BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Jan. 4

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UroGen – Industry veteran Elizabeth Barrett took over the reins of UroGen Pharma. She replaces Ron Bentsur as steps down from his role as chief executive officer. Barrett joins UroGen from her brief tenure as head of Novartis Oncology. Prior to that, she served as Global President of Oncology at Pfizer Inc.

Tiburio -- Abraham N. Ceesay left his role as chief operating officer of scPharmaceuticals to take over as the new CEO of Tiburio, a spin out of orphan drug accelerator Cydan. The new company focused on endocrine diseases is based in Cambridge, Mass.

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Melinta Therapeutics – The word interim has been removed from John H. Johnson’s title at New Haven, Conn.-based Melinta Therapeutics. Prior to the Christmas holiday, Johnson agreed to become the permanent chief executive officer for the company. Johnson had been serving as the interim CEO since Oct. 22. Johnson has held numerous leadership roles at pharma and biotech companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly & Company, ImClone and Pfizer, Inc. Johnson currently serves on the boards of Aveo Oncology, Histogenics Corporation, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is chairman of Strongbridge Biopharma plc.

Kadmon Holdings, Inc. – Bart M. Schwartz has stepped down from his role as chairman of the board of directors for Kadmon Holdings, Inc. Schwartz resigned due to increasing responsibilities at his charitable commitments, including at the All Stars Project, the company said. Kadmon’s Board will identify a new chairman as part of its ongoing process to refresh the composition of the Board. A nationally recognized executive search firm is assisting in this search process.

iCAD, Inc. – Nashua, N.H.-based iCAD announced that Richard Christopher, the company’s chief financial officer, has resigned from the company to pursue another opportunity. Christopher’s final day with the company will be Jan. 11. R. Scott Areglado, the company’s corporate controller, has been named interim CFO. The company will conduct an executive search process to identify a successor to Christopher.

Geron Corporation – The Bay Area’s Geron Corporation said board chairman Hoyoung Huh resigned from the board of directors on Dec. 26 to pursue personal goals. Huh has served as chairman since 2011 and has been a board member since 2010. On Dec. 27, the board named John A. Scarlett, Geron’s president and CEO, as chairman of the board. Also, the board tapped board member Karin Eastham to serve as Lead Independent Director. Eastham will also retain her roles as Chairperson of the Company’s Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. As Lead Independent Director, Ms. Eastham will provide active leadership on behalf of the independent directors of the board.

AIT Therapeutics – Duncan Fatkin was appointed to the newly created position of chief commercial officer of Israel-based AIT Therapeutics. Fatkin will be responsible for leading the company's commercial activities. Over his more than 25 years in the business, Fatkin has held a number of leadership roles across the industry. Most recently he served as head of injection and diabetes care at Becton Dickinson. He also held leadership roles at Zimmer Biomet, Smith & Nephew/Bioventus and DePuy/Johnson & Johnson.

Dermavant Sciences – Philip M. Brown, the former head of global pharmaceutical development at Galderma, the pharmaceutical subsidiary of Nestlé Skin Health, has been named chief medical officer for Basel, Switzerland-based Dermavant Sciences. Prior to his time at Galderma, Brown served as senior vice president of clinical development at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. Brown joins Dermavant as the company prepares to initiate its Phase III program evaluating tapinarof in psoriasis.

Verona Pharma – GlaxoSmithKline veteran Kathleen Rickard was named chief medical officer of London-based Verona Pharma. Prior to Verona, Rickard served in multiple roles at Aerocrine AB. During her 15 years at GSK, Rickard held numerous roles, including vice president of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at the company’s Respiratory Medicines Development Center. In addition to Rickard, Verona named Tara Rheault as head of Research and Development Operations and Global Project Management. Both Rickard and Rheault will be based in the U.S. Rheault started in her role on Jan. 1, and Rickard is expected to start in her role on Feb. 1.

Unum Therapeutics – Cambridge, Mass.-based announced that Christiana Stamoulis, president and chief financial officer, will step down from the company Jan. 31. Stamoulis will leave the company to pursue another opportunity. Unum said it will initiate a search for the next CFO. As the company searches, Chuck Wilson, CEO of Unum Therapeutics, will reassume the role of president and members of the company’s existing finance team will assume the duties and responsibilities of the CFO office on an interim basis.

Arcturus Therapeutics – Andrew Sassine was named chief financial officer of San Diego-based Arcturus Therapeutics Ltd. Sassine had been serving as interim CFO since August 2018. He has served on the company’s board of directors since May 2018. In addition to serving on the Arcturus board, Sassine also serves on the board of iCAD, Inc. and Gemphire Therapeutics.

Translate Bio – Lexington, Mass.-based Translate Bio tapped Robert J. Meyer, a pulmonologist and principal of Greenleaf Health’s Drug and Biological Products team, for its board of directors. Meyer held numerous roles within the FDA, including serving as the Director for the Office of Drug Evaluation II (ODE II) within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), with oversight of pulmonary and allergy, metabolic and endocrine, analgesic and anesthetic, and rheumatologic drug products. After his time at the FDA, Meyer served as head of strategy, policy and safety at Merck Research Laboratories.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals – Nicole Vitullo was named chairperson of New Haven, Conn.-based Achillion Pharmaceuticals’ board of directors. Vitullo is a partner with Domain Associates LLC and has been a member of Achillion's board since September 2010. Vitullo replaces David Scheer as chair. He will remain on the board.  

AC Immune SA – Switzerland-based AC Immune named Marie Kosco-Vilbois its new chief scientific officer. Kosco-Vilbois will report directly to CEO Andrea Pfeifer. Kosco-Vilbois served as CSO of Novimmune since 2005. Prior to Novimmune, Kosco-Vilbois was head of Immunology and Preclinical Pharmacology at the Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute.

Analytics 4 Life – William Revelos was named vice president and general counsel of North Carolina-based Analytics 4 Life, a digital health company. For the past decade, Revelos has served as principal of Insight Legal Services. Prior to that role, Revelos was general counsel of Zeltiq Aesthetics, which was acquired by Allergan. He was also general counsel at Boston Scientific and TriVascular, which was acquired by Boston Scientific.

SQZ Biotech – Watertown, Mass.-based SQZ Biotech named Oliver Rosen its chief medical officer. Rosen will oversee the clinical development of SQZ’s cell therapy pipeline and joins the company as it prepares to enter the clinic with a lead oncology candidate. Rosen most recently served as CMO of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. He has also held roles at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, Genentech, Amgen and Merck.

Audentes Therapeutics -- Eric B. Mosbrooker was tapped as chief commercial officer at San Francisco-based Audentes Therapeutics. He will be responsible for leading the global commercial strategy for the company's growing portfolio of gene therapy product candidates. Mosbrooker joins Audentes from Origin Biosciences, a subsidiary of BridgeBio Pharma. He also served in various commercial operational capacities at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc., Chiron Corporation (now Novartis) and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

ImmusanT, Inc. – Thomas A. Shea has been named the chief financial officer of ImmusanT. He most recently served as CFO for Albireo Pharma and Tolerx, Inc.

TARIS Biomedical – Tony Kingsley was named president and CEO of Lexington, Mass.-based Taris Bio. He replaces Purnanand Sarma, who has stepped down to pursue new opportunities. Kingsley most recently served as president and COO of The Medicines Company. He also was global commercial head of Biogen.

Pliant Therapeutics – San Francisco-based Pliant Therapeutics named Keith Cummings its new CFO and Eduard Gorina as head of clinical development. Cummings joins the company from Citigroup Global Markets and Gorina was head of clinical development at FibroGen.

Atara Biotherapeutics – Isaac Ciechanover will step down as president and chief executive officer of South San Francisco-based Atara Therapeutics. His last day with the company will be June 30. The company’s board of directors has initiated a new CEO search.

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