BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Aug. 27

Movers and Shakers

Biopharma companies and life sciences organizations strengthen their leadership teams and boards with these Movers & Shakers. 

Vaxart, Inc. Bay Area-based Vaxart formed an eight-member Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board. The members are: Ralph Baric, professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Immunology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health; Robert Belshe, professor emeritus of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy, and Immunology at St. Louis University; Stefan Gravenstein, professor of medicine and director of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care at Brown University; Gregory Gray, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Duke University School of Medicine; Harry Greenberg, the Joseph D. Grant Professor and Associate Dean for Research at Stanford University; Marion Pepper, associate professor of Immunology at the University of Washington; Stanley A. Plotkin, emeritus professor from the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct at Johns Hopkins University; and George Siber, an adjunct at Johns Hopkins and a member of the board of directors of Affinivax.

Pharma Two B Ltd. – Jeffrey Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Real Endpoints, was named chairman of the board of directors. Prior to Real Endpoints, Berkowitz served as an Executive Vice President of UnitedHealth Group/Optum where he was CEO of Optum’s London-based International division and led strategy for the pharmacy benefit management division, OptumRx. Berkowitz serves on the board of directors of several publicly traded healthcare companies including Lundbeck A/S, Esperion Therapeutics, Uniphar and Zealand Pharmaceuticals.

Arcutis Biotherapeutics – California-based Arcutis announced that Bruce Binkowitz has joined as Vice President of Biometrics. Most recently, Binkowitz was the Vice President of Biometrics at Shionogi, Inc. Before that, he spent over 30 years at Merck and Co e has worked across all phases of drug development and across many therapeutic areas including dermatology, oncology, respiratory, metabolism/diabetes, cardiovascular and ophthalmology.

Heat Biologics – Former U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor was appointed to the Biothreat Advisory Board at Heat Biologics. Pryor currently serves with the law firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Pryor joins David Lasseter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction; Former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who also serves as the Secretariat of the Alliance for Biosecurity; Andrew C. Weber, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs; and Dr. Gregory Koblentz, Associate Professor at George Mason University and leading expert on chemical and biological weapons on the board.

Beyond Air – Douglas Larson was named Chief Financial Officer of Beyond Air. He succeeds Douglas Beck, who will remain a consultant with the company. Larson recently served as Vice President, Finance and Head of Global Controlling at DBV Technologies, Inc. Prior to DBV, Larson served as the CFO of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s International division.

Adverum Biotechnologies – Jim Wang was named senior vice president, head of regulatory affairs. Wang will lead regulatory strategies and execution for the company’s product pipeline. Wang joins Adverum from PTC Therapeutics, where he served as vice president, global head of regulatory strategy. Previously, he worked with Spark Therapeutics, serving as vice president, head of regulatory affairs strategy. In prior positions, he was executive director, global regulatory affairs at Shire Pharmaceutical; senior director at Novo Nordisk; and director of CV, diabetes, and obesity at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Aristea Therapeutics – Justin Thacker was named CFO of San Diego-based Aristea. He previously served as Vice President, Finance at Design Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Finance, at Synthorx, Inc. Thacker has also held roles at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc., Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Humacyte, Inc. – B.J. Scheessele was named Chief Commercial Officer. Scheessele previously served as Executive Vice President of Global Marketing for Quest Medical Imaging Inc. Before that, Scheessele spent 10 years at LifeCell Corporation. Earlier in his career, he worked in business development and product management with Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson Company.

Disc Medicine – Will Savage was promoted to Chief Medical Officer and Jonathan Yu was named Chief Business Officer. Additionally, the company named Hua Yang Vice President of Nonclinical Development and Clinical Pharmacology and Sarah Tuller as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Prior to Disc, Yang served as the Vice President of DMPK and Clinical Pharmacology at Agios Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Agios, Yang held positions in DMPK and drug discovery at Millennium/Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Tuller held leadership positions in regulatory affairs for rare disease programs at Astellas Pharma, and prior to Astellas, at companies including Biogen, Fresenius and Baxter.

Umoja Biopharma – Greg Sargen was appointed to the board of directors. Sargen most recently served as CFO and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Cambrex Corporation. Prior to Cambrex, he served as Executive Vice President and CFOat Expanets, Vice President of Finance in the Chemicals Manufacturing Division of Fisher Scientific, and held executive positions with Merck, Heat and Control, and Deloitte & Touche. In addition to his role at Umoja, he also serves on the boards of Protara Therapeutics, Avid Bioservices, and Kindeva Drug Delivery.

Nacuity Pharmaceuticals – Robert R. Ruffolo was appointed to the board of directors of Nacuity. Ruffolo currently serves as Chief Innovation Officer for Versicolor Technologies. He was President of R&D and Senior Vice President of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now, Pfizer) from 2002 to 2008. Prior to Wyeth, Ruffolo was Senior Vice President in R&D at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GSK) for 17 years.

Dotmatics Ltd. – U.K.-based Dotmatics tapped Michael Swartz to lead its Enterprise Product Strategy and Management functions. Prior to joining Dotmatics, he was the Vice President of Software Solutions and Strategy at PerkinElmer Informatics. Swartz has also served as Vice President of Knowledge Management at CambridgeSoft, a pioneer in the Electronic Lab Notebook market.

Connect Biopharma Holdings – Jiang Bian was named General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Bian joins Connect Biopharma from Guardant Health, Inc., where he served as Senior Counsel. Prior to Guardant Health, Bian was with Shartsis Friese LLP. Bian also held positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Counsel at Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

4D Path – Craig A. Bunnell, CMO of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, joined the advisory board of 4D.

Applied Molecular Transport, Inc. – Holly Schachner, CMO of DoubleRainbow Biosciences, was appointed to the board of directors. Prior to DoubleRainbow, Schachner served as senior vice president and therapeutic head of clinical science at MyoKardia. Prior to MyoKardia, Schachner was CMO of specialty medicine at Allergan.

Renovacor – Matt Killeen was named chief scientific officer of Renovacor. Killeen joins Renovacor from BioMarin where he led the discovery and development of AAV-based gene therapies for inherited cardiac diseases. Prior to BioMarin, Killeen led efforts to support the commercialization and launch of new therapies for multiple sclerosis at Biogen. He also advised pharmaceutical companies on R&D and commercialization strategies for multiple pipeline therapies for cardiovascular diseases at Decision Resources Group, now Clarivate.

Rebus Biosystems, Inc. – Tarif Awad joined Rebus Bio as vice president of Scientific Affairs. Awad previously directed the Reproductive Health program at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

iBio, Inc. – William D. Clark was appointed to the board of directors of Texas-based iBio. Since 2011, he has served as the president and CEO of Genocea Biosciences, Inc. Prior to joining Genocea, Clark was Chief Business Officer at Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. Previously, he was a Principal at Care Capital, LLC, a venture capital firm.

BioCryst – Steven Galson, former director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, was appointed to the board of directors. Most recently, Galson served as the senior vice president, research and development at Amgen. Prior to Amgen, where he also led regulatory affairs, Galson spent more than 20 years in public service roles across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Codagenix – Tyler Cook was named CFO of New York-based Codagenix, Inc. Cook joins Codagenix from Samus Therapeutics, where he served as CFO. Before his time with Samus, Cook was a General Manager of Allied Universal Security Services. Cook’s experience also includes serving as Senior Vice President of Finance, Administration and Information Technology at Ziopharm Oncology and roles in the financial sector at KLS Professional Advisors and Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

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