BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Dec. 17

Three people leaping up an animated arrow with a downtown skyline in the background

Gilead Sciences – Former Roche veteran Daniel O’Day was named chairman and chief executive officer of Gilead Sciences. He will assume his new role March 1. O’Day takes over following the retirement of John Milligan, who announced in July that he planned to step down by the end of the year. O’Day currently serves as CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals. He has been in that role since 2012. Prior to that, he led Roche Diagnostics. In the interim between Milligan’s departure and O’Day’s joining the company, Greg Alton, the company’s chief patent officer, will serve as interim-CEO.

Allen Institute -- Former Eli Lilly executive Tom Bumol was named head of the new Allen Institute for Immunology. The new division of the Allen Institute is dedicated to exploring and gaining a better understanding of the immune system. The Institute for Immunology will launch with 70 employees. The new division will have an initial focus on two cancers and its causes, multiple myeloma and melanoma, as well as three autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Click here to get the latest life sciences jobs, tailored for you. Subscribe now to job alerts

ProQR Therapeutics – Netherlands-based ProQr made several changes to its management team, including new hires, as well as promotions. Aniz Girach joins the company as its new chief medical officer. Most recently, Girach worked as the CMO for Nightstar Therapeutics where he oversaw the development of gene therapies for inherited retinal disorders. Smital Shah was promoted to chief business and financial officer. Shah joined ProQR in 2014 as CFO. Prior to ProQR, Shah was at Gilead Sciences, where she managed their multi-billion dollar debt, cash and investment portfolios. Tiffany Burt was named head of commercial. And Lisa Hayes joined the company as head of investor relations and corporate communications. Hayes joined from Celgene, where she was most recently senior director of investor relations. In addition to the hires, ProQR said at year’s end, Chief Corporate Development Officer René Beukema and Robert Cornelisse, Chief People and Organization, will retire. Neither one will be replaced in the management team.

Genocea Biosciences – Cambridge, Mass.-based Genocea named Girish Aakalu as its new chief business officer. Aakalu, who was most recently Global Head of External Innovation at Ipsen, will lead the company’s business development efforts. He also held leadership roles at Pfizer and Genentech. Additionally, Genocea tapped Thomas Davis as its new chief medical officer and Derek Meisner as general counsel. Davis previously served as CMO of Gadeta B.V., a Dutch cell therapy company pursuing novel cancer targets and also held the role of CMO at Celldex. Meisner is the company’s first in-house general counsel.

Theradiag – French diagnostics company Theradiag named Bertrand de Castelnau as its new CEO. Bertrand de Castelnau will replace Michel Finance, whose term expires on Dec. 31. He will assume his new duties Jan. 21. In the interim, Fabienne François, who is the company CFO, will assume the role of CEO until de Castelnau is settled in his position. With more than 25 years’ experience in diagnostics, de Castelnau has held leadership roles at Roche Diagnostics, Guerbet and DiaSys.  

Avacta Group plc – Roche veteran Jose Saro was named CMO of U.K.-based Avacta. In this role, Saro will lead Avacta’s Affimer therapeutic development strategy and drive the in-house programs into the clinic. Saro joins Avacta from Roche where he held the role of Senior Translational Medicine Leader at the Roche Innovation Center Zurich in which he focused on immuno-oncology and the development of combination products. Prior to his role at Roche, Saro was director of oncology global development and medical affairs at Bristol Myers Squibb.

MEDIAN Technologies – Nozha Boujemaa was named chief science and innovation officer at France-based Median Technologies, an imaging solutions company. Boujemaa is a known leader in the field of artificial intelligence and data science. She is a director of research at Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics. In 2017, Nozha Boujemaa founded the DATAIA Institute, an interdisciplinary Institute on Data Sciences, Artificial Intelligence & Society, which she will run until the end of 2018.

CARMAT – Pascale d'Arbonneau was named CFO of Carmat, the maker of the total artificial heart. d'Arbonneau spent the bulk of her career at GlaxoSmithKline, most recently as vice president of compliance and control integration. Most recently, d'Arbonneau served as executive director of the Econocom International B.V. family office.

Aphena Pharma Solutions, Inc.Shawn Reilley was named as the new CEO of Aphena. He will take over from Kevin Kerchner, who announced his retirement earlier this month. Reilley was most recently president of Anderson Brecon, a contract packaging company.

biOasis Technologies – Connecticut-based Bioasis named Deborah A. Rathjen as its executive chairman of the board of directors. Rathjen had served as an independent director previous to this appointment. As a result of her appointment, Rathjen has resigned from the audit and compensation committees.

Know about someone making a big move in the life sciences industry? Send editorial suggestions to for inclusion in our Monday Movers and Shakers roundup. Looking to make a move yourself? Check out BioSpace’s job board for thousands of the latest life sciences jobs. 

Back to news