BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Feb. 26


Aevitas Therapeutics – Fortress Biotech company Aevitas named Markus Peters as president and chief executive officer. Peters most recently served as the chief operating officer of Gemini Therapeutics after serving as the chief commercial officer of Agilis Biotherapeutics. Peters will lead the company as it advances its proprietary platform designed to deliver engineered, fully functional, shortened complement factor H (CFH) via adeno-associated virus (AAV). Before Agilis, Peters held leading roles at Synageva BioPharma, and at Alexion, which acquired Synageva. Earlier in his career, Peters served in pipeline planning and commercial roles with increasing responsibility at Merck, Wyeth/Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim. Aevitas also appointed Catherine Bowes Rickman to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to support the advancement of its innovative program for the treatment of dry AMD.

Paragon Biosciences – Jordan Dubow was named chief medical officer at Paragon Biosciences. Dubow is responsible for identifying and evaluating innovation opportunities utilizing his clinical and regulatory expertise and providing guidance to Paragon’s seven portfolio companies. Prior to joining Paragon, Dubow was the CMO at Avadel Pharmaceuticals.  Dubow served as vice president of clinical and medical affairs at Clintrex. He has held leadership positions at Cynapsus Therapeutics and started his pharmaceutical career at AbbVie as a medical director in neuroscience clinical development.

Kira Pharmaceuticals – Cambridge, Mass.-based Kira Pharmaceuticals expanded its leadership team with three new members. Kathy He was named chief business, officer, Richard Lee was named CMO and Dana Zhang was appointed chief commercial officer in China. He joins Kira after serving as CBO and Head of Corporate Development at Abbisko Therapeutics, where she led the company’s B and C financing rounds. Prior to Abbisko, He served as a partner at several investment firms, was founder and CEO of Vivregen, and led commercial launches of several blockbuster drugs in the US at multi-national companies including Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Abbott. Lee previously served as Head of Hematology at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Lee has also served in clinical and medical affairs leadership roles at several well-known pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Roche, Genentech, Millennium/Takeda, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers-Squibb. Most recently, Zhang served as General Manager of Greater China for Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Prior to her nine years at Alexion, Zhang was Head of Business Development for Celgene China, Country Manager for Actelion China, led the successful launch of Tracleer, and held consulting roles at Genzyme and Keller Pharma Consulting.

PYC Therapeutics – Glenn Noronha was named chief development officer of Australia-based PYC Therapeutics. Noronha will oversee the company’s translational clinical development, regulatory, manufacturing and preclinical development activities as it advances its pipeline of multiple drug candidates which is initially focused on inherited ocular diseases. He previously served as chief scientific officer at BridgeBio Pharma and also serves as CSO for Fortify Therapeutics, Clearside Biomedical and Retinagenix Therapeutics.

Optibrium – Rae Lawrence was named director of Software Development at U.K.-based Optibrium. Rae joins Optibrium from Cancer Research UK where she was Head of Informatics and Modelling at its Manchester Institute.

immunoSCAPE -- Geoff Nosrati was named CBO of ImmunoScape. Before joining ImmunoScape, Nosrati advised biotechnology clients at McKinsey & Co., with a focus on corporate strategy, finance, due diligence and M&A. He most recently held senior executive positions at Aduro Biotech, where he led strategy and corporate development.

Toxys -- Torben Østerlund was named CSO of Netherlands-based Toxys BV. After various academic research positions at leading Swedish universities, Torben joined the Danish biotech CRO Bioneer in 2007 as group leader of mammalian cell technology. After serving as in vitro pharmacologist and project leader at leading Danish biotechnology company Zealand Pharma, Torben moved to AstraZeneca in 2014 to support cell assay development and later drug safety assessment and toxicology including cell-based safety assays. In 2018, he joined the Swedish biotech CRO Pelago Bioscience and in 2019 Torben was appointed as Head of cell biology at Belgian biotechnology company Confo Therapeutics.

Truvian Sciences – Jay Srinivasan, former Divisional VP of Automation and Informatics at Abbott, was named chief product officer at Truvian Sciences. Several new investors will join the board of directors, including Glen Tullman, Managing Partner of 7wireVentures, Founder and former Executive Chairman and former CEO of Livongo Health, and former CEO of Allscripts and Enterprise Systems; Greg Wasson, President and Co-Founder of Wasson Enterprise and former President and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance; and Megh Gupta, Partner at Wittington Ventures and former Global Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Element AI. Renowned inventor Dean Kamen, known for his work in developing numerous medical devices including drug infusion pumps, portable dialysis machines, insulin pumps, and prosthetic arms has been named to the position of Senior Technology Advisor.

TriNetX – Former Pfizer CEO and Chairman Ian Read was named chairman of the board of directors at TriNetX. Read began his career at Pfizer in 1978 and was named CEO in 2010 and Chairman of the Pfizer Board of Directors in 2011. Read is currently an operating executive at the Carlyle Group. In addition to Read, the new members of the TriNetX board are Steve Wise, Joe Bress, and Ashley Evans from Carlyle. They join current board members Gadi Lachman, Jeff Margolis, and Leslie Henshaw, and board observers Joe Volpe and Ryohei (Rio) Umezawa.

Spark Therapeutics – Cynthia Pussinen was named chief technical officer of Spark Therapeutics, a Roche company. As CTO, she will oversee Spark’s manufacturing and technical operations, including pipeline process development, preclinical and clinical manufacturing.

Previously, Pussinen served as global vice president and general manager, Life Sciences and Specialty Chemicals, for Honeywell International, Inc. Prior to her role at Honeywell, she was the executive vice president, Technical Development, Operations and Supply Chain for Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Cynthia also worked at Ipsen Biosciences, the U.S. subsidiary of Ipsen, serving as president and, prior to that, vice president of Technical Operations and Development. She previously spent more than 18 years at Pfizer in a variety of roles including portfolio and project management, logistics and supply chain, pharmaceutical sciences and as a scientist in medicinal chemistry.

ReForm Biologics -- James (Jim) Sherblom joined the board of directors of ReForm as chairman to lead the shift in strategy. Sherblom was the founding CFO of Genzyme and was also the founding CEO of Transgenic Sciences Inc., which he also took public and later sold to Genzyme. In addition, he founded Seaflower Ventures and was a founding member of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

Clarus Therapeutics – Richard Peterson was named CFO of Illinois-based Clarus Therapeutics. Peterson succeeds Steve Bourne, who will become Clarus' chief administrative officer. Prior to joining Clarus, Peterson served as CFO for several clinical stage biopharmaceutical companies, including Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Dermavant Sciences Inc., and Novan Inc. He was also the CFO of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, a commercial pharmaceutical company.

ImmunityBio – John Brennan, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Gen. Wesley Clark were appointed to the board of directors of ImmunityBio. With the appointment of Brennan and Clark, the company’s board expands to four directors, including Christobel Selecky, who was appointed to the board in August 2020, and Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of ImmunityBio.

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