BioSpace Movers & Shakers, July 16
Tessara Therapeutics – Cambridge, Mass.-based Tessara Therapeutics tapped Howard Liang as president and chief executive officer. Additionally, the company also expanded its leadership team with multiple appointments. Madhusudan Peshwa was named Chief Technology Officer for Cell Therapy; Bill Querbes was tapped as Senior Vice President of Therapeutic Discovery & Translational Sciences; Cecilia Cotta-Ramusino was promoted to Senior Vice President of Platform Development; Vikram Ranade was named Senior Vice President of Corporate Development; David Pollard was named Head of Bioprocess, and Steve Garbacz was tapped as Head of Finance. Prior to joining Tessara, Liang was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer at BeiGene for six years.
Before BeiGene, Liang spent 10 years at Leerink Partners, where he was Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Equity Research. Peshwa joined Tessara in May 2021 after serving as CTO at Mana Therapeutics Peshwa is responsible for developing the strategy and executing the operating plan encompassing the design, development, and manufacture of Tessara’s proprietary mobile gene element engineered cell therapy product portfolio. Bill Querbes joined Tessara in April of 2021 as Senior Vice President of Therapeutic Discovery and Translational Sciences. Before that, he held the position of Vice President and Fabry Program Lead at AVROBIO. Cecilia Cotta-Ramusino joined Tessara in 2019 as the Head of Platform Development. Cotta-Ramusino was the first employee at insitro where she was the Head of Functional Genomics. Prior to insitro, she was one of the first scientists hired at Editas. Ranade joined Tessara in 2020 as the Head of Corporate Development.
In this role, he drives corporate strategy, business development, and investor relations for Tessara. He was previously at McKinsey & Company, where he was an Associate Partner in the healthcare practice. Pollard, the head of Bioprocess, has over 25 years of bioprocess development. He has held roles at Merck & Co. and Sartorius. Pollard will help Tessara drive digital workflows and high throughput automation to accelerate sustainable gene therapy process development. Steve Garbacz joined Tessara in 2021 as the Head of Finance. He has more than 25 years of experience in financial management for a range of companies, including Biogen, Epizyme, Spero, and Anika.
AbCellera – Neil Berkley has been named Chief Business Officer of AbCellera. Berkley’s role will include leading the strategy and continued growth of AbCellera’s partnership business, which currently includes a diverse portfolio of more than 100 programs with drug developers of all sizes. He joins AbCellera from Halozyme Therapeutics, where he served as Vice President, Head of Business Development. Berkley held leadership roles at Axerovision, COI Pharmaceuticals, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, and GSK. He also cofounded Mpex Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Aptalis, and Vaxiion, a clinical stage bladder cancer company.
Pierre Fabre – Francesco Hofmann was appointed Head of R&D at Pierre Fabre Medical Care. Hofmann will oversee the Group's innovation strategy for pharmaceuticals (oncology, dermatology, rare diseases, health care). Before joining the Pierre Fabre Group, Hofmann had been working as Global Head of Oncology Drug Discovery for Novartis. In this leadership role, he coordinated the discovery and progression into clinical development of no less than twelve new cancer drugs. Hofmann's primary mission will be to accelerate the delivery of new therapeutics to develop the Group's R&D portfolio in pharmaceuticals, through a combination of in-house projects and external partnership opportunities.
Sherlock Biosciences – Bryan Dechairo was named president and CEO of Cambridge, Mass.-based Sherlock. He succeeds co-founder Rahul Dhanda, who will continue to serve as a board member until the end of 2021 and then as strategic adviser in 2022. Dechairo joins Sherlock from Myriad Genetics, where he was executive vice president of clinical development. Before joining Myriad, he was CMO, chief scientific officer and senior vice president of research and development at Assurex Health, which was acquired by Myriad in 2016. Prior to Assurex Health, Dechairo held roles of increasing responsibility at Medco Health Solutions, Pfizer and other diagnostic and therapeutics companies.
Atsena Therapeutics – Jennifer Wellman was appointed to the board of directors of N.C.-based Atsena Therapeutics. Wellman is the Chief Operating Officer of Akouos, Inc., a precision genetic medicine company. Prior to Akouos, Wellman was Head of Product Development Strategy at Spark Therapeutics, Inc., now a subsidiary of Roche Holding AG, where she was also a co-founder. Previously, Wellman was the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Eleusis – London-based Eleusis tapped four members for its board of directors. David Socks, former CEO of Phathom Pharmaceuticals, joined as chairman of the board. Robert Hershberg, former CBO and CSO of Celgene; John Tucker, CEO of SC Pharmaceuticals; and Esther van den Boom, Managing Partner at van den Boom & Associates also joined.
H1 – New York-based H1 announced Mohak Shah has joined the company as SVP of Data Science and Learning. Before joining H1, he was the Vice President of AI and ML at LG Electronics, and prior to that was the Head of Data Science at Bosch.
Renovacor – Jiwen Zhang was named senior vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at Philadelphia-based Renovacor, Inc. She most recently served as vice president, head of regulatory affairs at Passage Bio, Inc., an AAV-based gene therapy company. Prior to her time at Passage Bio, Zhang worked as executive director, head of regulatory affairs at Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc. Zhang also previously worked at GE Healthcare and was responsible for building a regulatory affairs function to support the company’s newly formed cell technology and regenerative medicine business. Before joining GE Healthcare, Zhang held roles of increasing responsibility at several companies including Merck and Co. Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer) and Sanofi.
Opiant Pharmaceuticals – Matthew Ruth was named Chief Commercial Officer of Opiant Pharmaceuticals. From 2015 until 2019, Ruth was responsible for building out the U.S. Operational, Commercial, Government Affairs and Medical Affairs team in preparation for the launch and commercialization of Opiant’s branded nasal naloxone spray. Prior to his work in the opioid overdose space, Ruth was Chief Operating Officer for RightCare Solutions, a medical technology company. Earlier in his career, Ruth was Vice President of Azur Pharma. From 2006 to 2007, he was Vice President for Avanir Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Allergan.
Glytec – Jordan Messler was named CMO of Waltham, Mass.-based Glytec. In this new role, Messler will be responsible for spearheading continuous improvement initiatives for Glytec’s clinical strategy and product development while supporting the delivery, customer, quality and regulatory teams to ensure ethical and safe glycemic management best practices. Messler joined Glytec in October 2018 as the Executive Director of Clinical Practice. Before Glytec, he was the Medical Director for the Morton Plant Hospitalist group.
T-knife Therapeutics – Megan Baierlein was named COO of Bay Area-based T-knife. Baierlein was most recently the senior vice president and COO at Audentes Therapeutics, overseeing program management, clinical operations, and general and administrative functions. Prior to Audentes, Baierlein served as executive director of program management at Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc. Before that, she held management positions at BioMarin in both program management and clinical operations. Earlier in her career, Baierlein held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech and Elan Pharmaceuticals.
Ji Xing Pharmaceuticals – Shanghai-based Ji Xing tapped Joseph Romanelli as CEO. Romanelli has more than 25 years of biopharmaceutical and biotechnology experience, nearly all with Merck & Co., Inc. Most recently, he served as the President of MSD China for more than four years, where he oversaw over 20 product launches, including Keytruda and Gardasil. From an industry and organizational perspective, he was named a “Top Ten Pharma Leader of the Year” in 2019 by the National Healthy China Forum and managed the company’s more than 5,000 employees in the market. He also briefly served as President of U.S. Human Health at Merck overseeing the company’s largest market by revenue. Previously, Romanelli held senior roles, including Vice President of Investor Relations.
Hillstream BioPharma – Scott J. Dixon, Associate Professor of Biology at Stanford University and Faculty Fellow of Stanford’s ChEM-H initiative and Member at Stanford Cancer Institute, joined the Scientific Advisory Board of Hillstream BioPharma.
Certara – Nicolette D. Sherman was named Chief Human Resources Officer at Certara. Most recently, Sherman was CHRO at Oyster Point Pharma. Prior to that, she served in multiple roles at Sanofi for 12 years, including Vice President of North American Human Resources Operations and Vice President of Global Leadership Development.
BeyondSpring – Brendan Delaney, the Chief Commercial Officer of Constellation Pharma, was appointed to the BeyondSpring Board of Directors. Prior to joining Constellation, Delaney was the CCO at Immunomedics, where he led the buildout of the marketing, sales, market access and commercial operations teams. Previously, he served as Vice President of U.S. Hematology-Oncology at Celgene Corporation. Prior to joining Celgene, he held various commercial roles at both Novartis Oncology and Genentech, where he led several successful product launches for blockbuster brands.
Cygnal Therapeutics – Timothy Zheng joined Cygnal Therapeutics as Senior Vice President of Biology. Zheng joins Cygnal from Boehringer Ingelheim, where he was a Highly Distinguished Research Fellow. He also served as a Member of the U.S. Research Site Leadership Committee and as Executive Director, Immune Modulation. Prior to Boehringer Ingelheim, he held a number of roles at Biogen and Biogen Idec over a 17-year period with increasing responsibilities, most recently as Director of Immunology and then Director of Neuroimmunology.
Byondis – Timo van den Berg was named Senior Director of Immuno-Oncology R&D at Netherlands-based Byondis BV. Most recently he serves as head and principal investigator, Immunotherapy Laboratory, Department of Molecular Hematology at Sanquin Research, a non-profit organization responsible for the blood supply in the Netherlands. Since 2017, Van den Berg has been professor of Immunotherapy at Vrije Universiteit. Van den Berg is a member of many boards, including Amsterdam Infection and Immunity Institute and Cancer Center Amsterdam.
FINN Partners – Kristie Kuhl was promoted to managing partner, Global Health Practice Leader for FINN Partners, an industry media organization. Kuhl joined Finn Partners in 2015 as U.S. Pharma and NY Health Head. She came to FINN after serving as an executive vice president at agencies Cohn & Wolfe and Makovsky, where she drew on her knowledge of pharma marketing, regulatory law, patient advocacy and the U.S. reimbursement system to advance breakthrough therapies.