BioSpace Movers and Shakers, June 7
Pfizer – Calico Life Sciences veteran Jeff Settleman is taking over as the Group Head of Oncology Research & Development of Pfizer. Settleman, who is a leader in molecularly targeted cancer therapeutics and personalized cancer medicine, will helm all early oncology research, from discovery to proof of concept clinical studies at Pfizer. Settleman will settle into his new role on July 1. Before his time at Calico, where he was head of oncology research, Settleman led discovery oncology at Genentech. Settleman takes over at Pfizer from Robert T. Abraham, who will retire at the end of 2019. Abraham has served as Pfizer’s the Group Head of Oncology R&D since 2011. Pfizer’s Oncology R&D is comprised of three distinct groups, Tumor Cell Biology, Cancer Immunology Discovery and Targeted Therapeutics. Settleman will also become site head of Pfizer’s La Jolla Research & Development hub where nearly 800 employees work each day in support of Pfizer’s oncology mission.
Bristol-Myers Squibb – As BMS merges with Celgene, the company is shuffling some leadership roles. BMS announced Thomas Lynch, its chief scientific officer, will leave the company in October. Rupert Vessey, a Celgene executive, will assume some of Lynch’s responsibilities. Vessey will manage the combined company’s drug discovery and early clinical testing, as well as look for possible new drugs to add to the company’s pipeline. Later-stage development will be managed by Samit Hirawat, the incoming chief medical officer. Previously, Hirawat led cancer development at Novartis. Additionally, BMS’ commercial activities will be split between Celgene’s Nadim Ahmed and BMS’ Chris Boerner, who currently serves as chief commercial officer. Another move includes Celgene’s chief financial officer, David Elkins, taking over the same role for the merged companies. Elkins replaced Charles Bancroft, who will retire in 2020.
Immunovant – Pete Salzmann was named chief executive officer of Basel, Switzerland-based Immunovant. Salzmann most recently served as Global Clinical Development Leader for baricitinib at Eli Lilly. He was responsible for designing and executing comprehensive indication development strategy and overseeing clinical trials of baricitinib. Prior to joining Lilly, Salzmann was an attending physician at the University of California, San Francisco.
Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals – Privately-held Castle Creek named Mary Spellman as chief medical officer and head of R&D. Spellman previously managed the planning and execution of late-stage clinical programs as CMO of Menlo Therapeutics. Before that, she was a medical consultant providing medical and safety support for multiple biopharmaceutical and device development companies. Spellman also served as CMO of Revance Therapeutics and held roles at Biogen, Connetics Corporation and Novartis.
Lyndra Therapeutics – Patricia Hurter took over the reins of Watertown, Mass.-based Lyndra. She will assume the role of chief executive officer on Sept. 3. With the addition of Hurter, Amy Schulman will become executive chair of the board, serving alongside current chair Catherine B. Reynolds. Prior to her role at Lyndra, Hurter was head of pharmaceutical and preclinical sciences at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Lyndra is currently in early clinical studies for its once-weekly dosage form and moving toward Investigational New Drug (IND) discussions.
Cerevance – Boston-based Cerevance named James Summers as a key scientific adviser. Summers will guide the company in its drug discovery and development efforts. Summers brings extensive experience in the discovery of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, pain and psychiatric disorders. Summers has held a number of leadership positions with Abbott and AbbVie, including most recently as head of Neuroscience Research at AbbVie.
Check-Cap – Israel-based Check-Cap tapped Joshua (Shuki) Belkar to oversee company operations. Prior to joining Check-Cap, Belkar served as head of Operations and Global Services at Mazor Robotics Ltd., which was recently acquired by Medtronic Plc. Prior to Mazor Robotics.
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) -- John V. Oyler, co-founder, CEO and chairman of BeiGene, was elected to BIO’s board of directors as well as to its Health Section Governing Board. The Health Section Governing Board addresses policy and regulatory issues, and related subjects of significance to the biotechnology industry. Oyler co-founded BeiGene in 2010 and the company has since grown into a commercial-stage biotechnology company of approximately 2,400 employees in China, the United States, Australia and Europe.
Theravance Biopharma, Inc. – Ireland-based Theravance named Andrew Hindman as its new CFO. Hindman most recently served as chief business officer of Acorda Therapeutics, where he oversaw Acorda’s acquisitions of Civitas Therapeutics and Biotie Therapies. He also managed Acorda’s finance and investor relations functions. Before Acorda, Hindman served as president, CEO and member of the board of Tobira Therapeutics, a privately-held biotechnology company that was acquired by Allergan in 2016. He also held leadership roles at Nodality, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences.
Progenity – San Diego-based Progenity named Eric d’Esparbes as CFO. In this role, d’Esparbes will support Progenity as the company continues to further commercialize innovative precision medicine solutions for gastrointestinal disorders as well as improve and expand their prenatal diagnostic offerings. Most recently, he was the CFO and interim Principal Executive Officer of Innoviva, Inc. Prior to this, he held leadership positions as CFO for Joule Unlimited, vice president of finance for AEI, Inc., and CFO for Meiya Power Company.
Outset Medical – Rebecca Chambers was named CFO of San Jose, Calif.-based Outset Medical. Chambers joins Outset from Illumina, a leader in DNA sequencing technology. Prior to Illumina, she led IR and corporate communications at Myriad Genetics, a molecular diagnostics company in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as various roles at Life Technologies, now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, now Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
Ideal Image MedSpa – Ryan Berk and Adam Greenberg joined the Florida-based company's executive leadership team as the new president of field operations and CFO respectively. Berk was most recently the senior vice president of Club Business Operations at Life Time Fitness. Greenberg comes to Ideal Image from Weight Watchers International, where he was the head of U.S. finance and North America Supply Chain.
CeQur– Massachusetts-based CeQur named Bradley Paddock as CEO. Robert Farra, who served as CeQur's CEO since November 2016, will move into a new role as chief technology officer for the company. Paddock has held leadership roles in a number of companies, including Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, Kyphon and Bausch + Lomb, Inc.
Zymeworks – Vancouver-based Zymeworks named two new independent directors to its board. Sue Mahony, a pharmaceutical executive with more than 30 years of combined experience with companies such as Eli Lilly, Schering-Plough, Amgen, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Troy Cox, who held leadership positions at companies such as Foundation Medicine, Roche-Genentech, UCB BioPharma, Sanofi-Aventis and Schering-Plough were added to the board.
OncoCyte – California-based OncoCyte Corporation announced board member and diagnostics industry veteran Ronald Andrews will assume the role of CEO July 1. OncoCyte’s current CEO, William Annett, will remain with the company in an advisory role to ensure a seamless transition. Prior to becoming CEO, Andrews was the founder and principal of the Bethesda Group, a company focused on helping organizations in the molecular diagnostics and genomics industries. Before that, he was president of the Genetic Science Division for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to that, he was president of Life’s Medical Sciences Venture. He also served as CEO of Clarient, Inc., which was sold to GE Healthcare in 2010. He subsequently served as CEO of GE Molecular Diagnostics for one year following the close of the deal.