BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Feb. 1

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Histogen, Inc. –Richard Pascoe was named chairman and chief executive officer of San Diego-based Histogen, Inc. Pascoe will lead the company through its next stages of clinical, corporate development and financial growth. Pascoe has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a strong record of raising financial support. Most recently, Pascoe served as CEO of Apricus Biosciences, Inc. Prior to Apricus, Pascoe was president and CEO of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He also held leadership roles at King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Medco Research, Inc., COR Therapeutics, Inc. and Takeda. Pascoe serves on the board of directors of KemPharm, Inc., and Seelos Therapeutics. 

Indalo Therapeutics -- Robert Jacks, co-founder and former chief financial officer of Symbiomix Therapeutics, has taken over the reins of Cambridge, Mass.-based Indalo Therapeutics. Jacks assumes the helm of the company as it aims to take its lead fibrotic drug candidate, IDL-2965, into the clinic this year. Prior to Symbiomix, Jacks held key positions at several private biotechnology firms, including Tobira Therapeutics and ACT Biotech. Jacks also previously served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for OrbiMed and as a director of business development for Pfizer, where he led the Licensing Leadership Teams for Oncology and Infectious Diseases.

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LEO PharmaThomas Hultsch was named head of translational medicine at Denmark-based LEO Pharma. Hultsch’s primary task will be to build LEO Pharma’s foothold in translational medicine across the U.S. and Europe and lead the establishment of a new Translational Medicine group in Boston.

Optibrium – Cambridge, U.K.-based Optibrium named Clare Devlin its new financial director. The new role at the drug discovery software company will support its growth and expansion plans, the company said. Devlin will be responsible for managing all financial aspects of the business and will also help develop business strategy.

Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc. -- Michael Brawer was named chief medical officer of Houston-based Nanospectra Biosciences. He will report directly to CEO David Jorden. Brawer will assume responsibility for leading Nanospectra's overall clinical development, regulatory and medical affairs activities. Brawer most recently served as CMO of MDx Health. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of medical affairs urology at Myriad Genetics Laboratories.

Novartis Oncology -- Susanne Schaffert was appointed CEO of Novartis Oncology, the company announced in its year-end statement. Schaffert joined Novartis more than 20 years ago and has spent the last six years in the Oncology business in various leadership roles, including five years as Europe Region Head and most recently as President of AAA, the company’s recently acquired radioligand therapy business.

Maverick Therapeutics – Brisbane, Calif,-based Maverick Therapeutics promoted Robert DuBridge to executive vice president of research and chief technology officer. Chad May was promoted to senior vice president of research and development. DuBridge is a co-founding scientist of Maverick and has led the design of the company’s proprietary COBRA platform for the development of conditionally active T cell engaging therapies for solid tumor indications. In 2010, he founded Full Spectrum Genetics. Before that DuBridge led the New Technologies and Antibody Engineering groups at Eos and then PDL Biopharma. May joined the company at its inception in January 2017 and has led the generation of data validating the novel COBRA mechanism of action and demonstrating preclinical proof of concept of a marked therapeutic window in the solid tumor target arena.  Prior to joining Maverick, May was the senior director of Targeted Immunotherapy at Pfizer in the Oncology Research Unit. Before that, he held roles of increasing responsibility at ImClone Systems.

CaroGen Corporation – Harry H. Penner, Jr., the former CEO of Neurogen and a serial entrepreneur, was named chairman of the board of directors of Connecticut-based CaroGen. He founded multiple biotech and pharma companies, including Affinimark Technologies, Inc., Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Rib-X Pharmaceuticals (now Melinta Therapeutics), Omax Health, Inc., RxGen, Inc., New Haven Pharmaceuticals, NeuroCyte Therapeutics and QCDx, Inc. He serves on the board of Celldex Therapeutics. In addition to his role at Neurogen, Penner also held leadership roles at Novo Nordisk.

Nuvelution Pharma –San Francisco-based Nuvelution Pharma named Milena Kanova-Petrova as its new senior vice president of operations. Prior to Nuvelution, Kanova-Petrova served 21 years at IQVIA in numerous positions with increasing responsibility. Most recently, she was vice president of clinical project leadership, and global therapeutic area head for CNS at IQVIA.

Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) -- ACRO named Cynthia Verst, president of Global R&D Design and Delivery Innovation at IQVIA, as its 2019 chairperson. Alistair Macdonald, CEO of Syneos Health, was elected vice chair. Verst previously served as president of Clinical Operations for the Research and Development Solutions organization and president of Real-World & Late Phase Research at IQVIA. She has held leadership roles at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, UnitedHealth Group and other clinical research organizations. ACRO also elected Tom Zajkowski, senior vice president of finance and treasurer at Syneos Health, as treasurer. Eric Sherbet, executive vice president and general counsel at IQVIA, as secretary.

GlobalReach BI – San Francisco-based GlobalReach BI named Jason Moore as vice president of business development to amplify its client services across the U.S. market. Most recently, Moore led Navigant Consulting’s San Francisco Life Sciences office. He also held leadership roles in KPMG’s life sciences strategy practice and held multiple senior roles in commercial planning and business development with Genentech, Eisai and Suros Surgical.

Calico Life SciencesAarif Khakoo was named head of drug development at South San Francisco-based Calico Life Sciences. In this newly created role, Khakoo will lead early-stage development for the company focusing on therapeutic candidate selection and pre-IND studies through Phase II clinical development. Prior to Calico, Khakoo was at Amgen where he most recently was vice president and head of translational medicine, global development. Khakoo was also Amgen’s South San Francisco site head responsible for site-wide leadership. Prior to Amgen, he was at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

MedMal Direct – Jacksonville, Fla.-based MedMal Direct Insurance Company named Melodee Dixon its new president and CEO. Butler Ball, MedMal Direct's founding president and CEO, will continue to serve as the CEO of Physicians Trust, Inc., MedMal Direct's parent company. Dixon has served as MedMal Direct's Chief Operating Officer since December 2016. Prior to joining MedMal Direct, she held executive roles for various insurance carriers and managing general agencies.

BDC Advisors, LLC – BDC Advisors tapped Centura Health veteran Pam Nicholson as a senior advisor. Nicholson has served in a variety of executive roles with Centura Health, a network of 17 hospitals and 6,000 providers.

Tilray, Inc. – Cannabis-based drugmaker Tilray expanded its senior leadership team with four strategic hires: Greg Christopher as EVP of Operations, formerly with Nestle; Rita Seguin as EVP of Human Resources, formerly with Diageo; Dara Redler as General Counsel, formerly with The Coca-Cola Company; and Charlie Cain as VP of Retail, formerly with Starbucks Corporation.

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

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