Biotech Movers and Shakers for Oct. 8

Movers and Shakers

Nimbus Therapeutics - Cambridge, Mass.-based Nimbus tapped Chief Financial Officer Jeb Keiper as its new president and chief executive officer. He succeeds Donald Nicholson at the helm of the company. Keiper has been with the company since 2014 when he joined as chief business officer.

In stepping back from the company, Nicholson said the company is ready to begin its “next chapter of developing important medicines for patients with autoimmune disease, cancer, and metabolic diseases.” He said the next phase of growth at the company will be led by a CEO who has an intimate knowledge of its capabilities.

Prior to Nimbus, Keiper was head of Business Development at GSK Oncology and spent a decade at GlaxoSmithKline in various leadership roles.

Immunarray - Molecular diagnostic company ImmunArray, which is co-headquartered in Rehovot, Israel and Richmond, Va., named Susan Evans as the company’s new CEO. Evans has more than 30 years’ experience in the diagnostics and health technology industry. She has held leadership roles in multiple companies, including Baxter Diagnostics and Dade Behring, as well as Caliper Life Sciences, LifeScan and Beckman Coulter, where she served as vice president scientific affairs.

In addition to the Evans appointment, ImmunArray said given its portfolio of products related to traumatic brain injury, the company will spinout a new entity dedicated to that indication. The new company will be called BRAINBox Solutions and will be helmed by ImmunArray Chairwoman Donna Edmonds. The new company will be based in Richmond.

Memorial Sloan Kettering - MSK CEO Craig Thompson has stepped down from two boards of directors seats he held as part of the fallout from additional scrutiny on the cancer center’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Thompson resigned from the boards of Merck and Charles River Labs and said he will use the time to “redouble” his focus on the priorities of Memorial Sloan Kettering. Thompson’s resignation is part of the fallout related to the resignation of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Chief Medical Officer José Baselga.

GNS Healthcare - Data analytics veteran David Gascoigne as chief operating officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based GNS Healthcare. Gascoigne has two decades of experience scaling and leading data analytics businesses in the healthcare arena, most recently at IBM where he was a partner in Cognitive Analytics and Big Data Platforms. Before IBM, Gascoigne was general manager of analytics services for IQVIA. Gascoigne will leverage his healthcare analytics and general management expertise to lead the scaling of GNS delivery teams, as well as integrate and optimize operational functions across the company, the company said.

Forty Seven Inc. - Days after being named a Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, trailblazing cancer researcher James Allison was named a member of the scientific advisory board for Bay Area-based Forty Seven Inc. In addition to Allison, noted Stanford University researcher James Levy, Padmanee Sharma of MD Anderson Cancer Center and Lois Weiner, the director of Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, were also named inaugural members of Forty Seven’s scientific advisory board.

Mark McCamish, president and CEO of Forty Seven, said the SAC members are noted researchers and the company will work together to expand the company’s understanding of macrophage activation as a new modality for treating cancer and to advance its candidate 5F9 forward as a monoclonal antibody against CD47, with potential in multiple oncology indications.

Appili Therapeutics - Armand Balboni was named the first chief scientific officer for Nova Scotia-based Appili Therapeutics Inc. Balboni will be responsible for the company’s clinical and scientific strategy. Most recently Balboni served as the senior advisor on scientific, regulatory, and medical affairs for the companies within Bloom Burton’s ‘incubation’ program, advising some of the most recent promising young Canadian biotech companies.

Momenta Pharmaceuticals - Ganesh Kaundinya, Momenta’s chief operating officer and chief scientific officer, General Counsel Bruce Leicher, commercial head Robert Ciappenelli, and CFO Scott Storer, were all casualties of a layoff at Momenta Pharmaceuticals. This week the company slashed 50 percent if its staff following a strategic review designed to focus the company’s resources on two biosimilar candidates in its pipeline, a biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira and a proposed biosimilar to Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Orencia. As a result of the leadership changes, Momenta said Alejandra Carvajal will assume the roles of chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary; Michelle Robertson will take over as CFO and treasurer; Young Kwon will assume the role of CBO; Anthony Manning will become CSO; Jo-Ann Beltramello will become chief human resources and infrastructure officer; Ian Fier will become chief manufacturing and program officer; and Santiago Arroyo will continue as chief medical officer.

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