BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Feb. 15
Cadent Therapeutics – Longtime industry veteran Jodie Morrison was named the new chief executive officer for Cambridge, Mass.-based Cadent Therapeutics. Morrison takes over as CEO from Michael Curtis, who will remain as company president and head of research and development. Prior to joining Cadent, Morrison served as interim CEO of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Before that, she was president and CEO of Tokai Pharmaceuticals and also held several other leadership positions at the company, including head of clinical affairs and program operations.
Kadmon Holdings – New York-based Kadmon Holdings named David E. Cohen to its board of directors. Cohen has held a number of positions at the New York University School of Medicine, including as chief of allergy and contact dermatitis, vice chairman of clinical affairs and director of occupational and environmental dermatology. Cohen served on the boards of directors of Vyteris from 2011 to 2012 and Connetics from 2005 until its sale to Stiefel in 2006. Cohen also served as past president of the American Dermatological Association.
Eureka Therapeutics -- Hanzhong Li was named senior vice president of corporate development at Eureka Therapeutics, a company developing antibody-TCR T-cell therapies. Prior to joining California-based Eureka, Li was chief financial officer of the Ascentage Pharma Group. Li also worked at Bayer and before that, was a biotech analyst at Morgan Stanley. Li also spent time at Genentech as a research scientist.
bluebird bio – Chip Baird was named CFO of Cambridge, Mass.-based bluebird bio. Baird joins bluebird from Amicus Therapeutics, Inc., where he was the CFO for the past seven years. Prior to Amicus, Baird spent 10 years as CFO of PTC Therapeutics. Baird currently serves as a director of Axcella Health. Baird’s appointment wasn’t the only change made to the leadership team at bluebird. Jeff Walsh, who has held various roles over the last eight years at bluebird bio — including chief operating officer and, most recently, chief financial and strategy officer — will assume the new dedicated role of chief strategy officer to drive corporate development and the company’s overall growth strategy. In addition, Jason Cole, who has served as general counsel since 2014 and chief legal officer since 2016, will assume the new and expanded role of chief operating and legal officer overseeing both operations and legal functions for the company.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals – New Haven, Conn.-based Achillion named Brian Di Donato to the role of chief financial officer. Di Donato has over 20 years of financial and leadership experience and will assume responsibility for finance, accounting and treasury as well as continue to lead investor relations. Prior to joining Achillion, Di Donato worked in fixed-income capital markets as an executive director at Morgan Stanley and vice president at UBS Securities.
Abeona Therapeutics – João Siffert was named CEO of Abeona Therapeutics. Siffert joined Abeona as head of research & development and chief medical officer in 2018 and has served as interim CEO since November of last year. Siffert will retain his responsibilities as Head of R&D and CMO until a clinical development lead is identified. He served as Chief Medical Officer for Ceregene from 2007 to 2011, where he was responsible for clinical development of adeno-associated viral-based gene therapies. In 2017, Siffert was appointed to the board of directors of AveXis.
Amyris, Inc. – Oreste Fieschi was named president of Sweeteners & Ingredients at Emeryville, Calif.-based Amyris, Inc. Most recently, Fieschi led global sales and marketing as the chief commercial officer for Naturex.
AIT Therapeutics – Robert F. Carey was named to the board of directors of AIT Therapeutics. Carey has served as executive vice president and chief business officer at Horizon Pharma since 2014. Before Horizon, he spent more than 11 years as managing director and head of the life sciences investment banking group at JMP Securities.
Sanofi – Ameet Nathwani is taking on a second role at Paris-based Sanofi. In addition to his current role as chief medical officer, Nathwani will assume the role of chief digital officer. As CDO, Nathwani will be responsible for enhancing Sanofi's strategy to integrate digital technologies and medical science to ultimately improve patient outcomes. His mandate will include scaling up Sanofi's ongoing portfolio of digital initiatives by developing broad external partnerships, building out internal infrastructures and exploring new business opportunities for Sanofi in the digital space. Nathwani joined Sanofi in May 2016 as Chief Medical Officer.
Achilles Therapeutics – Markus Dangl was named chief scientific officer of U.K.-based Achilles Therapeutics. Dangl joins Achilles from Medigene AG where he spent three years as senior vice president for Research and Non-clinical Development. Prior to that, he spent 15 years at Roche in Germany, Singapore and the U.S., where he held various managerial positions with increasing responsibility.
Synlogic – Patricia N. Hurter was named to the board of directors of Synlogic, a company applying synthetic biology to beneficial microbes to develop novel, living medicines. Hurter currently serves as the senior vice president of Pharmaceutical and Preclinical Sciences at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Prior to Vertex, Hurter was director of Formulation Design and Characterization at Merck.
PAREXEL -- Four former senior executives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration joined Boston-based PAREXEL’s Regulatory Consulting group. Kurt Brorson joins PAREXEL following 26 years with the FDA, primarily in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Changting Haudenschild spent 12 years with the Office of Tissue and Advanced Therapies in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Mohammad (Mo) Heidaran spent more than 9 years of experience at the FDA’s CBER. Mwango Kashoki brings over 16 years of drug review, development and regulatory experience at the FDA, with cross-disciplinary expertise in all phases of drug development from preclinical development through marketing application and post-approval assessments.
Skyhawk Therapeutics – Waltham, Mass.-based Skyhawk named RNA pioneer Roberto Guerciolini CMO. Guerciolini will lead the clinical development of Skyhawk's novel RNA-targeting small molecule drugs, for therapeutic areas ranging from neurology to oncology and inflammation. Guerciolini held numerous leadership roles at WaVe Life Sciences, SIRNA Therapeutics and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, a company he co-founded.
GV – Former Agios Pharmaceuticals CEO David Schenkein was brought on to GV (Google Ventures) to co-lead its investments in life sciences. He remains chairman of Agios.
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