A Bright Day for Two Companies as New CEOs Announced

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To succeed in the world of complex R&D and clinical development of drugs for complex diseases, life sciences companies need leaders with broad talent and gravitas. On Wednesday, Sage Therapeutics and Samsung Biologics announced that they had found just that in their new chief executive officers (CEOs).

Sage Therapeutics

Sage will be leveraging the R&D and commercialization talents of biotech veteran Barry Greene to accelerate growth in the brain health space. Greene, who served as president of biopharma giant Alnylam Pharmaceuticals from 2007-2020 and was in a leadership role with the company for a total of 17 years, has an impressive track record of success, including the commercialization of VELCADE® (bortezomib) for multiple myeloma at Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 2003.

Former CEO Dr. Jeff Jonas will move to a new strategic role as chief innovation officer.

“Sage is taking on one of the biggest challenges we face today with the urgent and escalating need for more options to transform the lives of millions of patients with debilitating brain health disorders,” Greene said in a statement. “I am impressed by the groundbreaking and relentless pursuit that Jeff has spearheaded, and one that the entire organization has embraced, to bring a new way of thinking about how we can treat brain health disorders differently.” 

Jonas is excited to see where the company will go with Greene at the helm.

“I am optimistic about what we have done to advance breakthrough science with the goal of delivering truly different approaches to treat brain health disorders. We always had the vision of upending the conventional wisdom of how to think about and how to treat these disorders,” said Jonas, who will remain a member of the board and chair Sage’s Science & Technology Forum of the Board. “I am proud of the progress we have made on this journey — we took the company from a research organization to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with the first approved product for postpartum depression and one of the strongest brain health pipelines in the industry. Our ability to attract Barry’s caliber of talent as our next CEO is a testament to these efforts and he’s committed to continuing to make progress on our journey to provide groundbreaking options for people with brain health disorders.”

On top of its success with postpartum depression drug Zulresso (brexanolone), Sage is working to develop therapeutics for a range of depressive, neurologic, and neuropsychiatric disorders including Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). 

Samsung Biologics

Across the globe in South Korea, CDO/CMO/CRO Samsung Biologics announced that it is tapping former executive vice president John Rim as its president and CEO. 

John played a large role in expanding Samsung’s manufacturing portfolio, and the long-running operational excellence at Plant 3, which holds the distinction of having the world’s largest manufacturing capacity at a single site.

With an impressive resume in technical operations, product, and business development at Genentech (Roche), and Astellas Pharmaceuticals before joining Samsung, John will assume his new role at the helm effective immediately.

“I am deeply grateful and excited by the opportunity to lead Samsung Biologics into the next decade,” said John at the time of the announcement. "This is an extraordinary company, unparalleled in its phenomenal growth and dedication to client satisfaction, made possible by the company's unrelenting vision and passion, and business execution by great people whom I will have the privilege to lead as CEO."

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