Till­man Gern­gross leads a pack of biotech CEOs out the door; With eyes on pipeline ex­pan­sion, Po­sei­da woos a gene ther­a­py ex­ec from No­var­tis

Till­man Gern­gross

As mar­ket volatil­i­ty sweeps through the land­scape, CEO changes are re­al­ly ramp­ing up, and top­ping the list is Till­man Gern­gross, a force in the an­ti­body space who hitched his wag­on to find­ing an­oth­er Covid-19 so­lu­tion by co-found­ing Ada­gio Ther­a­peu­tics. With big in­vestors back­ing him, the big dreams sput­tered when ADG20 proved less ef­fec­tive against Omi­cron in De­cem­ber. Gern­gross has now re­signed as CEO, hand­ing things over to COO David Her­ing on an in­ter­im ba­sis un­til a per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor is named. No stranger to the Covid vac­cine fight, Her­ing was poached from his role as glob­al mR­NA busi­ness lead of Pfiz­er in Ju­ly 2021.

The pan­dem­ic threw a wrench in Jeff Mar­raz­zo’s plans to ex­it Spark ear­li­er, while the com­pa­ny set­tled in as a whol­ly-owned sub­sidiary of Roche. But the found­ing CEO feels the time is right to walk away from the Lux­tur­na mak­er on April 1 and hand things over to Pfiz­er alum Ron Philip, the COO for the last year and a Spark ex­ec since 2017. For Mar­raz­zo, an­oth­er CEO gig isn’t on the hori­zon: “I’m look­ing to move from be­ing very deep, as I’ve been for the last 11 years at Spark, to be­ing broad­er and work­ing with a mul­ti­tude of dif­fer­ent lead­ers and founders that are try­ing to do things,” he told End­points News.

Al­though specifics weren’t dis­closed as to why Mark Rothera stepped down from Si­lence Ther­a­peu­tics this week, our Max Gel­man points out that Craig Tooman’s M&A bona fides could be a de­ter­min­ing fac­tor as to why he suc­ceed­ed him — two weeks re­moved from re­leas­ing a study of its siR­NA can­di­date SLN360 for heart dis­ease. Tooman, tak­ing the job af­ter a year as Si­lence’s fi­nance chief, was pre­vi­ous­ly CEO of Lea­wood, KS-based an­i­mal health com­pa­ny Aratana Ther­a­peu­tics un­til it merged with Elan­co in 2019. He was al­so CFO and COO at Vy­ome Ther­a­peu­tics.

Kristi Jones

Scott Carmer ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion last week at T cell im­munother­a­py play­er Nex­Im­mune a year af­ter its Nas­daq de­but, and the Gaithers­burg, MD biotech has filled the va­can­cy by pro­mot­ing Big Phar­ma vet Kristi Jones to CEO. Jones, the CBO at Nex­Im­mune the past four years, was VP of glob­al strate­gic mar­ket­ing and then head of port­fo­lio strat­e­gy and man­age­ment at As­traZeneca from 2013-15. Fur­ther back, Jones spent 16 years at Genen­tech/Roche in such roles as head of im­munol­o­gy and oph­thal­mol­o­gy in glob­al port­fo­lio and prod­uct strat­e­gy.

Fi­nal­ly in our crop of CEO tran­si­tions, Vic­to­ria Ri­chon has stepped down at Ri­bon Ther­a­peu­tics, but this isn’t good­bye. She’ll be an R&D ad­vi­sor to the board of di­rec­tors and will chair the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board as Prakash Ra­man takes over the top spot. Be­fore his re­cent stint at Flag­ship Pi­o­neer­ing as se­nior part­ner, chief busi­ness de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Ra­man was VP, glob­al head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and li­cens­ing at the No­var­tis In­sti­tutes for Bio­med­ical Re­search. The PARP in­hibitor RBN-2397 is the lead pro­gram at Ri­bon, which hit pay­dirt in Ju­ly 2021 with a $65 mil­lion Se­ries B1 round.

Brent Warn­er

Po­sei­da just hooked a big fish from the No­var­tis pond, catch­ing Brent Warn­er and nam­ing him pres­i­dent of gene ther­a­py. In his pre­vi­ous post, Warn­er was the Swiss phar­ma’s VP of gene ther­a­py and rare dis­ease, and his ap­point­ment is piv­otal to Po­sei­da’s gene ther­a­py al­liance with Take­da from Oc­to­ber 2021 which could pro­duce up to eight can­di­dates. Up first is he­mo­phil­ia A, and Warn­er has ex­pe­ri­ence with this in­di­ca­tion as US com­mer­cial leader for val­rox at Bio­Marin, who’s giv­ing the drug an­oth­er go with the FDA fol­low­ing its CRL in 2020. Warn­er’s ar­rival comes af­ter Er­ic Os­tertag passed the CEO torch to Mark Ger­gen on Feb. 1.

Robert La­Caze

→ This com­ing Tues­day, Chris­tine Roth will lead the on­col­o­gy strate­gic busi­ness unit at Bay­er’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals di­vi­sion, suc­ceed­ing Robert La­Caze. And on May 1, La­Caze has his next move all lined up, lead­ing a biotech of his own at Mnemo Ther­a­peu­tics, a French T cell ther­a­py play­er with Michel Sade­lain as one of its sci­en­tif­ic co-founders. La­Caze spent 26 years at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb be­fore jump­ing to Bay­er and will re­place found­ing CEO Alain Maiore, who tran­si­tions to COO once La­Caze takes over.

Pa­tri­cia Jud­son

→ Al­though Karyopharm put its Xpovio da­ta through the pos­i­tive spin cy­cle a cou­ple weeks ago, an­a­lysts were less than im­pressed, and now comes word that CMO Jatin Shah is out in or­der “to pur­sue oth­er pro­fes­sion­al op­por­tu­ni­ties, but will con­tin­ue to serve Karyopharm in an ad­vi­so­ry ca­pac­i­ty.” In the mean­time, Karyopharm has brought in Pa­tri­cia Jud­son as SVP of med­ical strat­e­gy and Stu­art Poul­ton as SVP of strat­e­gy and port­fo­lio man­age­ment. At As­traZeneca, Jud­son was US med­ical head for the DNA dam­age re­sponse fran­chise in women’s on­col­o­gy, and she then jumped to Glax­o­SmithK­line as glob­al head of women’s on­col­o­gy, med­ical af­fairs. Poul­ton worked for Eli Lil­ly and Am­gen for more than a decade each and comes from Ab­b­Vie, where he was VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment op­er­a­tions.

Tr­isha Mil­li­can

→ It hasn’t been peach­es and cream for Metacrine these days, jet­ti­son­ing half its work­force a cou­ple weeks ago and piv­ot­ing to IBD af­ter strik­ing out on NASH. The Rich Hey­man-chaired biotech now has its sec­ond C-suite de­par­ture to con­tend with in two months as CFO Tr­isha Mil­li­can re­signs. While she helps with the tran­si­tion un­til March 31, Michael York gets the bump from SVP, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial strat­e­gy to CBO. At the end of 2021, Hu­bert Chen re­signed as Metacrine’s CMO to take the same job at ADARx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

→ Buf­fa­lo’s own Athenex has tapped Joe An­noni as CFO, re­plac­ing Ran­doll Sze, who turned in his walk­ing pa­pers last Au­gust. Since 2010, An­noni had been man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of GFW Part­ners be­fore join­ing Athenex, whose stock tanked in March 2021 when the FDA brought down the CRL ham­mer on its breast can­cer drug, oral pa­cli­tax­el and ence­quidar. The ac­qui­si­tion of Ku­ur Ther­a­peu­tics the fol­low­ing May did lit­tle to dra­mat­i­cal­ly turn things around as Athenex falls deep­er in­to pen­ny stock ter­ri­to­ry, and it’s up to An­noni to stem the tide.

Sarah Yuan

→ Still un­der a clin­i­cal hold that was trig­gered in Ju­ly for its he­mo­phil­ia A pro­gram, Flag­ship’s Sig­ilon Ther­a­peu­tics has ap­point­ed Sarah Yuan as chief tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer. When blue­bird bio split in half, Yuan shift­ed over to 2sev­en­ty bio as VP of process and an­a­lyt­i­cal de­vel­op­ment af­ter hold­ing that post at blue­bird since Ju­ly 2019. Ear­li­er, the 10-year Bio­gen vet was head of man­u­fac­tur­ing for the rare blood dis­or­ders fran­chise at Sanofi fol­low­ing the buy­out of Biover­a­tiv, where she was head of tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing sci­ences.

Gi­na Maz­zariel­lo

Amy­lyx is get­ting its le­gal ducks in a row be­fore its June 29 PDU­FA date and the FDA’s Pe­riph­er­al and Cen­tral Ner­vous Sys­tem Drugs ad­comm that will con­vene March 30 to dis­cuss the ALS drug AMX0035. Gi­na Maz­zariel­lo has been se­lect­ed as chief le­gal of­fi­cer and gen­er­al coun­sel af­ter a num­ber of roles at Boehringer In­gel­heim that spanned near­ly 15 years; she had been the Ger­man com­pa­ny’s VP, hu­man phar­ma busi­ness law since 2015. A rub­ber stamp here would give Josh Co­hen and Justin Klee on­ly the third ap­proval for an ALS ther­a­py since 1995.

Elis­a­beth Crön­ert-Ben­dell

→ Feel the beat of the Rhythm of the night, or in this case, the Rhythm of pro­mo­tions: David Meek­er’s Rhythm Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has doled out new gigs to Joe Shul­man (chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer), Patrick Kleyn (SVP and head of trans­la­tion­al R&D), and Elis­a­beth Crön­ert-Ben­dell (SVP and head of strat­e­gy). In 2020, Shul­man was ush­ered in­to the squad as SVP of tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions from Ra Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, where he held that very po­si­tion be­fore UCB came along for a $2.1 bil­lion buy­out. Kleyn, the di­rec­tor of ex­ter­nal in­no­va­tion dur­ing a six-year tenure with EMD Serono, joined Rhythm in 2018 and had been in­ter­im head of the trans­la­tion­al R&D team. The new­bie of the bunch and a 10-year Sanofi vet, Crön­ert-Ben­dell gets pro­mot­ed here to SVP af­ter a year as VP and head of in­ter­na­tion­al strat­e­gy.

Steve Hugh­es

Avid­i­ty Bio­sciences, where Art Levin is lead­ing the sci­ence on the de­vel­op­ment of an­ti­body oligonu­cleotide con­ju­gates, has brought on Steve Hugh­es as CMO. Hugh­es, the ex-med­ical chief and cur­rent strate­gic med­ical ad­vi­sor for Arc­turus Ther­a­peu­tics, was chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at Io­n­is af­ter its name change in 2015 and made ear­li­er stops at Io­n­is part­ner Bio­gen (med­ical di­rec­tor, on­col­o­gy) and CSL Behring (med­ical af­fairs co­or­di­na­tor, West­ern Eu­rope).

Eliz­a­beth Mont­gomery

→ Tempt­ing though it may be, Peer Re­view will es­chew the “Be­witched” ref­er­ences and just say that Eliz­a­beth Mont­gomery has tak­en on the role of chief peo­ple of­fi­cer at Black Di­a­mond Ther­a­peu­tics, which has ex­pe­ri­enced its share of lead­er­ship turnover of late. Mont­gomery held the same role at ClearView Health­care Part­ners be­fore head­ing to a crew that has seen the ter­mi­na­tion of CMO Rachel Humphrey and the res­ig­na­tions of CSO Chris Roberts and CFO Thomas Leggett in the last year.

John Gold­berg

John Gold­berg has been pro­mot­ed to CMO at On­corus, whose lead pro­gram ON­CR-177 is an on­colyt­ic HSV-1 tar­get­ing sev­er­al can­cers. Gold­berg first start­ed at On­corus in Oc­to­ber 2018 as SVP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, and pri­or to that, he was se­nior med­ical di­rec­tor at H3 Bio­med­i­cine.

→ Last month, Avenge Bio came on the biotech scene with $45 mil­lion in Se­ries A fund­ing, and this week the Nat­ick, MA-based im­munother­a­py play­er an­nounced that Dou­glas Carl­son has joined their ranks as COO and CFO. Pri­or to join­ing Avenge — which was co-found­ed by CEO Michael Hef­fer­nan, Rice Uni­ver­si­ty’s Omid Veiseh and Ob­sid­i­an chief Paul Wot­ton — Carl­son was COO, CFO and chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer of Ike­na On­col­o­gy. He al­so served as VP, com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions and VP, cor­po­rate strat­e­gy & busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Col­legium Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal.

Klaus Wag­n­er

Zach Horn­by is hir­ing up a storm at San Diego’s Bound­less Bio, fill­ing a cru­cial po­si­tion with Klaus Wag­n­er as CMO. The Genen­tech and Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter alum had logged sev­en years as the med­ical chief at In­hi­brx. There’s cer­tain­ly been a bound­less amount of new faces at Bound­less Bio in the last year alone, no­tably pick­ing up CBO Neil Ab­dol­lahi­an from Cidara Ther­a­peu­tics and ap­point­ments al­so rang­ing from gen­er­al coun­sel to VP of pre­ci­sion med­i­cine.

Feng Zhang spin­out Ar­bor Biotech­nolo­gies, the CRISPR play­er which signed on the dot­ted line with Ver­tex on a $1.2 bil­lion cell ther­a­py deal and then put to­geth­er a $215 mil­lion Se­ries B haul last year, has tapped Steven Faval­oro as CFO. Faval­oro has been a fi­nance chief be­fore at Ar­ran­ta Bio and CD­MO Bram­mer Bio, which Ther­mo Fish­er pur­chased in March 2019.

Andy Holt

Ncar­dia, a Dutch-Bel­gian biotech fo­cused on in­duced pluripo­tent stem cells (iP­SCs), has ap­point­ed Andy Holt as COO. Pri­or to join­ing Ncar­dia, Holt served as EVP, com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing at AskBio as well as its CD­MO sub Vi­ral­gen. Ear­li­er in this ca­reer, Holt al­so took on roles in busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and man­age­ment at Mil­li­pore­Sig­ma and Lon­za.

Mary Pao

ANI Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals out of Min­neso­ta is bulk­ing up its rare dis­ease busi­ness unit with Mary Pao as CMO and Eliz­a­beth Pow­ell as chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer and head of le­gal. Pao worked on Rit­ux­an at Genen­tech, was a glob­al med­ical af­fairs lead at GSK and led clin­i­cal af­fairs at W20 Group un­til May 2021. Pow­ell’s long ca­reer at Mer­ck be­gan in 1997, cul­mi­nat­ing in her role as man­ag­ing coun­sel and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, US com­mer­cial & com­pli­ance le­gal be­fore mov­ing on to ANI, which bought gener­ics com­pa­ny Novi­tium Phar­ma al­most a year ago for up to $210 mil­lion.

Mark Farmery

Bri­an McGee has signed on to be CBO of Swedish TCR play­er Anoc­ca, while Mark Farmery gets el­e­vat­ed to chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. McGee owns Big Phar­ma ex­pe­ri­ence from com­mer­cial, fi­nance and strat­e­gy roles at GSK and was a part­ner at Lon­don con­sult­ing firm No­va­sec­ta. An As­traZeneca busi­ness de­vel­op­ment vet, Farmery had been VP of BD at Anoc­ca since May 2020 be­fore gain­ing this pro­mo­tion.

George Chi has joined the ex­ec­u­tive team at Ta­vo mak­er On­coSec as CFO. On­coSec hasn’t found a per­ma­nent CEO since the de­par­ture of Daniel O’Con­nor, with Bri­an Leuth­n­er serv­ing briefly as in­ter­im CEO last year and Kevin Smith now tak­ing the role as in­ter­im pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive. Speak­ing of CEOs, Chi held that ti­tle at TH­Plas­ma since Ju­ly 2020 be­fore tak­ing on this role at On­coSec.

→ Last year was huge for syn­bio up­start An­theia, net­ting a $73 mil­lion Se­ries B in June and part­ner­ing with Gink­go short­ly there­after. This week Christi­na Smolke has ex­pand­ed the team with Hei­di Pu­cel, who brings her HR acu­men as chief peo­ple of­fi­cer. Pu­cel al­so took on this very role at Countsy, an ac­count­ing firm geared to­ward star­tups, for near­ly five years.

Lisa Beck

→ Fred­er­ick, MD-based Ve­r­alox Ther­a­peu­tics, de­vel­op­ing a 12-lipoxy­ge­nase (12-LOX) in­hibitor named VLX-1005 for he­parin-in­duced throm­bo­cy­tope­nia, has turned to Lisa Beck to be CBO. Beck spent near­ly 24 years at GSK and lat­er jumped to Alex­ion, where she was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and head of glob­al busi­ness de­vel­op­ment trans­ac­tions and al­liance man­age­ment. In 2018 she shift­ed to Brii Bio­sciences, serv­ing as VP of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment be­fore climb­ing to SVP, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and port­fo­lio strat­e­gy.

Adri­an Quar­tel

→ New­ton, MA rare dis­ease biotech Ac­er Ther­a­peu­tics has re­cruit­ed ex-Bio­Marin glob­al med­ical af­fairs head Adri­an Quar­tel as CMO. Since 2020 Quar­tel had been med­ical chief at Adamas Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, whose Parkin­son’s port­fo­lio was en­tic­ing enough to Su­per­nus to plunk down more than $400 mil­lion for the com­pa­ny in Oc­to­ber 2021. Ac­er is look­ing at a June 5 PDU­FA date for its lead pro­gram AC­ER-001 to treat urea cy­cle dis­or­ders (UCDs).

→ UK-based Myricx Phar­ma is bring­ing aboard some fresh faces to its lead­er­ship team with the ap­point­ments of Za­hid Bashir as CMO, Richard Rut­ter as head of bi­ol­o­gy and Francesco Fal­ciani as head of bioin­for­mat­ics. Bashir has led suc­cess­ful ca­reers at Roche, GSK, Kite, Bris­tol My­ers and As­traZeneca. Mean­while, Rut­ter for­mer­ly served as di­rec­tor of bi­ol­o­gy at the Glax­o­SmithK­line Neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion Re­search Unit in Sin­ga­pore and was the CSO of Au­spher­ix. Fi­nal­ly, Fal­ciani pre­vi­ous­ly had a stint at Glax­oW­ell­come as bioin­for­mat­ics group leader and was head of tar­get dis­cov­ery at Lo­ran­tis.

Rod­er­ick Scott

→ To the east­ern tip of Cana­da we go, where New­found­land and Labrador-based Se­quence Bio has wel­comed Rod­er­ick Scott as chief sci­ence of­fi­cer. Scott was em­ploy­ee No. 1 at He­li­con Ther­a­peu­tics, where he was di­rec­tor of dis­cov­ery sys­tems, and more re­cent­ly he’s been VP of re­search at Lead­ing Bio­Sciences, the com­pa­ny that merged with Seneca Bio­phar­ma to be­come Pal­isade Bio.

Fe­masys — fo­cused on meet­ing women’s needs — has brought on Dov Ele­fant as the com­pa­ny’s first-ever CFO. Ele­fant most re­cent­ly served in the same ca­pac­i­ty at Cel­lec­tar Bio­sciences and held the same role at Cel­sus Ther­a­peu­tics and Al­thera Med­ical.

Eye­Y­on Med­ical — fo­cused on the de­vel­op­ment of oph­thalmic med­ical de­vices — has wel­comed Sharon Bakalash to the fold as CMO. Bakalash comes with ex­pe­ri­ence from her times at Tis­sue­Gen, No­var­tis and Al­con.

Anne-Marie Li-Kwai-Che­ung

Mod­i­fy­ing its R&D al­liance with Take­da last fall, Wave Life Sci­ences has called up­on Anne-Marie Li-Kwai-Che­ung to be SVP, reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs, com­pli­ance and pol­i­cy. Li-Kwai-Che­ung has held reg­u­la­to­ry po­si­tions at Gen­zyme, GSK, and re­cent­ly at Roche as life­cy­cle leader for tomin­ersen — the Hunt­ing­ton’s drug that Roche is try­ing to res­ur­rect af­ter a dis­as­trous Phase III tri­al. Wave’s wipe­outs with Hunt­ing­ton’s have been well-doc­u­ment­ed too, as two drugs for the dis­ease cir­cled the drain in March 2021.

→ Men­lo Park, CA-based PacBio is bring­ing in Michael Eber­le to the pack as VP of com­pu­ta­tion­al bi­ol­o­gy. Eber­le joins af­ter a 15-year stint at Il­lu­mi­na, where he most re­cent­ly served as VP and dis­tin­guished sci­en­tist.

→ Macrophage-fo­cused En­livex Ther­a­peu­tics has brought on Einat Galami­di as VP, med­ical. Galami­di comes aboard af­ter a decade stint at Gami­da Cell, where she most re­cent­ly served as VP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Dur­ing her time at Gami­da, Galami­di led clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for po­ten­tial cell ther­a­py omidu­bi­cel — a po­ten­tial bone mar­row trans­plant so­lu­tion for pa­tients with blood can­cers.

Nan­cy Miller-Rich

→ With their lat­est round of cash sewn up last May and for­mer CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics ex­ec Philippe Drou­et in his first year as CEO, pro­tein degra­da­tion out­fit Bio­Th­eryX has made Nan­cy Miller-Rich chair of the board. Up­on her re­tire­ment from Mer­ck in Sep­tem­ber 2017, Miller-Rich was SVP, glob­al busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and li­cens­ing, strat­e­gy and com­mer­cial sup­port for the Hu­man Health busi­ness. She’s al­so on the boards of In­ter­cept, Aldeyra Ther­a­peu­tics, 4D Mol­e­c­u­lar Ther­a­peu­tics and At­tralus.

George Church

In­te­gra Ther­a­peu­tics — a biotech look­ing to cre­ate next-gen gene writ­ing tools  — has at­tract­ed a big name on­to its SAB with George Church. In his star-stud­ded ca­reer, Church helped ini­ti­ate the Hu­man Genome Pro­ject in 1984 and the Per­son­al Genome Pro­ject in 2005 and demon­strat­ed that CRISPR/Cas9 could be used to ed­it hu­man stem cells. Church cur­rent­ly serves as pro­fes­sor of ge­net­ics at Har­vard Med­ical School and pro­fes­sor of health sci­ences and tech­nol­o­gy at Har­vard and MIT.

→ UK ge­nomics com­pa­ny Rev­olu­Gen has tapped An­nal­isa Jenk­ins as chair of its board of di­rec­tors. Jenk­ins brings with her a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to the role while cur­rent­ly serv­ing on the boards of Af­fimed, Avro­bio, Co­coon Biotech, Com­pass Path­ways, Oncim­mune and Ori Biotech to name a few. Jenk­ins pre­vi­ous­ly held long ca­reers at Mer­ck Serono (EVP, head of glob­al de­vel­op­ment) and Bris­tol My­ers (SVP and head of glob­al med­ical af­fairs).

Ru­by Chandy

Ru­by Chandy will be added to the board of di­rec­tors at Ther­mo Fish­er on March 1, mak­ing it a bak­er’s dozen in a board that in­cludes Ed­i­tas Med­i­cine CEO Jim Mullen and Tyler Jacks. Chandy, the ex-Dow chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, has board seats at DuPont and Flowserve.

→ San Diego-based Abili­ta Bio is mak­ing room on its board of di­rec­tors for Daniel Brad­bury. Brad­bury cur­rent­ly serves as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Equi­l­li­um and pre­vi­ous­ly had an 18-year stint as pres­i­dent, CEO and di­rec­tor of Amylin Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. This is far from Brad­bury’s first rodeo in a board ca­pac­i­ty. He cur­rent­ly sits on the boards of Bio­con, Cas­tle Bio­sciences, Equi­l­li­um and In­ter­cept, among oth­ers.

Almi­rall is los­ing its chair­man of the board Jorge Gal­lar­do Bal­lart as he plans for re­tire­ment. The com­pa­ny has nom­i­nat­ed Car­los Gal­lar­do Piqué (Almi­rall’s VP of the board) as his suc­ces­sor. Piqué jump­start­ed his ca­reer at Pfiz­er, spend­ing near­ly a decade there be­fore join­ing Almi­rall and serv­ing as gen­er­al man­ag­er of the UK and Ire­land be­fore part­ing ways with the com­pa­ny in 2013. In ad­di­tion, Piqué is the founder and CEO of CG Health Ven­tures.

Mor­rey Atkin­son

Or­biMed-backed NASH play­er 89bio has brought Mor­rey Atkin­son in­to the fold as a mem­ber of its board. The head of com­mer­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing and sup­ply chain at Ver­tex since June 2020, Atkin­son spent eight years at Bris­tol My­ers and an­oth­er nine at Eli Lil­ly in man­u­fac­tur­ing roles.

→ Af­ter com­plet­ing its re­cent IPO, Ed­in­burgh-based TC Bio­pharm — the com­pa­ny that bagged $16 mil­lion and teamed up with blue­bird back in 2017 to take on gam­ma delta T cells — is en­list­ing four new mem­bers for its board of di­rec­tors: Mark Bony­ha­di (se­nior ad­vi­sor at Qim­ing Ven­ture Part­ners USA); James Cul­ver­well (chair­man of HOX Ther­a­peu­tics); Ar­lene Mor­ris (non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Co­gent Bio­sciences, Virid­i­an Ther­a­peu­tics and Palatin Tech­nolo­gies); and Ed Niem­czyk (part­ner at Bridges Fund Man­age­ment).

Achiev­ing Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion: Un­lock­ing Cost Re­duc­tion, Clin­i­cal Ex­cel­lence & Pre­ci­sion Ther­a­peu­tics Man­u­fac­tur­ing

In the dynamic landscape of pharmaceutical and biotech industries, L7 Informatics is leading the charge in transforming traditional operations through digital innovation. With a firm focus on cost reduction, clinical improvements, reducing tech-transfer times, L7 Informatics is revolutionizing the way companies research, develop, and manufacture while also prioritizing the well-being of patients and providers thereby paving the way for a future where patients receive better treatments at lower costs.

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

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

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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Douglas Love, Annexon CEO

An­nex­on’s GA drug miss­es on pri­ma­ry goal but win on vi­su­al acu­ity will be fo­cus of planned late-stage tri­al

Annexon’s complement inhibitor didn’t prove better than sham at reducing lesion growth in a leading cause of blindness, but the biotech still plans to move forward on the back of secondary endpoints showing visual acuity preservation, which will “certainly” be the primary goal in a late-stage trial to be discussed shortly with the FDA, CEO Douglas Love told Endpoints News. 

The California biotech’s ANX007 was not statistically significant compared to pooled sham, the comparator, at 12 months in patients with geographic atrophy, per a Wednesday presentation. In every-month dosing, the GA lesion area changed about 6.2% from baseline (p=0.526) and 1.3% (p=0.896) in the every-other-month group. In a March note, Jefferies analyst Suji Jeong said a reduction of 20% to 30% would be “encouraging.”

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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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