BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Aug. 23
Movers and Shakers news began with a stunning announcement this week. Sandra Horning, the long-time chief medical officer and head of global product development of Roche announced her retirement. Horning has been with the Swiss pharma giant for the past 10 years but Dec. 31 will be her last day with the company. Eli Lilly veteran Levi Garraway has been poached to fill Horning’s shoes at Roche. Garraway most recently served as Eli Lilly’s head of Oncology Research & Development and head of Lilly Research Laboratories Novel Target Research. Garraway resigned from his position at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly earlier this month, to “pursue other opportunities,” Eli Lilly said at the time.
Recursion – Utah-based Recursion, a tech-first biopharma company, named Imran S. Haque the head of its Data Science division. Haque has held roles of increasing importance in machine learning at cancer diagnostics company Freenome and clinical genomics company Counsyl. In 2016. Haque joined Freenome as chief scientific officer, helping develop tests for cancer detection based on next-generation sequencing, machine learning and functional genomics.
Rebiotix– Ferring Pharmaceuticals subsidiary Rebiotix announced that CSO Ken Blount was tapped to join the Karolinska Institutet’s Joint Steering Committee (JSC) of the Centre for Translation Microbiome Research (CTMR) in Stockholm. Blount joins two colleagues from Ferring currently serving on the committee, Per Falk, president and CSO, and Malin Carlsson. The JSC, which evaluates strategic research opportunities for the CTMR, will continue a partnership initiated between the Karolinska Institutet and Ferring in 2016. The partnership was established to expand knowledge about the connection between the human microbiome and personal health.
Provention Bio – New Jersey-based Provention named Sherron Kell as its head of clinical development. Kell will lead the PRV-031 (teplizumab) program, including the oversight of the Phase 3 PROTECT study and clinical support of anticipated regulatory submissions. Kell most recently served as Vice President at Impax Pharmaceuticals. Previously, she was head of Clinical R&D at Johnson & Johnson, and scientific director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
Jetson – Chicago-based Jetson, a probiotic-focused company, named Ian K. Smith as its new chief medical officer. A long-time physician, Smith served on the boards of the American Council on Exercise, the New York Mission Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, The New York Council for the Humanities, Chicago Public Television and The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals -- Aranthan "AJ" Jones II was named chief corporate affairs and communications officer and Joakim “Kim” Wijkstrom was named chief marketing officer of Washington-based Vanda Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Vanda, Jones served as global head of public affairs for Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Prior to this position, he was a senior executive at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He also served as head of government affairs for Gilead Sciences. Wijkstrom has held CMO positions at Perry Ellis and One Main Financial. Additionally, Wijkstrom served in senior leadership positions with multiple advertising agencies.
Kraig Biocraft – Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a developer of spider silk-based fibers, expanded its R&D team. The new hire, whose name was not disclosed in the announcement, is the first biological engineer to join the company’s R&D department.
Cadent – John McBride was named chief financial officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based Cadent Therapeutics. McBride will be responsible for the company’s finance and corporate administration functions. Prior to Cadent, McBride was CFO at Syntimmune where he was part of the senior team instrumental in the sale of the company to Alexion. Prior to that, he served as both chief operating officer and CFO at Tokai Pharmaceuticals Inc. He also served as COO of Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and also held roles at Pharmacia Corporation, Cyto Therapeutics, Inc. and Phytera, Inc.
Frequency Therapeutics – Woburn, Mass.-based Frequency Therapeutics named Dana C. Hilt as CMO. William Chin, who had been serving as interim CMO, will take on new responsibilities as head of clinical and translational science. Hilt most recently served as CMO at Lysosomal Therapeutics. Prior to that, he held leadership roles at Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Ascend Pharmaceuticals, Critical Therapeutics and Amgen, where he was a director of clinical development. In addition to Hilt’s hiring and Chin’s new position, Frequency also named Jeff Hrkach as head of Technology Development and Jason Glashow as head of Corporate Affairs.
Avidity Biosciences -- Noreen Henig and Edward Kaye were named to the board of directors of LaJolla, Calif.-based Avidity Biosciences. Henig has served as CMO of Breath Therapeutics since July 2018. Previously, she served as chief development officer of ProQR Therapeutics from 2013-2017, where she led preclinical and clinical development. She also spent several years at Gilead Sciences. Kaye has served as chief executive officer of Stoke Therapeutics since 2017. He previously served as CEO and as a board director at Sarepta Therapeutics. He also served as CMO of Sarepta, leading development of the company’s approved Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy treatment, Exondys 51. Kaye currently serves as a member of the boards at Cytokinetics, Inc., and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.
Ebb Therapeutics -- Eduard Röösli was named president and chief executive officer of med-tech startup Ebb Therapeutics. Don Spence, Ebb's outgoing CEO, will remain as a member of its board of directors, designed to provide leadership continuity. Most recently, he was managing director for Image Skincare, a global, professional skincare company.
Torque -- Sok Cheng Soh was named CFO and Ana Radeljevic was tapped as head of Business Operations at Cambridge, Mass.-based Torque. Prior to Torque, Soh was head of Treasury and Tax at Bioverativ. Before that, she was assistant treasurer of Boston Scientific. Prior to Torque, Radeljevic was founder and CEO of Adventus Partners. Previously, she was head of Financial Planning & Analysis at PerkinElmer. She also held senior management roles at Sanofi and Genzyme.
Millendo Therapeutics – Tamara Joseph was named general counsel and corporate secretary and Ryan Zeidan was named chief development officer of Michigan-based Millendo Therapeutics. Joseph succeeds Jeffery M. Brinza who announced his retirement in March. Joseph most recently served as General Counsel at Enzyvant Therapeutics and previously served as General Counsel at InVivo Therapeutics, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Mayne Pharma, and Transkaryotic Therapies. Zeidan has served as head of development at Millendo since joining the company in 2018. In this role, he has overseen critical R&D functions including clinical operations, project management, CMC and regulatory affairs. Prior to Millendo, Zeidan was with Celgene and with Novartis Oncology.