD — the developer of Linzess and Zurampic — has just grown its C-suite by two members. William Huyett is the new chief operation officer, while Gina Consylman has been promoted to CFO and SVP, officially taking a position that she has occupied since Tom Graney left for Vertex. Having consulted life science companies at McKinsey, where he worked for 30 years, Huyett’s list of responsibilities includes finance, corporate strategy, development, global operations, investor relations and corporate communications functions. Meanwhile Consylman, a Biogen vet, will build upon the work that she has done for Ironwood since joining in 2014.

Joseph Kelly, a longtime Novo Nordisk sales executive, is jumping ship to run sales and marketing at Radius Health, replacing outgoing chief commercial officer David Snow. Joining him on the SVP rank is Amanda Mott, who will take charge of market access. These leadership changes come not long after the surprise appointment of Jesper Høiland, also a Novo Nordisk vet, who was recruited specifically to steer Radius’ $RDUS launch of its debut drug, Tymlos, for osteoporosis.

Megan Schoeps is resigning from her position as Bellerophon’s controller and principal financial officer to pursue other career interests. The SEC filing notes that she will stay in her role while the company $BLPH, which tackles cardiopulmonary diseases, until around January 2018.

→ Hoping to up its game in T cell engineering and manufacturing, CAR-T contender Juno has appointed Ann Lee as EVP of technical operations and Patrick Yang as EVP, senior advisor to the CEO. Yang was the interim leader of technical operations before Lee came on board. Both have spent time at Roche/Genentech and Merck & Co, and their expertise will likely be key as Juno looks to make a comeback and strides towards commercialization.

Christian Weyer

→ Liver disease player Intercept Pharmaceuticals $ICPT has appointed Christian Weyer as EVP of research and development. “Building on a strong scientific foundation with compelling clinical evidence, Intercept is leading the industry’s most advanced clinical development program in NASH, a prevalent and serious disorder with global health-economic impact and no currently available pharmacological treatment options,” Weyer said in a statement. In case you’re wondering, David Shapiro, who used to juggle that job with chief medical officer duties, will continue serving as CMO.

→ After presenting stellar data on NKTR-214 at SITC, Nektar Therapeutics $NKTR has elevated some of the staffers involved in the program to senior positions. Stephen Doberstein, formerly head of the discovery team, is now chief research & development officer and SVP of R&D; Mary Tagliaferri, who offered strategic leadership as VP of clinical development, is being promoted to chief medical officer and SVP of clinical development; Jonathan Zalevsky is now chief scientific officer and SVP of research. As VP of biology and preclinical development, Zalevsky advanced NKTR-262, a small molecule TLR agonist being developed in combination with NKTR-214.

Herb Cross is serving as Armo Biosciences’ first chief financial officer following stints at Balance Therapeutics and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, the immuno-oncology company’s CEO, Peter Van Vlasselaer, has been named chairman of the board at Dutch biopharma TM3 Therapeutics.

Actelion co-founder Thomas Widmann has been appointed to the board of Cancer Genetics Incorporated $CGIX, a diagnostic and discovery service provider focused on precision medicine.

Shire’s Flemming Ornskov has recruited Andreas Busch as his new R&D chief and chief scientific officer, handing him the reins for the pipeline as the CEO completes a mission to remake Shire into a rare disease specialist. That comes immediately after Bayer announced that Busch, the former head of discovery, is leaving as the pharma melds its early research and development operations under one office occupied by current development chief Joerg Moeller. Also happening at Shire $SHPGThomas Dittrich has been tapped to replace current CFO Jeff Poulton, who is leaving at the end of this year. Whereas his most recent stint was at an industrial engineering firm, Dittrich had previously worked in finance roles at Amgen for almost a decade. 

Biogen has recruited Jeff Capello as CFO and executive vice president, filling the position a few months after losing Paul Clancy to Alexion. Capello, whose slate of previous employers spans Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Boston Scientific Corporation and Perkin Elmer, jumps ship from Beacon Health Options, where he held the same roles. His financial experience will likely be crucial for the big biotech {$BIIB} as it executes a plan to “streamline” operations.

→ A month ago George Scangos blazed through a biotech buyout, two billion-dollar drug development deals and more than $500 million in financing to build a pipeline of new therapies for infectious diseases at his startup biotech Vir. Now he’s selected Herbert “Skip” Virgin as R&D chief and CSO. Virgin is joining Vir from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, where he has served as the Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology & Immunology since 2006.

→ Another round of leadership changes is taking place at Intrexon {$XON}: retired lieutenant general Thomas Bostick is slated to replace COO Andrew Last; Teva vet Nir Nimrodi has been promoted as chief business officer; and Helen Sabzevari is taking the helm of Precigen as president of the subsidiary. This marks the latest move by hands-on billionaire backer and CEO Randal “RJ” Kirk, after the high profile departure of then-president Gene Germano in March. “A more streamlined senior management structure is in line with our transition to a group of related and increasingly commercially oriented enterprises,” Kirk said in a statement.

→ Biotech veteran Shao-Lee Lin will start at Horizon Pharma early next year as executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer. In this new position, Lin joins CMO Jeffrey Sherman in managing the company’s growing pipeline. As Horizon $HZNP gains a larger presence in the orphan drug field while and builds on its portfolio of marketed drugs, it could like use Lin’s experience at AbbVie, Gilead and Amgen leading drug development across immunology, virology, inflammation and respiratory therapeutics. Said Lin in a statement: “I’m impressed by Horizon’s rapid growth and its strategy for evolution from primary care, with a focus on marketed medicines, to diversifying into rare diseases and rheumatology and now committed to the next stage in its transformation of building a robust and sustainable research and development portfolio.”

→ Peregrine Pharmaceuticals recently announced it was scrapping its old business and transitioning into a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The company is also tossing the Peregrine name, and doing business instead as Avid Bioservices (a former “side business” of Peregrine that now employs most of its people and earns the majority of its revenue). As part of that reorganization, Roger Lias was brought on to lead Avid as president of the company. Lias was previously at Allergan, where he worked as head of global biologics business development.

→ CRO BioClinica has named David Herron as the company’s incoming CEO, effective January 2, 2018. The appointment comes as BioClinica’s current CEO John Hubbard is retiring early next year. Hubbard will stay on as a non-executive director on the CRO’s board. Herron has been at BioClinica for the past 10 years, most recently leading the medical imaging business and its tech-focused eHealth segment.



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