BioSpace Movers and Shakers, July 26
Obsidian Therapeutics – Cambridge, Mass.-based Obsidian Therapeutics named several new members of its executive leadership team. The company named Catherine Stehman-Breen as its chief development officer, Ryan Daws as its chief financial officer and head of business development, and Karen Brown as its head of intellectual property and legal affairs. Stehman-Breen will lead the company's development strategy and execution. She was most recently an entrepreneur-in-residence at Atlas Venture, where she served as the chief medical officer of Dyne Therapeutics and Disarm Therapeutics. She also served as the CMO of Sarepta Therapeutics and held roles at Regeneron and Amgen. Daws most recently served as a managing director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Robert W. Baird & Co. with a focus on life sciences companies. Daws was the CFO of Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and also a life science-focused investment banker at Stifel and Cowen. Brown will develop and lead corporate legal and intellectual property strategy. Dr. Brown brings over 20 years of experience in planning and executing on IP and business strategies in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Brown most recently served as the chief intellectual property counsel at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to that, she was senior patent counsel at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Schering-Plough.
Kintai Therapeutics -- Mary Szela, chief executive officer and president of TriSalus Life Sciences, has been appointed to Kintai’s board of directors. Prior to joining TriSalus, Szela was CEO of Novelion Therapeutics, where she resolved the significant legal, regulatory, and compliance issues facing the company and executed a merger to re-capitalize the company within the first year. Before that, Szela was CEO of Melinta Therapeutics, where she led the company’s revitalization effort and accelerated clinical development of its lead asset and pipeline. She also held roles of increasing responsibility at Abbott Laboratories.
Arcis Biotechnology – U.K.-based Arcis named Steve Howell as a non-executive chairman of its board of directors. Howell takes over the position from Paul Foulger, who was serving as chairman on an interim. Howell founded Innova Partnerships in 2006, where he has been instrumental in creating over a dozen life science start-ups and raised in excess of £100m in financing. He has held positions at Unilever plc, and was previously director of business development at Alere Inc. and research director at Unipath Ltd.
OncoCyte Corporation – Melinda Griffith was named to the board of directors of California-based OncoCyte. Griffith currently serves as vice president of strategic alliances and chief legal counsel for the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Griffith also serves as chair of the board of directors for Thrive Networks, an international non-profit organization, pioneering evidence-based programs and technologies in health, water and sanitation and education for underserved populations in Asia. Prior to these positions, Griffith held a number of executive roles at public and private biotech companies, including GE Healthcare’s In-Vitro Cancer Diagnostics business, Genelabs Technologies, CardioDx, Tethys BioSciences and Axys Pharmaceuticals.
Alkahest– Robert Klein was named chief business officer of California-based Alkahest. Klein joins Alkahest after having served as CBO at Complete Genomics and having held positions of chief executive officer at iKaryos Diagnostics, chief scientific officer at Amnestix, senior director of business development at Rinat Neuroscience and then Pfizer, and vice president of business and technology development at Deltagen. Klein started his career at Genentech, where he was a postdoctoral researcher and scientist in the neuroscience department.
NeuBase Therapeutics – Pittsburgh-based NeuBase named Danith Ly as CSO. Ly is the primary inventor of NeuBase’s peptide nucleic acid (PNA) antisense oligonucleotide (PATrOL) platform technology, which the Company is leveraging to develop a pipeline of gene modifying therapies. Ly joins NeuBase as the Company is advancing its first PATrOL-enabled therapies through preclinical development and expanding its pipeline across rare genetic diseases as well as additional genetically-driven disorders. In addition to his role at NeuBase, Ly will maintain his faculty appointment at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon College of Science. Prior to joining NeuBase, he cofounded PNA Innovations and has held multiple industry and non-governmental organization posts, including as a scientific advisory board member at HelixBind and a member of the board of directors of Karuna Commune Enterprise.
Evergreen Research – Colorado-based Evergreen Research named John M. Nichols as its director of product development. In this role, he will oversee overseeing all product development engineering activities within Evergreen. His oversight will include working with clients on product ideas and conceptualization, defining product requirements and directing electrical, mechanical and software engineering teams to design and qualify medical devices and systems. Nichols most recently served as the vice president of product development at Precision Biopsy, LLC.
TriSalus Life Sciences – Diane Parks and Yongxin Han were both named to the board of directors of Denver-based TriSalus Life Sciences. Parks has held executive roles at Kite Pharma Inc., Pharmacyclics, Amgen, and Genentech. She most recently served as senior vice president, marketing and account management at Kite, where she is credited with successfully leading the launch of Yescarta, the company’s first CAR-T therapy approved in the U.S. Han co-founded and served as general manager of Chemizon Inc. and Centaurus BioPharma. Han is a partner at Lapam Capital LLC, a professional RMB Venture Capital firm focused on the investment in innovative drug discovery, medical devices and diagnostic technologies in China.
Pathnostics – Samuel D. Riccitelli was named CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Pathnostics, a diagnostic solutions company. Riccitelli will spearhead the fast-growing company's continued expansion. He will assume the CEO position from co-founder, David Pauluzzi, who will continue to serve on the board of directors as part of a planned leadership transition. Most recently, Riccitelli served as president and CEO of Signal Genetics, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company acquired by Quest Diagnostics, Inc. and Miragen Therapeutics, Inc. He also held roles at Becton, Dickinson and Company and Geboptix, Inc.
Availity – Florida-based Availity named Jessica Micciche as its new senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Micciche is tasked with all aspects of human resources including culture, talent acquisition and management, leadership, human capital analytics, compensation and benefits.
Current Health – Medtech veteran Sean Ginney was named vice president of sales for San Francisco-based Current Health. Ginney has two decades of experience in medical technology leadership for Fortune 500 companies and disruptive startups and will oversee Current Health’s sales efforts in the U.S. and U.K. Ginney spent 15 years at Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, serving in sales, leadership and strategy roles. He oversaw multiple business units and commercial teams and was responsible for large health system commercial contracts. After Medtronic, he scaled medtech startups into leading disruptors that changed the way health systems and clinicians operate.
Bicycle Therapeutics -- Richard N. Kender and Janice Bourque were both named to the board of directors of U.K.-based Bicycle Therapeutics. Kender most recently served as senior vice president of business development and corporate licensing at Merck & Co., Inc. from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. Kender currently serves on the board of directors and audit committee of Seres Therapeutics and Poxel SA. Bourque is a managing director in Hercules Capital’s life sciences. Previously, she consulted for Commons Capital and was president and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Bourque currently serves on the board of The Village Bank and is an independent director of Poxel SA. Bicycle plans to reduce its board size. Deborah Harland plans to resign her seat on Sept. 27, while Michael Anstey, Bosun Hau and Carolyn Ng have indicated their intent to resign in 2020.
Oncology Analytics -- David Fusari has joined the Atlanta-based Oncology Analytics as its chief technology officer. Fusari most recently held the position of CTO and co-founder of TriNetX, where he developed the product design, technology architecture, and provider adoption model for a global big data and analytics network that optimizes clinical trial design and recruitment while enabling discoveries through the creation of real-world evidence.
AgilVax Inc. – New Mexico-based AgilVax Inc. tapped Joseph Patti, as its president and CEO. Patti, the current executive chairman of the AgilVax Board of Directors, succeeds Federica Pericle, who resigned as president and CEO from the company to pursue another opportunity. Patti currently serves as President of JP Biotech Advisors, Inc.
NurseGrid -- Rob MacNaughton is joining Oregon-based NurseGrid as CEO. Most recently MacNaughton served as chief product officer at Cambia Health Solutions, leading product strategy, development, and commercialization for its health insurance and consumer solutions divisions. Previously, he was vice president of hospital operations with Banfield Pet Hospital, and founder and CEO of Columbia Care LLC, a regional home health and hospice supportive care provider.
PipelineRx -- Michael Myers was named COO of PipelineRx. Before joining PipelineRx, he worked in a consulting capacity for Private Equity companies including TPG and Francisco Partners, and in product development for various types of healthcare companies.