BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Jan. 11
Cygnal Therapeutics – Roche veteran Pearl Huang was named chief executive officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based Cygnal Therapeutics. Cygnal, a Flagship Pioneering company, is a biotech focused on exoneural biology for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune conditions, inflammation, and other diseases. Huang most recently served as global head of therapeutic modalities at Roche. Prior to that, she was global head of discovery academic partnerships at GlaxoSmithKline. In 2010, she founded BeiGene and served as chief scientific officer until 2012. Prior to her role with BeiGene, she served as vice president, oncology integrator, discovery and early development at Merck. As part of her appointment as CEO, Huang is also joining Cygnal's board of directors and is serving as a venture partner at Flagship Pioneering.
Abeona Therapeutics – Christine Silverstein was appointed the position of chief financial officer and Edward Carr was named chief accounting officer at Abeona Therapeutics. Silverstein, who joined the company in 2016, was previously senior vice president of Finance and Investor Relations. Prior to Abeona, she served as head of investor relations at Relmada Therapeutics. Silverstein began her career as an investment advisor at Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. Prior to Abeona, Carr most recently served as vice president and assistant controller at Coty Inc. Prior to Coty, he served for more than 10 years as chief accounting officer at Foster Wheeler AG.
AstraZeneca – Pharma giant AstraZeneca tapped Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Chief Medical Officer José Baselga who resigned from the cancer center in September under a cloud, as its head of oncology research. AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot called Baselga am “outstanding scientific leader in oncology.” In addition to Baselga, the company named Mene Pangalos, who was previously responsible for AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit, as the new head of its biopharmaceuticals R&D unit.
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals – Former AstraZeneca head of product and portfolio strategy Mark Mallon took over the reins of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals after its former CEO, Peter Hecht, stepped down to take over the helm of a spinout company. Hecht will head up Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc., the spinout company which will focus on its soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) business, while Ironwood remains focused on its gastrointestinal business. Ironwood announced the separation of the businesses in May 2018.
Genevant – Switzerland-based Genevant Sciences, a subsidiary of Roivant, named Roche veteran Margrit Schwarz as its new chief scientific officer and head of R&D, and Pete Zorn as its chief operating officer. Genevant is focused on the discovery and development of a broad range of RNA-based therapeutics. Schwarz joins Genevant from Roche, where she served as vice president and global head of external innovation. Schwarz also held a role as therapeutic area head at Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, Conn., and director of research at Amgen. Zorn served most recently as chief corporate officer and general counsel at Albireo Pharma where he led the corporate development, legal, corporate communications and human resource functions
biOasis – Connecticut-based Bioasis Technologies named Christine Antalik as chief financial officer. Antalik is the managing member of Founders Bridge Advisors, LLC, a business advisory firm located in Connecticut, and has served as chief financial officer of Aeromics, Inc. since October 2016. Previously, she served as CFO of SurgiQuest, Inc.
LEO Pharma –Denmark-based LEO Pharma named Adam B. Raff as director and technical advisor in translational medicine. Raff assumes his new role Jan. 28. Raff’s primary objective will be to support LEO Pharma’s ambitions to advance science within dermatology through translational medicine.
Medidata -- Sastry Chilukuri was tapped as the executive vice president of Digital and AI Solutions for New York-based Medidata. Chilukuri brings 19 years of experience in healthcare technology. He most recently was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he worked for 12 years advising bio-pharma, medical device, technology, public sector and regulatory clients around the world. Prior to that he worked for GE Healthcare in software engineering, product development and operations.
Agilvax Inc. -- David T. Hung, the former CEO of Medivation, joined the board of directors at Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Agilvax, which develops targeted antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of various cancers. After Medivation was acquired by Pfizer in 2016, Hung jumped to helm Axovant Sciences, until his abrupt departure in February 2018.
Immunocore Limited – T-Cell Receptor biotech Immunocore named Bahija Jallal as its CEO. Bahija joins Immunocore from AstraZeneca, where she served as president of MedImmune, that company’s global biologics research and development arm.
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