BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Jan. 1
ImmunityBio – Fabio M. Benedetti was named chief strategy officer of California-based ImmunityBio. Benedetti will oversee life-cycle management, pipeline and commercial strategy, including medical affairs. Following the completion of ImmunityBio’s proposed merger with NantKwest, Benedetti is expected to assume the role of chief strategy officer of the combined company. Benedetti most recently served as chief medical officer for Apollomics, Inc., where he led global clinical development programs including clinical strategy, clinical development, and regulatory affairs. He also previously served as Global CMO at Taiho Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. and CMO for Taiho Oncology, Inc. Prior to Taiho, he held the positions of senior vice president of Clinical Oncology and CMO at Geron Corporation. He also held roles at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Alligator Bioscience – Christina Reimer was named chief medical officer of Sweden-based Alligator Bioscience. She most recently served as senior Medical Director at Ferring Pharmaceuticals in Copenhagen. Reimer replaces Charlotte Russel and will be responsible for Alligator's drug development candidates, with an emphasis on bringing mitazalimab and ATOR-1017 into Phase II efficacy studies.
Novotech Health – China’s Novotech Health Holdings tapped Zidong Zhang was chief financial officer. Zhang will be responsible for all aspects of financial management and work closely with Novotech Holdings' executive team to support the growth of the business across Asia. Zhang most recently served as CFO at Henlius Biotech. Prior to that, Zhang was an equity research analyst at UBS in New York, where he covered the Major and Specialty Pharmaceutical Sector. He also previously served as Senior Consultant for Bayer A.G.
BetterLife Pharma – Sergei Stetsenko was named to the board of directors of Vancouver-based BetterLife Pharma Inc. Stetsenko is a financier and venture capitalist who is acting chief executive officer of CRG Finance AG, a private venture capital firm in Switzerland. He is currently the CEO of BlockchainK2 Corp., a publicly-listed company investing in blockchain technology solutions for capital markets and other sectors that can benefit from tokenization.
Taysha Gene Therapies – Texas-based Taysha Gene Therapies bolstered its leadership team with the appointments of Greg Gara as senior vice president of Manufacturing and Kimberly Lee as senior vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Prior to joining Taysha, Gara served as vice president of Pharmaceutical Engineering at Sarepta, where he led and managed manufacturing operations for all gene therapy products. Before Sarepta, he served as vice president of Technical Operations and Engineering at AveXis, a Novartis company. Prior to AveXis, he led the facilities and engineering organization at Hospira prior to the company’s acquisition by Pfizer. Before joining Hospira, he spent 15 years at Amgen, holding positions of increasing responsibility. Lee most recently served as Head of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and previously as vice president of Corporate Strategy, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at Raptor Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Horizon Pharma. Prior to Raptor, Lee was a biotechnology sell-side analyst at investment banks, including Jefferies and Wedbush Securities.
Revive Therapeutics – John Fahy was named scientific and clinical adviser to Toronto-based Revive Therapeutics to assist in the expansion and the analysis of the clinical data on the ongoing Phase III clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of Bucillamine in patients with mild-moderate COVID-19. Fahy is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and is a director of UCSF’s severe asthma clinic. He is also the author of a recently published study, titled “Thiol-based drugs decrease binding of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to its receptor and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 cell entry” showing that thiol-based drugs, like Bucillamine, decrease the binding of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to its receptor, decrease the entry efficiency of SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped virus, and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 live virus infection.