Peer Review

Vas Narasimhan tapped to take Novartis’ helm as Joe Jimenez heads to Silicon Valley

Vasant Narasimhan, Novartis

⇨ Novartis announced Monday that Joe Jimenez is stepping down in February and handing the reins over to 41-year-old Vas Narasimhan, an exuberant advocate of cutting-edge science who’s been making his mark with a slate of successful programs for the company’s next wave of blockbuster drugs. Narasimhan is now joining one of the most exclusive clubs in biopharma — CEO of a biopharma organization with activities that span the globe. In naming him CEO, the Basel-based company is keeping an American at the top. But instead of the marketing or legal background of most of his peers, Narasimhan brings experience in new product development. Jimenez, meanwhile, has his eye on a place in Silicon Valley.

⇨ Claudio Albrecht was selected as the interim CEO to run Stada as it transitions to a private company and then locates a permanent replacement. Albrecht advised Bain and Cinven as they were bidding for the company.

⇨ Morgan Molloy is joining Enzyvant to serve as chief commercial officer. He held that same position previously at Spark Therapeutics, and also spent some time at Sanofi, Allergan and Biogen.

⇨ Tom Graney is jumping ship at Ironwood and moving over to Vertex as its new CFO.

⇨ Ovid Therapeutics has appointed Ana C. Ward as SVP and general counsel.

⇨ Ionis spinout Akcea has been building up its executive team in preparation for its first commercial launch. The new team members include: Michael MacLean, chief financial officer; Mustafa Noor, chief development officer; Samuel Yonren, vice president and head of pharmacovigilance and drug safety; and Kyle Jenne, US commercial head.

⇨ AMAG Pharmaceuticals named Laura Williams as senior vice president of clinical development.

⇨ Opiant Pharmaceuticals tapped David O’Toole as its new chief financial officer. O’Toole just left his post as CFO at Soleno Therapeutics. The biotech says that he will be replaced by Jonathan R. Wolter on an interim basis as they hunt for a permanent replacement.


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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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