BioSpace Movers & Shakers, June 19
ZIOPHARM Oncology – Oncology and immunotherapy pioneer Carl June was named chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Boston-based Ziopharm. The SAB will provide strategic counsel to guide the efficient development of Ziopharm’s innovative technologies and pipeline of immunotherapies to treat the many patients with solid tumors. June is recognized in the oncology field for his groundbreaking work in the development and commercialization of gene therapy and T-cell therapies. June, who collaborated with Novartis on its approved CAR-T therapy Kymriah, was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People for his work in the oncology field.
Laboratory for Advanced Medicine (LAM) – Samuel Tong was named chief executive officer of Laboratory for Advanced Medicine's Chinese operations. Tong joins Laboratory for Advanced Medicine from NAMSA where he served as General Manager of the Asia Pacific Region. Previously, he was General Manager for Greater China at QIAGEN. Tong was also the Business Unit Director of Diagnostics Systems for Greater China at Becton Dickinson, Country Manager of China at Abbott Vascular, and worked at Boston Scientific and GE Medical.
PAVmed – Stanley Lapidus, founder and former CEO of Exact Sciences, was tapped as a strategic adviser for its subsidiary, Lucid Diagnostics, Inc. He will assist with its commercial, regulatory, clinical trial and capital markets strategies. Lapidus founded and served as President of Cytyc Inc., and also founded and served as president & CEO and later as chairman of Exact Sciences. Lapidus also founded and led medical diagnostic companies Helicos BioSciences Inc. and SynapDx Inc.
Adverum Biotechnologies – Redwood City, Calif.-based Adverum named Laurent Fischer as its new CEO. Leone Patterson, who was the company’s CEO, will continue to serve as the company’s president. Most recently, Fischer was senior vice president and head of the Liver Therapeutic Area at Allergan. Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Tobira Therapeutics until its acquisition by Allergan in November 2016. Before that, he was as chairman and CEO of Jennerex, Inc., until its acquisition by SillaJen Biotherapeutics, Inc. Fischer currently serves as chairman of the board of CTI Biopharma, as director at Mirum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Lycia Therapeutics, and as senior adviser on the Life Sciences Team at Frazier Healthcare Partners.
Erasca – San Diego-based Erasca appointed Bao Truong as vice president of regulatory affairs and David Luo as vice president of clinical research and operations. Prior to Erasca, Truong was head of regulatory affairs at IDEAYA Biosciences. Before that, she was head of regulatory affairs at Ignyta. She was previously head of regulatory affairs at Seragon Pharmaceuticals and Aragon Pharmaceuticals. She also held regulatory lead positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech for multiple oncology products, ego. Before Erasca, Luo was vice president of clinical operations at Synthorx, a San Diego biotechnology company acquired by Sanofi. Prior to this, he served as vice president of clinical operations at Ignyta, a precision oncology company acquired by Roche, where he led operational oversight of multiple clinical-stage oncology programs. Before Ignyta, Luo held multiple leadership positions within clinical research operations at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Elevation Pharmaceuticals and Meritage Pharma.
Panthera Biopartners – Chris Dodd was named executive vice president of business development for oncology and CNS at Panthera. Dodd joins Panthera from Accelerated Enrolment Solutions where he led the world’s largest commercial team on site and patient access.
Nurix Therapeutics – Bay Area-based Nurix Therapeutics named Michael T. Lotze as chief cellular therapy officer and Robert J. Brown as vice president of clinical development. In addition, Nurix announced the promotion of Gwenn Hansen to chief scientific officer and Hans van Houte to chief financial officer. Lotze is the co-inventor of multiple patents in dendritic cell vaccines and antigen discovery, and tumor infiltrating lymphocyte therapy. He previously held leadership roles in the biopharmaceutical industry as the chief scientific officer of Iovance Biotherapeutics and vice president of research at GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to joining Nurix, Brown led cellular therapy development programs in both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, including allogeneic CAR-T cells at Allogene and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes at Iovance Biotherapeutics.
Rentschler Biopharma SE – Germany’s Rentschler Biopharma named Alexander Dettmer as chief financial officer. At Rentschler Biopharma, he will be heading the finance, supply chain management, information technology and legal functions. Dettmer succeeds Stefan Rampf, who will leave the company June 30 to pursue a new opportunity. Prior to joining Rentschler, Dettmer successfully held several senior leadership positions within the Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA group, which he joined in 2005.
FerGene – Newly-launched gene therapy company FerGene expanded its leadership team. Ambaw Bellete has been named COO with responsibility for commercial operations. Bellete has successfully developed and managed multi-disciplinary teams from pre-launch to commercialization. Most recently, Bellete was president of PhotoCure, a company that delivers medical solutions for bladder cancer. The company named Vijay Kasturi as vice president of Medical Affairs. Prior to joining FerGene, Kasturi was head of U.S. Medical Affairs, Oncology for EMD Serono where he had responsibility for developing global and regional strategies that brought new therapies to patients in immunology, hematology and oncology. In addition, the company named Peter Olagunju to senior vice president of Technical Operations. Prior to joining FerGene, Olagunju served in senior leadership roles at bluebird bio and has led global technical operations, manufacturing, quality and supply chain for cell and gene therapy companies.
Novavax – Filip Dubovsky was named CMO and Silvia Taylor was tapped as head of Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs as Novavax expands its leadership team. Dubovsky brings more than 20 years of infectious disease experience to Novavax. He joins Novavax from AstraZeneca, where he was head of Clinical Engagement and Policy and Deputy CMO for clinical affairs. He joined MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, where he oversaw the clinical development of early and late-stage infectious disease and vaccine assets. Taylor brings more than 25 years of communications and commercial leadership to Novavax. Most recently, she was vice president of Global Corporate Affairs and Communications at Autolus Therapeutics plc, where she led all financial, scientific and corporate communications. Prior to Autolus, she was head of Global Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs at Sucampo. Earlier in her career, she held positions of increasing responsibility at MedImmune.
GoodRx -- Karsten Voermann was named CFO and Bansi Nagji was named president of Healthcare at GoodRx. Voermann specializes in guiding companies through periods of rapid expansion. While acting CFO at Mercer Advisors and Mercury Payment Systems, Voermann led both companies through periods of growth at critical inflection points in their businesses, including managing operational strategy and liquidity events. Nagji joins GoodRx from McKesson, where he served as executive vice president and Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, overseeing a period of rapid expansion of their strategic capabilities via acquisitions and industry partnerships. Prior to McKesson, Bansi was a principal of Deloitte Consulting.
Revolution Medicines -- Eric T. Schmidt and Peter Svennilson were named to the board of directors of Revolution Medicine. Svennilson was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Larry Lasky, who stepped down from the board of directors and will continue supporting the company as a scientific adviser. Schmidt currently serves as the CFO of Allogene Therapeutics and before that he was managing director and senior biotechnology analyst at Cowen and Company. Svennilson founded The Column Group in 2007 and has worked in venture capital and finance for more than 35 years. He served as the chairman of Aragon Pharmaceuticals from the company’s founding until it was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2013.