BioSpace Movers & Shakers, April 3
Q Biomed – Kristin Keller was tapped for the newly-created position of chief commercial officer at Q Biomed Inc. She will focus on commercialization of the company’s lead product, Strontium89, a non-opioid drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November, 2019. She will also contribute strategic insight and direction to the company's portfolio of earlier stage assets. Keller has held roles in multiple companies, including Actelion, Raptor, Alexion, BioMarin, Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and Roche.
Owlstone Medical – Neil Tween was named chief financial officer at U.K.-based Owlstone Medical. Tween joins Owlstone Medical from GW Pharmaceuticals where he served as vice president and Group Financial Controller. Prior to that position, Tween was financial controller at Jagex Ltd. and spent six years with Deloitte.
Immunicum – Peter Suenaert will resume the role of chief medical officer effective May 1. Suenaert previously held this role until his departure in 2019. Throughout his career, Suenaert has held a number of global development positions in the pharmaceutical industry including Senior Medical Scientist Hematology/Oncology Late Phase Development at Amgen, Medical Director Early Clinical Development at GSK Bio, Global Oncology Lead at Glenmark Pharma, CMO at Immunicum AB and head of Global Clinical Development at AgenTus Therapeutics.
Immune Regulation – London-based Immune Regulation Ltd. named Johnathan Rigby as its new chief executive officer. In 2011 he became the CEO of SteadyMed Therapeutics Inc. and focused the company on the development of drug-device combination products to treat Pulmonary Hypertension. In 2006 he cofounded Zogenix, Inc. Earlier in his career, Rigby held commercial and business development positions of increasing responsibility at large pharmaceutical companies including Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb and Profile Therapeutics, now Phillips Medical.
Samsung Biologics – Eun Young Yang was named vice president of business development for Samsung Biologics’ expanded contract development organization business. Yang is one of the key founding members of Samsung Biologics' CDO department. She has held multiple roles in marketing, sales, and business development at global pharmaceutical companies including Roche and Eli Lilly.
Lumos Pharma – Texas-based Lumos Pharma named Joseph S. McCracken to the company’s board of directors. Until his retirement in 2013, McCracken had a successful career in the industry where he held top managerial positions in business and commercial development and licensing at Roche Pharma, Genentech, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals. Since 2013, Dr. McCracken has advised biopharmaceutical companies through board participation and as a consultant. McCracken currently serves on the boards of several companies including publicly listed Savara Inc., Kindred Biosciences, as well as privately held Alkahest, Inc. Additionally, Rick Hawkins was appointed chairman of the board and has assumed the title of CEO of Lumos Pharma.
Rhythm Pharmaceuticals – Hunter Smith, current CFO of Rhythm, has been named interim CEO of the company. Smith succeeds Keith Gottesdiener, whose planned departure was announced by the company in January 2020. Gottesdiener stepped down from his role as CEO following the company’s completion of its New Drug Application submission to the FDA.
Sofinnova Investments – Maha Katabi was promoted to general partner and Sarah Bhagat was named partner at California-based Sofinnova Investments, a clinical-stage investment firm. Katabi joined Sofinnova in April 2019. She is an experienced investor in biopharma companies, with more than two decades of venture capital and public equities investment experience. Katabi was a Partner at Sectoral Asset Management. Prior to joining Sofinnova, Katabi co-invested with Sofinnova in multiple companies, including Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Ascendis Pharma, and Trius Therapeutics. Bhagat joined Sofinnova in April 2017, has made a significant investment and organizational contributions to the firm. Prior to joining Sofinnova, Bhagat was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics – Jacob Frenkel was named chairman of the board of directors of BrainStorm. Frenkel is an economist and former governor of the Bank of Israel.
Locana, Inc. – Micah Mackison was named chief business officer of Locana, Inc. Mackison will lead strategic planning and execution of all business development and corporate communication activities related to the company’s RNA-targeting gene therapy platform. Before joining Locana, Mackison was senior vice president of Corporate Development and Strategy at Assembly Biosciences where he led business development efforts since 2015. Prior to his work at Assembly, he was senior director of Corporate Investment at Jabil Healthcare & Life Sciences. Previously, Mackison served as head of Corporate Strategy and senior director of New Ventures at H. Lundbeck A/S.
Pfizer – Susan Desmond-Hellmann was named to the board of directors at Pfizer. Desmond-Hellmann was also appointed to the Governance & Sustainability Committee and the Science and Technology Committee of Pfizer’s board. Desmond-Hellmann served as CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2014 until 2020, where she oversaw the creation of the Gates Medical Research Institute. She remains a senior advisor and board member of the Gates Medical Research Institute. Prior to joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she was the first female and ninth overall chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) from 2009 until 2014, where she still serves as an adjunct professor. She served as a Director of Facebook Inc. from 2013 to 2019 and Procter & Gamble from 2010 to 2017.
Insmed Incorporated – Carol A. Schafer was named to the board of directors of New Jersey-based Insmed. Schafer has more than 25 years of experience in investment banking and equity capital markets and currently serves as a Managing Partner at Hyphen Advisors, LLC. Prior to Hyphen Advisors, Schafer worked at Wells Fargo Securities. She also previously served as the Vice President of Finance and Business Development at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals.