Movers and Shakers for Sept. 4

Movers and Shakers words, each on a one way arrow sign

Biopharm companies closed out August with a plethora of changes to executive and senior leadership positions.

Eli Lilly – Anne White was tapped to helm Eli Lilly’s oncology division. White replaced Sue Mahoney, who announced her retirement earlier this year. White took over the role on Sept. 1. She had been serving the vice president of portfolio management of Chorus and Next Generation Research & Development in the company’s oncology division. White has served in various roles with Eli Lilly since 1991, with a brief five-year stint at Tigris Pharmaceuticals from 2005 to 2010, according to her LinkedIn profile.

EMD Serono – In a surprising move, EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical arm of Germany-based Merck KGaA, named Rehan Verjee as the new president of EMD Serono and global head of innovative medicine franchises at the parent company. Verjee will replace Gary Zieziula, who has served as president since 2016. Verjee will replace Gary Zieziula, who has served as president since 2016. In its announcement this morning, EMD Serono did not disclose details of Zieziula's departure. The company only said that Zieziula will remain with EMD Serono through the end of 2018 in support of the transition, and noted his success in leading the business over the past two years. Verjee will be responsible for the U.S. and Canada biopharmaceutical business, while “maintaining global accountability for the oncology and neurology and immunology franchises,” according to a company statement.

Gilead Sciences – California-based Gilead Sciences tapped Amgen veteran Laura Hamill as the company’s newest executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Operations, and member of the company’s senior leadership team. Hamill most recently served as head of U.S. Commercial Operations at Amgen. At that company, she held a number of roles, including vice president and general manager of its Inflammation Business Unit. She also held leadership roles overseeing marketing in Switzerland, Latin America, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Africa, Middle East, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Prior to Amgen, Hamill held positions at Hoffmann-La Roche and Klemtner Advertising.

Editas MedicineAlthough no replacement has yet been named, Editas Medicine’s chief medical officer will step down from the company at the end of 2018. Gerald Cox has served in the role for the past two years. It was not reported why he has chosen to leave the company. In a statement, Cox said the end of the year felt like the right time to leave, given the company’s advancement on its genome editing program aimed at the treatment of LCA10, the most common form of Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), an inherited retinal disorder.

MedPharm Ltd. – Jon Lenn and Haydn Sinclair were appointed to the roles of chief technology officer and head of pharmaceutical quality with global responsibilities, respectively. Lenn will focus on coordinating the company’s technological innovation strategy. He previously served as head of U.S. operations at MedPharm’s subsidiary in North Carolina. He also had roles at Connetics, Siefal and GlaxoSmithKline. Sinclair returned to MedPharm to oversee all aspects of MedPharm’s quality system which encompasses, the company said. He will be responsible for maintaining all of MedPharm’s quality accreditations including GLP and cGMP.

Longeveron, LLC – Arin Maercks was named chief commercial officer for Florida-based Longeveron, a company focused on the development of stem-cell therapies for aging-related diseases. Prior to joining Longeveron, Maercks served as an operating executive and later as an advisor to CheckedUp, a point of care technology platform. He previously served as chief operating officer of medical device manufacturer Lexington International.

Berkeley Lights, Inc. – Michael Sadelain was added as a member of Berkley Lights’ Strategic Scientific Advisory Board. He will provide a strategic voice to the company as it continues to expand in the areas of cell therapy development and manufacturing. Sadelain is founding director of the Center for Cell Engineering and head of the Gene Transfer and Gene Expression Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Sadelain is also a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Hematology, and the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, where he served on the board of directors and as president.

Orchard Therapeutics – U.K.-based Orchard Therapeutics made two appointments to its leadership team. The company named Kathryn Payne as its global head of corporate communications and external affairs. Orchard also named John Cerio as senior vice president, global head of human resources. Payne joins Orchard from AMAG Pharmaceuticals, where she served as senior vice president of corporate affairs, directing the company’s communications, government relations and advocacy activities. Prior to AMAG, Payne spent a decade at APCO Worldwide. A 25-year industry veteran, Cerio most recently served as vice president of human resources and administration for Agenus. Prior to Agenus, he was vice president of global human resources for PerkinElmer Life Sciences division. Previously, Cerio spent nearly a decade with Bristol-Myers Squibb in roles of increasing responsibility and leadership.

Bristol-Myers SquibbChristopher Boerner was named chief commercial officer for BMS. He succeeds Murdo Gordon, who left the company on Aug. 3, to pursue another opportunity. Boerner will lead commercial strategy and execution across all geographies. Most recently, Boerner was head of international markets at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was accountable for commercial activities in all ex-U.S. markets. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, he served as the executive vice president of commercial for Seattle Genetics, where he led all commercial activities for the company. Before joining Seattle Genetics, he was with Dendreon Corporation and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.

Valbiotis – Pascal Sirvent was appointed to the board of directors of La Rochelle, France-based Valbiotis. Sirvent was a member of the company’s scientific committee and was in charge of collaborative projects between the University of Clermont Auvergne. In 2017, he was appointed chief scientific officer and took the lead of the Discovery and Preclinical and Translational Research Department at Valbiotis, the company said. He currently helms the company’s two R&D centers in La Rochelle and Riom.  

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