BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Feb. 22

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AllerganBob Hugin, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene, was named to the board of directors of Allergan. Brent Saunders, chairman and CEO of Allergan, praised Hugin for his “deep operational, financial and commercial experience.” Hugin helmed Celgene for 19 years. Last year, after stepping down from Celgene, Hugin announced a run for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, but lost to two-term Sen. Bob Menendez. When taking the spot on the board of directors, Hugin said he sees a company with “market leading positions in four therapeutic areas, a promising R&D pipeline and a focus on executing its business strategy.”

SurModics, Inc. -- Timothy J. Arens, vice president of corporate development and strategy, was named chief financial officer of Minnesota-based Surmodics, Inc. Arens was named interim CFO in May 2018 following the departure of Andrew LaFrence. Arens’ corporate development and strategy responsibilities will be absorbed into his CFO role. Arens joined Surmodics in February 2007 as director of business development and has held various leadership roles.

Arix Bioscience – London-based Arix reappointed Chief Investment Officer Joe Anderson as CEO. Jonathan Peacock, executive chairman, will become non-executive chairman and Sir Christopher Evans will retire from the board. Evans will remain a consultant to the company. These changes will take place with immediate effect.

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RedHill Biopharma –North Carolina-based RedHill Biopharma tapped Rick D. Scruggs as chief operating officer of U.S. operations. Scruggs will be responsible for leading the company’s U.S. operations and promoting its GI products. Scruggs most recently served as executive vice president of business development at Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until that company was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Scruggs also served as chairperson of the board of directors of Oceana Therapeutics, Salix’s European subsidiary. Scruggs has served as a member of RedHill’s board of directors since Jan. 1, 2016

Cerevel Therapeutics – Veteran CNS medicines developer Raymond Sanchez was named chief medical officer for Boston-based Cerevel Therapeutics. Sanchez will oversee the clinical development of the company’s pipeline, including late-stage programs being investigated as potential treatments for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, respectively. Sanchez joins Cerevel Therapeutics from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization, Inc., where he most recently served as senior vice president, global clinical development. He also served as CMO of Avanir Pharmaceuticals during the last half of his 11-year tenure at Otsuka. Previously, Sanchez served in leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Purdue Pharma.

Cell Mogrify Ltd. – U.K.-based Cell Mogrify Ltd. named Darrin M. Disley as CEO. Prior to joining Mogrify, he served as CEO of Horizon Discovery Group for 11 years, where he led the company from start-up through a $113 million IPO, as well as rapid scale-up of the company.

Enzyvant -- Rachelle Jacques was named CEO of Roivant subsidiary Enzyvant. Jacques joins Enzyvant from Alexion where she most recently served as senior vice president and global franchise head of complement. Previously, Jacques was vice president of U.S. Hematology Marketing at Shire and Baxalta and vice president of business operations for the Global Bioscience Business Unit at Baxter International. Jacques succeeds Alvin Shih as CEO. Shih led Enzyvant since November 2016, shortly after the company's founding. Shih will continue to be an advisor to the company.

Denovo BiopharmaLei Zhang was named CMO of Hematology and Bruce M. Wagman was tapped to serve as senior vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at San Diego-based Denovo. Most recently, Zhang served as executive medical director/program lead at Celgene Corporation. Prior to Celgene Zhang worked at Novartis and Eli Lilly. Wagman has held positions of increasing managerial and technical responsibility at companies such as Prometheus Laboratories, Covance Inc., MDS-Pharma, Inc., Astra USA, Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Bicycle Therapeutics – U.K.-based Bicycle Therapeutics made two appointments. Peter B. Leone was named chief business officer and Lee Kalowski, the company CFO was promoted to president of U.S. operations. Leone brings extensive business leadership and investment experience in healthcare and other industries to Bicycle, most recently leading business development at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. Kalowski will assume additional operational responsibilities leading Bicycle’s U.S. subsidiary in his new role as president and will continue to lead the finance organization as CFO.

Verastem – Boston-based Verastem made several appointments this week. Amy C. Cavers was named senior vice president of strategic engagement and alignment. Robert Morgan was named senior vice president of development operations and Erin S. Cox was named senior director of investor relations and corporate communications.

4D Molecular Therapeutics – California-based 4D Molecular Therapeutics also made several changes to its leadership team. The company appointed AveXis veteran Fred Kamal as chief technical officer. Kamal has held leadership roles at Juno Therapeutics and MedImmune. August Moretti, the former CFO at Assertio Therapeutics, takes on the role of CFO at 4D. The company also promoted from within. Peter Francis was named chief medical officer and Theresa Janke was promoted to chief operating officer.

Nexien BioPharma – Denver-based Nexien BioPharma, Inc. announced Joseph F. Aceto was appointed as the company’s Interim Director of Translational Research. In this role, Aceto will oversee the ongoing evolution of Nexien’s research programs, to develop, license, and commercialize pharmaceuticals utilizing cannabinoids as the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

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