BioSpace Movers & Shakers, June 26
Lundquist Institute – The Lundquist Institute, based in Los Angeles, added six new investigators to its research faculty. The new team includes Wei Yan, who joins the institute from his role as a professor at the University of Nevada. Yan conducts research on how gametes—sperm and oocytes—are produced in mammals, using gene knockout technologies and molecular biology. Additionally, the institute will onboard Eiji Yoshihara, who is currently a staff scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies whose research revolves around creating cells that are sensitive to glucose levels and secrete insulin accordingly; Lina Nih, a postdoctoral fellow in neurology and biomedical engineering at UCLA, where her research focuses on regenerative therapies for brain repair using a tissue engineering approach; Hua Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on the key molecular and cellular events during breast cancer development in patients harboring the BRCA-1 mutation; Denise Al Alam, an associate professor at Children’s Hospital LA/USC Keck School, where her early translational research focuses on lung development and congenital lung diseases associated with Down syndrome; and Nick Jendzjowsky, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary whose primary research.
Avid Bioservices – Nicholas Green was named president and chief executive officer of California-based Avid Bioservices, Inc. Green will succeed Rick Hancock who has served as interim president and CEO since May 2019. Hancock will continue to serve on Avid’s board of directors. Green most recently served as president and CEO of Therapure Biopharma, where he oversaw the growth of the company’s CDMO business, while also leading the creation of Therapure’s proprietary plasma protein business, named Evolve. Prior to Therapure, he held a number of senior management roles, most notably managing director of Nipa Laboratories Ltd., head of the life science division of Clariant International Ltd. in the USA, president and CEO of Rhodia Pharma Solutions Ltd. and president of Codexis, Inc.’s pharma division.
nAscent BioSciences – San Diego-based nAscent BioSciences, Inc. named Navpaul Singh as chief medical consultant in charge of research into Pritumumab’s use with viral infections, including COVID-19.
BridgeBio – Former Allergan Chief Executive Officer Brent Saunders was one of three members added to the board of directors of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Bridge Bio Pharma, Inc. In addition to Saunders, genomics pioneer Randy Scott and BridgeBio co-founder Andrew Lo were also named to the board of directors. Saunders, who served as CEO of Avactis before taking over the reins of Allergan, will bring his considerable experience to bear as he advises BridgeBio on scaling its business across new product and therapeutic areas, expanding into new geographies, developing commercial expertise, and utilizing new corporate structures. Saunders initially joined Actavis as part of the company’s acquisition of Forest Laboratories, where he served as president and CEO. Before joining Forest Laboratories, Saunders served as president and CEO of Bausch & Lomb. Scott recently served as CEO at Invitae, a company he co-founded. Prior to Invitae, he founded Genomic Health and served as the company’s CEO and later executive chairman and before that, served as the president and chief scientific officer for Incyte. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, a principal investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and an affiliated faculty member of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Sight Sciences – Sam Park was named chief operating officer and Jeremy Hayden was named general counsel and chief compliance officer at Sight Sciences, Inc. Park will be responsible for scaling the company's manufacturing, operations, and research and development capabilities to support the company's growth initiatives. He brings 25 years of medical device experience, including executive-level leadership roles at SurgRx, Novacept, Arthrocare, Origin Medsystems, and CardioGenesis. Most recently, Hayden served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Endologix, Inc., a medical device company developing devices for aortic disorders. Prior to this, Hayden served as General Counsel at Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. and as a senior legal team member of Volcano.
Meissa Vaccines – Robert Jordan was named head of research and development at Bay Area-based Meissa Vaccines. He was most recently Director of Virology at Vir Biotechnology, and before that, he was Director of Biology at Gilead Sciences. Prior to Gilead, he was Director of Virology at Siga Technologies and before that, Jordan was Principal Scientist at Viropharma.
Teknova – Stephen Gunstream was named CEO of Teknova. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry, with tenures including Vice President and General Manager for the research and clinical business at BD Biosciences and Chief Commercial Officer at Integrated DNA Technologies.
Inovio – Inovio named two senior executives to lead its growth in the Asia market and to advance the clinical development of its DNA vaccine INO-4800 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Gene Kim joins the company as President of INOVIO Asia, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary based in Seoul. Kim served as chief financial officer of several publicly traded Korean companies listed on the KOSDAQ exchange. Mammen (Anza) Mammen, joins the company as head of Clinical Development. Mammen served as the Chief of the Pandemic Warning Team for the U.S. Department of Defense. Most recently, Mammen led clinical development at Vical Inc., a San Diego-based DNA vaccine developer.
FAST BioMedical – Gregory B. Brown was named to the board of directors of FAST BioMedical. He is currently CEO of Memgen, a development-stage biotechnology company. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman and Founder of HealthCare Royalty Partners, a healthcare-focused private asset management firm, and has guided fundraising and investment of more than $3 billion in biopharmaceutical and medical products. Brown previously served as Managing Director of Paul Capital Partners, and as Managing Director and Co-Head of Investment Banking at Adams, Harkness & Hill, and Vice President of Corporate Finance at Vector Securities International.
Adverum Biotechnologies-- Heikki Jouttijärvi was named vice president of manufacturing at Adverum Biotechnologies. Jouttijärvi will be responsible for leading the manufacturing and supply chain strategy and operations. Prior to joining Adverum, Jouttijärvi was vice president, technical operations at Menlo Therapeutics, Inc. From 1999-2017, Jouttijärvi held various roles of increasing responsibility at Santen Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., and its subsidiaries, most recently serving in the role of vice president, head of global external manufacturing and sourcing.