BioSpace Movers and Shakers, June 21
Verastem Oncology – Robert Forrester, who has served as chief executive officer of Boston-based Verastem Oncology for the past six years, will step down from his role as president and CEO of the company after guiding Verastem’s lymphoma treatment Copiktra to regulatory approval. Forrester will continue serving Verastem in an advisory capacity. Chief Operating Officer Dan Paterson has been appointed to the role of president, while Rob Gagnon, Verastem’s chief financial officer, will expand his duties to include chief business officer. Paterson will lead the company while the board of directors conducts a search to identify a new CEO. Paterson has been COO since 2014 and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He has held leadership roles at previous companies, including CBO and CEO. Paterson has specific expertise in oncology drug and diagnostic product development, business development and launch planning, Verastem said.
N8 Medical– Marc Rohman was named CEO of Ohio-based N8 Medical. Rohman has spent his entire career in healthcare and brings more than 30 years of directly relevant, diverse experience with a strong record of commercial and operational leadership. Rohman previously worked at Scios, Inc., which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for $2.4 billion. Most recently, Rohman worked for nearly 10 years at a private French Pharmaceutical company, Biocodex, leading their North American operations. Rohman transformed the organization through innovative approaches towards commercialization, product development, asset acquisition and industry and non-profit partnerships.
NEJM – Eric J. Rubin was named the new editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. Rubin, who is the chair of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, will begin his role in September. Rubin has been an Associate Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine since 2012. He also has served as an editor or editorial board member of the journals Tuberculosis, Current Opinion in Microbiology, PLoS Pathogens, and mBio.
Tridek-One – Paris-based Tridek-One named Philippe Berthon as its new CEO. With more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology in various management positions, including R&D and corporate finance, Berthon will be well-positioned to lead the immune disorder-focused biotech. Most recently, Berthon served as CEO of Aurgalys and also held the same role at Vaxon-Biotech and Urogene. Previously, Berthon was co-Founder and director of the Onco-Urology Research Laboratory at the Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris.
Avomeen Analytical Services – Michigan-based Avomeen tapped John Ferencz as the new head of its Elemental Analysis division. In this role, he will be responsible for overseeing a growing lab unit that specializes in analysis of heavy metals and other elemental impurities. He will also be in charge of maintaining analytical rigor and quality, overseeing the analytical team and managing client relationships. Most recently, Ferencz worked as a chemist for Nature’s Bounty Co. Prior to that, he worked as a Metals Supervisor and Team Leader for Microbac Laboratories where he designed and founded an EPA-certified metals department that analyzed minerals and trace metals in water.
BD Biosciences -- Puneet Sarin was named worldwide president of California-based BD Biosciences. Puneet will be responsible for driving the global strategic, operational and commercial performance across BD Biosciences while advancing the innovation pipeline, associate engagement and customer experience for the business. Prior to BD, Puneet was senior vice president & general manager of the Chemistry and Immunoassay business unit at Beckman Coulter. Before joining Beckman Coulter, Puneet worked for GE where he held roles of increasing leadership and responsibility in their Industrial, Energy and Healthcare divisions.
Veravas, Inc. – Joshua Soldo was named chief scientific officer of Charleston, S.C.-based Veravas, Inc. Also, Carmen Wiley was named chief clinical officer. Soldo and Wiley have made significant contributions towards the development of Veravas technology and as part of the executive team, they will support the advancement and commercialization of the company’s breakthrough sample prep products and novel diagnostics tests. Soldo previously had a role in medical and scientific affairs, cardiac at Roche Diagnostics, where he developed and maintained relationships with the medical and scientific community and collaborated with investigators, clinicians, and institutions. Prior to that, Soldo was vice president, scientific affairs at Anteo Diagnostics Limited. Additional roles include corporate director, scientific affairs at DiaSorin and senior development scientist, research and development at Beckman Coulter. Wiley is currently president of American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Prior to Veravas, she was a regional manager of scientific affairs at Roche Diagnostics where she supported scientific information exchange in the area of cardiac biomarkers and was responsible for leading relationship development with the medical and scientific communities.
Women in Bio -- WIB announced a leadership transition for the chairs of Executive Women In Bio (EWIB), a committee comprised of senior leaders in biopharma and the life sciences that champion for greater diversity in the c-suite and boardroom. The outgoing chairs are Yasmin Chandrasekher, CEO and co-Founder of Allertope, and Jessica Swartz, vaccines and hospital strategy and consulting lead at Pfizer. The Incoming chairs, who will assume responsibilities immediately, are, Shehnaaz Suliman, a physician and strategy and business development leader and Melanie Kleinschek, who currently serves as vice president of biology and pharmacology at Theravance Biopharma. In addition, EWIB's boardroom competency program, Boardroom Ready, announced a new co- chair, Kelly Huang, who is a senior executive coach, facilitator, and expert in leadership transitions at Genesis Advisers.
Recursion – Utah-based Recursion named Sharath Hegde as its new CSO. Hegde has more than 28 years of leadership experience at the intersection of drug discovery and clinical development and has seen multiple drugs from discovery through FDA approval. He joins Recursion after more than 15 years at Theravance Biopharma. Prior to Theravance, Hegde spent nine years at Syntex Corporation, later acquired by Roche.
Bentec Medical – California-based Bentec Medical named JG Singh as the company’s CEO. Singh has worked in the medical device industry for 16 years in roles with Cardinal Health, the Fluke Biomedical division of Danaher, and most recently, Gold Standard Diagnostics.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals – Nevada-based Spectrum Pharmaceuticals named Elizabeth Czerepak to its board of directors. She will serve as chair of the board’s audit committee. Czerepak has more than 35 years of leadership across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. Czerepak currently serves as the CFO and CBO of Genevant Sciences, Inc. Prior experience includes CFO roles at other biotechnology companies, including Altimmune, Inc., Isarna Therapeutics and Cancer Genetics. She also has extensive experience in biotech venture capital investment as a Managing Director at JP Morgan/Bear Stearns.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals – Bernd Hoppe was named vice president of global affairs at Cambridge, Mass.-based Dicerna Pharmaceuticals. Hoppe, a professor of pediatrics and head of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University Hospital in Bonn, Germany will assume the role July 1. Hoppe has chosen to apply his clinical and scientific knowledge of primary hyperoxaluria to the development of DCR-PHXC, Dicerna’s lead product candidate and the only RNAi-based therapy designed to treat all genetic types of primary hyperoxaluria, the company said.