Top AstraZeneca I/O exec jumps to Seattle Genetics as first CCO; Woodford fund downgraded as woes mount
→ Seattle Genetics has raided the top ranks at AstraZeneca for its first chief commercial officer. Robin Taylor is making the leap from the UK pharma giant, where he’s been for just 7 months as the franchise head for immuno-oncology. AstraZeneca has been laboring at widening the market penetration for its PD-L1 Imfinzi. Taylor jumped to AstraZeneca from Genentech, where he led the cancer immunotherapy franchise. Taylor had been at Genentech for close to 18 years, starting with a brief stint there as a summer intern. He worked on some of the company’s top franchises, including Avastin, Herceptin and Tecentriq.
“Robin will play a key role in extending our commercial execution across six Adcetris lymphoma indications, while preparing for the potential launch of enfortumab vedotin and leading our global commercialization strategy for possible future products, such as tucatinib,” noted Seattle Genetics CEO Clay Siegall.
→ Novartis has joined J&J in backing a developer of bioelectronic wearable therapies. The $50 million Series C will allow Burlingame, CA-based Cala Health to start rolling out Cala Trio (which works by delivering individualized peripheral nerve stimulation) directly to patients suffering from hand tremors as well as exploring other neuromodulaiton treatments for chronic disease. Other new investors include Baird Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners and TriVentures while existing investors Lux Capital, Lightstone Ventures, Action Potential Venture Capital, dRx Capital and GV also joined the round.
→ Morningstar has downgraded Neil Woodwood’s main fund as disappointed investors flee the underperforming operation. The Financial Times says that the Woodford Equity Income fund has been hit by a wave of redemption demands, shrinking the fund from £10.2 billion to £4.4 billion in just 2 years. Woodford has made a slew of biotech investments, many of which have soured.