BioSpace Movers & Shakers, March 26

Climbing Corporate Ladder

Biopharma and life sciences companies strengthen their leadership teams and boards with these Movers & Shakers. 

Follicum – Sweden-based Follicum AB tapped Kim Arvid Nielsen as its new chief executive officer. Nielsen will take over the role currently held by Jan Alenfall, who will become the company’s first chief scientific officer. The changes are being implemented to strengthen the company's organization to keep in step with the progress made in its pharmaceutical projects, particularly its Phase II treatment for hair loss, the company said. Nielsen has extensive experience in business development, investor relations and drug development from leading positions in both small and large pharmaceutical companies, including Cytovac, Scandion Oncology, Serendex, Bayer, Pharmion, Ferrosan and Serono Nordic.

Immuneering Corporation – Carolina Garcia Rizo joined Immuneering as chief business officer. Prior to joining Immuneering, Rizo was CBO at Just Biotherapeutics, where she was responsible for business development, strategy and finance leading to their acquisition by Evotec. Rizo also previously served as global managing director of strategic partnerships for Thermo Fisher Scientific. She previously held leadership positions in business development and technology commercialization at Roche, Cepheid and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Elicera Therapeutics – Sweden’s Elicera announced Karin Hoogendoorn has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Hoogendoon has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, predominantly in the field of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), monoclonal antibodies and viral vector based vaccines. She has held various roles of increasing responsibility covering chemical, manufacturing and controls (CMC) and regulatory affairs from pre-clinical to commercial phases for small, medium and large pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan. Currently, she is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Swedish Centre for Advanced Medical Products (CAMP).

SpringWorks Therapeutics – Bhavesh Ashar has been appointed chief commercial officer. Ashar most recently served as Senior Vice President, General Manager of US Oncology at Bayer Healthcare. Before joining Bayer in 2017, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Sanofi Genzyme over a 15-year tenure, including Vice President, General Manager of US Oncology and Vice President, Global Head of Transplant. Prior to Sanofi Genzyme, Ashar was a consultant with McKinsey & Company where he served clients in the biopharmaceutical space.

Calyx – U.K.-based Calyx named Stephen M. Bravo as its CMO. Bravo brings more than 30 years of broad experience to Calyx. Prior to joining Calyx, he was the Medical Director of Sand Lake Imaging, on the International Scientific Advisory Board for Siemens Medical Corporation’s syngo.via, and served as an investigator on over 100 pharmaceutical, non-pharmaceutical, and government-funded research projects.

Cresset – David Newble was appointed non-executive director of U.K.-based Cresset.

Maze Therapeutics – Atul Dandekar was named chief strategy officer of South San Francisco-based Maze. Most recently, Dandekar was vice president, global franchise head for ophthalmology at Genentech and Roche, where he was responsible for leading the global ophthalmology business. Before joining Genentech in 2014, Dandekar was the senior global program head in neuroscience at Novartis, where he spent 16 years. In addition to Dandekar, Maze expanded its board of directors with the appointments of Nancy Andrews, who also sits on the boards of directors of Novartis and Charles River Laboratories; Catherine Angell Sohn, chairman of the board of BioEclipse Therapeutics and as a director for Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, Rubius Therapeutics, Axcella Health and Landec Corp.; and Daniel K. Spiegelman, BioMarin’s CFO.

Nuvalent – Christopher Turner was named CMO of Cambridge, Mass.-based Nuvalent. Turner will oversee the clinical development of Nuvalent’s portfolio of innovative small molecule kinase inhibitors, including parallel lead programs in ROS1-positive and ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Most recently, Turner was Vice President of Clinical Development at Blueprint Medicines. Turner previously led the development of novel antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) and immune-oncology pipeline compounds at Celldex Therapeutics, and prior to that, the clinical development at Ariad Pharmaceuticals.

Sutro Biopharma – David Pauling was named general counsel and Robert Kiss was promoted to Senior Vice President, Process and Analytical Development at Sutro Biopharma. Pauling joined Sutro in 2011 and has since held positions of increasing responsibility, including Intellectual Property Counsel, Associate General and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel, and most recently Executive Director of Legal Affairs. Prior to joining Sutro, Pauling practiced law at Jones Day and at Penne & Edmonds, LLP. Kiss joined Sutro in 2017 as Vice President of Process and Analytical Development, after working at Genentech for nearly 24 years, where his last role was of Distinguished Engineer and Senior Director of Late-Stage Cell Culture process development.  Also, Ana Oaknin Benzaquen was appointed to Sutro’s Clinical Advisory Board. Oaknin is the Head of the Gynecological Tumor Unit and full-time Senior Attending Physician at Medical Oncology Department at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, as well as the Principal Clinical Investigator of the Gynecological Malignancies Group at the Vall d’Hebrón Institute of Oncology.

Acepodia – California-based Acepodia named Jimmy Lai as CFO. Lai is a seasoned financial expert with more than 30 years of financial management and capital markets experience both in the U.S. and in China. During his career, Lai helped take three companies public and served as chief financial officer for multiple U.S.-listed companies. He currently serves as an independent director and audit chairperson for multiple NYSE-listed companies.

TISSIUM – France’s TISSIUM tapped Thierry Darnis as head of global operations. Darnis spent 12 years as a plant manager for Medtronic subsidiary Sofradim Production when he managed nearly 400 employees. Darnis also served as the Global VP of Manufacturing & Engineering at Biom’UP. Most recently, Darnis served as Vice President of Operations of Affluent Medical, where he oversaw the direction of the Urology program, as well as the industrialization and optimization of all product lines.

Aura Biosciences – Mark De Rosch was named chief operating officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based Aura Biosciences. He will be responsible for leading Aura’s global operations and regulatory strategy. De Rosch joins Aura from Epizyme, where he served as chief regulatory officer. Prior to Epizyme, De Rosch served as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for Nightstar Therapeutics, which was acquired by Biogen in 2019. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance and CMC at Akebia Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, De Rosch served in roles of increasing responsibility at several life science and healthcare consulting firms.

AMTI – South San Francisco-based Applied Molecular Transport Inc. named Earl Douglas as general counsel. Douglas most recently served as general counsel at Kiverdi. He has also served as general counsel and corporate secretary at BioMimetic Therapeutics, Spinal Dynamics and OPX Biotechnologies. He also previously served as Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and earlier in his career, practiced as an associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Cue Health Inc. – San Diego-based Cue Health added three to its executive team. John Gallagher was named CFO, Erica Palsis was tapped as general counsel and Dena Cook was named chief communications officer of the healthcare technology company. Gallagher joins Cue from Becton, Dickinson & Co., where he served as CFO of its Medical Segment and Treasurer. Prior to BD, he served in various finance leadership roles at GE, Ford Motor Company and Visteon. Palsis joins Cue from digital health company Livongo, where she served as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Privacy Officer. Prior to Livongo, Palsis spent seven years at Allscripts, where she served as Corporate Counsel. Prior to joining Cue, Cook served as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Communication at Mattel, overseeing the company's worldwide communications, financial communications, brand PR, internal communications and corporate social impact initiatives.

Rebus Biosystems – Neil Kennedy was named CCO and Scott Kothlow was named CFO of Rebus. In his most recent role, Kennedy was Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Dovetail Genomics. Kothlow’s previous role was CFO at Somalogic Inc.

SiteOne Therapeutics – SiteOne scientific cofounder John Mulcahy was named CEO of the company. Mulcahy has led the strategic as well as technical drug discovery efforts at SiteOne since its founding. He replaces Stan Abel, who becomes SiteOne's board chairman. Mulcahy was previously the vice president of research at SiteOne. He is the co-inventor and has co-authored the core patents and publications of the company's technology platform.

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