BioSpace Movers and Shakers: April 26

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It didn’t take long for Novartis to tap a new chief executive officer for its generics subsidiary Sandoz. GlaxoSmithKline veteran Richard Saynor, who spent five years with Sandoz earlier in his career, was tapped as the new CEO of Sandoz.

For the past nine years, Saynor has been with GSK, most recently serving as senior vice president and global head of classic and established medicines at the U.K. pharma giant. However, before beginning with GSK back in 2010, Saynor spent five years with Sandoz, overseeing operations in Asia, Turkey and Canada. Saynor will take over the helm of Sandoz following the abrupt departure of former CEO Richard Francis. Francis resigned from his role in March as parent company Novartis undertakes a year-and-a-half-long transformation of its Sandoz business unit.

Saynor wasn’t the only significant hiring news of the week. Elsewhere:

Mission Bio – South San Francisco-based Mission Bio added three members to its executive team. Darrin Crisitello joins Mission Bio as chief commercial officer. He previously led the global clinical teams at Color Genomics and Natera, where he was responsible for successfully building the teams to scale during their growth phases. Nigel Beard was named senior vice president of research and development. Previously, Beard served in roles at GlaxoSmithKline and Life Technologies. During his career, Beard has launched more than 50 products and been an inventor on more than 40 patents, with expertise in next-generation sequencing (NGS), microfluidics, AI and machine learning. Marcel Roche joined the company as senior vice president of finance and administration. Roche previously held the finance head role at Achaogen and Guardant Health.

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Somalogic – Melody Harris was named president of Boulder, Colo.-based SomaLogic. Harris joined SomaLogic in April 2018 as chief legal officer from Qualcomm Life, a digital health subsidiary of Qualcomm, where she led global and strategic deals with companies such as Novartis, Philips, AbbVie, United Healthcare and Walgreens. She also served as a key leader in the diligence, negotiation, and integration efforts around Qualcomm Life’s digital health mergers and acquisitions strategy. Harris will oversee product management, commercialization branding and marketing, sales and collaborative partnerships, IT, data protection and information security, legal, regulatory and quality, and human resources.

SkinBioTherapeutics – U.K.-based SkinBio named Stuart Ashman as an executive director. Ashman is expected to succeed SkinBio Chief Executive Officer Cath O’Neill following a period of transition. That period is expected to provide Ashman with an understanding of the skin health-based company. O’Neill is expected to continue to drive the science and the ongoing commercial discussions she initiated at the company. Ashman most recently served as CEO of Onbone Oy, a Finnish private equity-backed medical device company. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Andover Healthcare Inc., a US-based wound management manufacturer and head of TI Group, a UK-based medical/engineering company.

Epic Sciences – Richard Wenstrup was named chief medical officer of San Diego-based Epic Sciences. As CMO, Wenstrup will lead clinical development, regulatory and medical affairs strategies for the company and be responsible for advancing the company’s clinical research and product development pipeline. Wenstrup was previously CMO for Oxford Immunotec, Inc., where he oversaw research and development, product development, regulatory, medical and clinical affairs. From 2006-2017, he served as CMO for Myriad Genetics, where he built and led the clinical and medical affairs team to support a multi-fold increase in revenue during his tenure. Wenstrup was actively involved in the company’s product development, M&A and in-licensing activities.

California Life Sciences Association – Molly Fishman was named director of Federal Government Relations for California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences sector. Fishman will be based in CLSA’s Washington, D.C. office. She most recently served as Legislative Director for U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier. As Director of Federal Government Relations, Fishman assists CLSA’s Washington, D.C. Office in the development and implementation of outreach, education and legislative advocacy programs, as well as building and maintaining alliances with CLSA member companies, partner associations and other affiliate organizations.

Guardant Health – Bahika Jallal was named to the board of directors of California-based Guardant Health. The appointment increased the size of Guardant Board of Directors to eight members. Jallal has served as the CEO of Immunocore Limited, a T cell receptor biotechnology company, since January. From October 2013 to January 2019, Jallal served as executive vice president of AstraZeneca PLC and president of MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, since January 2013.

Noxopharm – Australia-based Noxopharm made some changes to its board of directors. Graham Kelly shifted from his role as group CEO and executive director to executive chairman of the board. Peter Marks moves from non-executive chairman to non- executive deputy chairman. Eli Lilly veteran Greg van Wyk was named CEO. Van Wyk was previously named CMO of the Australian company earlier this year. He currently serves in both roles. The changes were prompted by a strategic decision to start the process of raising the company’s profile and presence in the U.S. including a listing of its securities on the Nasdaq exchange. The company currently is undertaking the work necessary for this to occur.

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