BioSpace Movers & Shakers: Third Harmonic, Inozyme, Athira, Aurion and More


Senior leadership positions were filled at biopharma and life sciences companies across the globe. Companies tapped new blood to support their ongoing strategic priorities. 

Third Harmonic Bio: Edward R. Conner was appointed chief medical officer of Third Harmonic Bio, which launched earlier this year. Conner joins Third Harmonic Bio from Locanabio, where he served as CMO. Before that, he was site lead and division head of medical and development for Astellas Gene Therapies. Prior to that, he served as CMO and senior vice president of Audentes Therapeutics, and before that, he served as CMO of Sangamo Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, he was a medical director at Genentech.

Axtria: Jaswinder "Jassi" Chadha, chief executive officer of Axtria, is a recipient of the 2022 PM360 ELITE 100 Award. The PM360 ELITE Awards recognize individuals in 20 categories in the life sciences industry who exemplify the following traits: Exceptional Leaders, Innovators, Transformers, and Entrepreneurs (ELITE). PM360 recognized Chadha for his work as an entrepreneur and visionary risk-taker in building Axtria as a company that has filled voids and answered the unmet needs of the life sciences industry.

XORTX Therapeutics: Anthony Giovinazzo was appointed chairman of the board of directors at XORTX. He was most recently the co-inventor, CEO and director of Cynapsus Therapeutics. He is currently executive chairman of Kalgene Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on Alzheimer's disease. He is also a director of Titan Medical Inc., a developer of the Enos System, a robotics-assisted single port surgery system.

Dotmatics: Larry Samuelson was named chief legal officer, and Neil Frye was named chief people officer. Samuelson joins the company with more than 20 years of corporate legal experience. Before Dotmatics, he served as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Cvent, an event technology SaaS company. Frye was previously the CPO of Alto Pharmacy. Prior to Alto, he spent more than four years leading global recruiting and HR operations/technology at Dropbox.

Akili Interactive: Matt Franklin will join the company in the newly created role of president and chief operating officer. Most recently, Franklin served as general manager of the precision oncology business unit at Exact Sciences. Previously, Franklin was the chief commercial officer at Thrive Earlier Detection Corp. In addition, Franklin served as the CBO for ArcherDX.

RDCC: Amanda Malakoff was named executive director of the Rare Disease Company Coalition. Before joining the RDCC, Malakoff was senior director of member relations for the National Association of Manufacturers. Malakoff previously held client relations roles at Bloomberg Government and the Advisory Board Company.

Surescripts: Frank Harvey was named CEO. He succeeds Tom Skelton, who is retiring. Harvey joins Surescripts from ATLS Investments, LLC., where he led private equity investing in healthcare technology companies. Previously, Harvey served as CEO of Mirixa Corporation and Liberty Medical Supply, Inc.

Inozyme Pharma, Inc.: Kurt Gunter was named chief medical officer. He most recently served as CMO of cell therapy and head of regulatory affairs at Athenex. Prior to Athenex, Gunter served as CMO at Kuur Therapeutics and previously held positions of increasing responsibility at Hospira, Inc., including vice president, clinical development, and global medical director for hematology-oncology. Before Hospira, Gunter held positions at Zymequest, ViaCell, and Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc.

Athira Pharma: Athira formed its scientific advisory board. Members include John Olichney, Anton Porsteinsson, Marwan Sabbagh, Lon Schneider, Pierre Tariot and Paul Winner. The SAB, chaired by Athira CMO Hans Moebius, will offer expert scientific and clinical perspectives to guide the development of Athira's pipeline of novel, small molecule compounds.

Better Therapeutics: Frank Karbe was named president and CEO. He will begin on July 5. Karbe most recently served as president and chief financial officer of Myovant Sciences. He also served for over a decade as executive vice president and CFO at Exelixis, Inc. Earlier in his career, he worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs & Co.

Cytovia Therapeutics: Luca Scavo was named CFO, and James Priour was appointed chief product officer. Scavo previously served as CFO at Evelo Biosciences, Inc. Before Evelo, Scavo was the CFO of Roche Diagnostics North America. Before that, he held global leadership roles across the Roche organization for more than 20 years. Scavo also served as CFO at AstraZeneca, Spain and worked in various finance roles at Roche's offices in Austria, New Jersey, and Switzerland. Since 2020, Priour has served as chief commercial officer at Zymeworks, Inc. Prior to Zymeworks, he was global marketing lead for Kyprolis at Amgen and was later appointed to global product general manager for the entire myeloma franchise. He also held leadership roles for Amgen's ex-U.S. operations and previously served as general manager of Hungary for Bristol Myers Squibb. Priour started his career in 1992 with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, where he held various commercial leadership positions based out of their France, Belgium, Luxemburg and U.S. corporate offices.

Pillar Biosciences: Vincent Ricci was tapped as CFO of Pillar Biosciences. He joins Pillar Biosciences from Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, where he was responsible for equity investments in the life sciences sector. Previously, Ricci was a Portfolio Manager for Alliance Bernstein, where he managed investments across the global healthcare industry.

Nacuity Pharmaceuticals: Nancy Holekamp and Richard L. Lindstrom were appointed to the Nacuity scientific advisory board. Holekamp is director of Retina Services at Pepose Vision Institute. Before that, she was a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Lindstrom is founder and Attending Surgeon Emeritus at Minnesota Eye Consultants, senior lecturer and foundation trustee emeritus at the University of Minnesota.

Athenex, Inc.: Darrel P. Cohen was named CMO of Cell Therapy. He is replacing Kurt Gunter, who departed for Inozyme. Cohen is a hematologist/oncologist and has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Pharmacia, Sanofi-Aventis, and Pfizer, including vice president of Late-Phase Clinical Development at Pfizer Oncology. More recently, Cohen was head of clinical development at EUSA Pharma and then CMO at Biosight Pharmaceuticals.

Apexigen, Inc.: William Duke was named CFO. Duke joins Apexigen from Kaleido, where he served as CFO. Prior to this, Duke was CFO of Pulmatrix, Inc. and served as CFO of Valeritas, Inc. Duke also was senior director of finance at Genzyme Corporation and director of finance/accounting at Haemonetics Corporation.

iSpecimen Inc.: Evan Cox was named vice president of product management. Cox will manage the growth and future development of the iSpecimen Marketplace platform. Prior to joining iSpecimen, Cox held several key senior management roles at Definitive Healthcare Corp., most recently as associate vice president. Cox co-founded DSE Analytics, a company that used natural language processing to integrate qualitative and quantitative information. He also served as senior product manager of Data Analytics and Research at Press Ganey Associates and Product Lead of Clinical Data Management at WebMD.

Inipharm: Chuhan Chung was named CMO. Chung joins Inipharm after serving as executive director and global development lead at Gilead Sciences. Before joining Gilead, Chung served as an associate professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, where he maintained an independently funded lab focused on conducting translational research in liver disease.

Aurion Biotech: Michael Goldstein was named president and CMO of Aurion. Before joining Aurion, Goldstein served as president and CMO of Ocular Therapeutix. Before that, Goldstein was the CMO of Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. Before joining AGTC, Goldstein held several positions of increasing responsibility with Eleven Biotherapeutics, including chief medical officer and vice president of clinical research.

Metrion Biosciences: Benedetta Montagnini was named head of European business development for Metrion. Montagnini was previously business development manager at Eurofins Discovery and DiscoveRx and, prior to that, account manager for the Industrial BioProcessing Division at Invitrogen.

AGC Biologics: Tony Fraij, AGC Biologics' Longmont general manager, was appointed to the Colorado BioScience Association Board of Directors

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