BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Feb. 4

Executives Walking

As the new year chugs along, biopharma and life sciences companies continue to shape their leadership teams and boards with Movers & Shakers.

Athira Pharma – Grant Pickering, chief executive officer and co-founder of Vaxcyte, has been appointed to the board of directors of Athira Pharma. Pickering previously served as CEO of Mymetics Corporation and Juvaris BioTherapeutics. Prior to Juvaris, Pickering served as senior vice president of Operations at Dendreon Corporation and led marketing and business development for Algos Pharmaceutical Corporation. He began his career at GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson in sales, marketing, and clinical research roles.

Danforth Advisors – Mike Palladino was appointed managing director of Danforth's Strategic and Operational Human Resources (HR) consulting practice. Palladino most recently served as chief operating officer at BlueRock Therapeutics. He previously spent eight years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Resources and Vice President of Global Litigation and Enterprise Risk Management.

OncoArendi Therapeutics SA – Adam Gołębiowski, Zbigniew Zasłona and Agnieszka Rajczuk‑Szczepańska were appointed to the Poland-based company’s management board. Gołębiowski is a co-founder of OncoArendi. Zbigniew Zasłona currently serves as director of Biology at OncoArendi. Rajczuk-Szczepańska currently serves as the Human Resources director at OncoArendi.

Olema Pharmaceuticals – Naseem Zojwalla was named chief medical officer of Bay Area-based Olema. Zojwalla previously led clinical development and strategy at biopharmaceutical companies for Turning Point Therapeutics and Peloton Therapeutics. She served in lead clinical roles at multiple oncology-focused companies, including Onyx Pharmaceuticals, ImClone Systems, and Eisai Inc. Zojwalla succeeds Pamela Klein, M.D., who, as part of a planned leadership transition, will continue to work with the company both as a senior strategic advisor and as a newly appointed member of Olema's Scientific Advisory Board.

Vivacitas Oncology, Inc. – Katherine Peters, associate professor of Neurosurgery at Duke University School of Medicine was added to the company's Neuro-Oncology Advisory Board. Since 2009, Peters has been a faculty member of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center and, in 2019, was designated as its director of Supportive Care and is the Program Director of the PRTBRC Neuro-Oncology Fellowship for Duke University School of Medicine.

ImmunoGen Inc. – Mimi Huizinga was appointed senior vice president and head of Medical Affairs. Huizinga joins ImmunoGen from Rafael Holdings, where she served as chief medical officer and head of Research and Development. Prior to joining Rafael, she served as head of U.S. Oncology Medical for Novartis. Before Novartis, Huizinga was the Chief Health Information Officer at Premier, Inc. Earlier in her career, Huizinga served as the vice president of Quality at Lifepoint Health and an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Covis Pharma Group – Michelle Lock was named chief operating officer of Covis Pharma effective Feb. 7. Also, Sandy Loreaux was named president of U.S. Business operations. Lock previously served as senior vice president and Head of Europe & International for Acceleron Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Acceleron, she was Head of Europe & International for Sage Therapeutics. Before that, Lock spent 25 years with Bristol Myers Squibb in positions of increasing responsibility across global, regional, and in-market commercial business leadership, corporate strategy, and business development roles. Loreaux joined the company in November as senior vice president of U.S. Market Access, Pricing, & Reimbursement. Before Covis, Loreaux served as SVP and General Manager of Critical Care for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Mallinckrodt, she led Market Access and Commercial Operations at Bausch Health after spending 18 years at Sanofi.

F2G – Mark Baglin joins FTG as Chief Commercial Officer, Janelle Anderson joined as Chief Business Officer, and Sylvie Gregoire joined as a Non-Executive Director. Baglin joins from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where he was most recently Head of Marketed Products and directed in-line and late-stage programs. Prior to joining Alnylam, Baglin spent seven years at Shire. Anderson most recently served as chief strategy officer of Century Therapeutics. Before Century, she led the finance team for the Biologics and Vaccines R&D group at Merck. Gregoire is currently executive chair and co-founder of EIP Pharma. She was president of Shire's Rare Disease division for six years before this.

Tenax Therapeutics, Inc. – Robyn Hunter was appointed to the board of directors of Tenax. Hunter is an independent director and will chair the Board's audit and compliance committee. Hunter currently serves as the chief financial officer of Fortress Biotech, Inc., an innovative biopharmaceutical company. Before that, Hunter served as the vice president and Corporate Controller of Fortress Biotech. Prior to Fortress Biotech, she served as Senior Vice President and CFO of Schochet Associates, Inc.

Checkmate Pharmaceuticals – Jon Wigginton was appointed to the board of directors at Checkmate. Wigginton currently serves as senior advisor and chairman of the SAB at Cullinan Oncology, Inc. Wigginton previously served as CMO at Cullinan Oncology, Inc., and an advisor for MPM Capital. Prior, he was CMO at MacroGenics. Wigginton also held leadership positions at Bristol Myers Squibb.  

Lyell Immunopharma – Gary Lee was named CSO of Bay Area-based Lyell Immunopharma. Before joining Lyell, Lee served as CSO at Senti Bio. Prior to that, he held scientific and leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Sangamo Therapeutics.

Navigo Proteins – Chris-Carol Bremer was named chief development officer of Germany-based Navigo. Bremer joins Navigo Proteins from the Grünenthal Group as their executive vice president.

Clover Biopharmaceuticals – Nicholas Jackson was named president of Global Research and Development at China-based Clover. In his most recent role with the Centre for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI), Jackson was the Head of Vaccine Programs and Technology for Research and Development. He also served as the Managing Director of CEPI's China office in Shanghai. Prior to his work at CEPI, Jackson was vice president, Head of Global Research for Sanofi Pasteur.

ObsEva SA – Katja Buhrer was named chief strategy officer. She was previously vice president of Corporate Development, Investor Relations, and chief of staff at Kindred Biosciences.

ImmuneID – Jeremiah Degenhardt was named senior vice president of Computational Biology. Degenhardt joins ImmuneID from Maverick Therapeutics, where he was head of Translational Oncology & Bioinformatics. Before Maverick, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences.

OptimizeRx Corp. – Mike Rousselle has been named to MM+M's 40 Under 40 list. Rousselle is a data science leader focused on advancing healthcare marketing through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to efficiently reach target audiences through innovative technology applications. At OptimizeRx, Rousselle is applying his AI expertise in healthcare and marketing to create tailored solutions for life sciences customers.

IsoPlexis – Jason Ou was named president and General Manager of the APAC Region. He joined Isoplexis from Tecan, a global provider of automated workflow solutions in the life science and clinical diagnostics markets.

Bluejay Therapeutics – Nancy Shulman joined Bluejay as CMO. Prior to Bluejay, Shulman worked at Roche, Genentech, AbbVie, and most recently at Ambys Medicines.

Mesoblast Limited – Eric Rose was named CMO of Mesoblast Limited. Rose has been a non-executive director of Mesoblast since 2013.

DiaMedica Therapeutics – Dominic Cundari was named chief commercial officer. Prior to joining DiaMedica, Cundari spent over 20 years launching innovative products and building and managing commercial organizations in multiple therapeutic areas at Genentech. He was most recently Senior Director of Genentech's vascular franchise. Before that, Cundari was Senior Director of Genentech's cardiovascular franchise and Director of Cardiovascular sales.

Fabric Genomics, Inc. – Jvoti Palaniappan was named CCO. Prior to joining Fabric Genomics, Palaniappan was SVP of Diagnostics at Adaptive Biotechnologies. Before this, he served as CCO for Bigfoot Biomedical, where he built all the foundational commercial capabilities for the innovative start-up. Palaniappan also spent 11 years at Abbott and spent time at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Candel Therapeutics – Francesca Brone was named CSO. Barone was previously Candel Therapeutics's vice president, Head of Research, joining the company in November 2020. Before Candel, Barone was Head of Experimental Medicine at Kintai Therapeutics and Senda Biosciences, two Flagship Pioneering companies.

Real Chemistry – Andy Johnson was named CIO. Johnson comes to Real Chemistry from Wunderman Thompson, where he served as CIO and previously held various IT leadership roles.

Kronos Bio – Elizabeth Olek was named senior vice president, Clinical Development, joining the company from Loxo Oncology, an Eli Lilly company. Prior to Loxo, Olek served as CMO at Achillion Pharmaceuticals and in clinical leadership roles at Novartis. She began her industry career at Genetics Institute and then InterMune.

Curie Therapeutics – Kapil Dhingra was appointed to the board of directors. Dhingra serves on the boards of directors of Lava Therapeutics (as Chairman of the Board), Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc., Replimune, Inc., Median Technologies, and Autolus Therapeutics plc. He previously served on the boards of Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., Biovex, Micromet, Algeta, YM Biosciences, Epitherapeutics, Advanced Accelerator Applications, and Exosome Diagnostics which were all acquired by major pharmaceutical companies.

Aptinyx Inc. – Illinois-based Aptinyx formed its Scientific Advisory Board. Inaugural members of the board include Chadi Abdallah, Associate Professor and the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Chair in the Neuropsychiatry of Military Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome at the Baylor College of Medicine; Lesley Arnold, professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience and director of the Women's Health Research Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Peter LeWitt, professor of Neurology and Sastry Foundation Endowed Chair in Neurology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and former director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Program at Henry Ford Hospital; and Gerard Sanacora, the George D. and Esther S. Gross Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, director of the Yale Depression Research Program, and co-director of the Yale New Haven Hospital Interventional Psychiatry Service.

Voyager Therapeutics – Robin Swartz was promoted to chief operating officer. Swartz joined Voyager Therapeutics in 2021 after spending 25 years with Genzyme and Sanofi Genzyme, where she held a number of leadership positions, including vice president of U.S. and Global Business Operations, vice president U.S. Rare Disease Patient and Product Services, and Senior Director Finance. She also served on the Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC board of directors and was a member of the Executive Leadership Team for three years.

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