BioSpace Movers and Shakers: March 8

Three people leaping up an animated arrow with a downtown skyline in the background

Perhaps the biggest mover and shaker announcement this week was the unexpected resignation of Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Gottlieb will leave his post later this month to spend more time with his family.

Gottlieb’s announcement to leave the FDA has set off a firestorm of speculation over who will take over his role. While that is being hashed out, other biotech and pharma companies have tapped veterans to help shape their companies.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals -- Alessandro Riva, head of oncology therapeutics and cell therapy at Gilead Sciences, Inc. will take over the reins of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ new innovation company as its CEO on April 2. Riva is the first named executive of the new company. Riva has been with Gilead since 2017. He joined the company as area head of hematology and oncology therapeutics. During his two-year stint with the company, Riva played a role in expanding Gilead’s oncology programs, as well as in helping with the acquisition of Kite Pharma. Riva also had a strong hand in guiding the strategy and development of Gilead’s broader oncology pipeline. Prior to joining Gilead, Riva spent 12 years at Novartis where he was the head of global oncology development and medical affairs in the oncology business unit of the Swiss pharma giant.

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation – Sam Shum was named head of operations and strategy of Jersey City, N.J.-based Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, Inc. Shum will oversee the company’s operational function areas, including Finance, Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, Public Affairs, Patient Engagement and Business Process & Strategy. Shum most recently served as senior director of financial planning and analytics of MTPA. Shum takes over from Armand Famiglietti, who plans to serve as a senior strategic advisor for the organization.

Thetis Pharmaceuticals – Connecticut-based Thetis Pharmaceuticals LLC tapped Charles N. Serhan for the company’s scientific advisory board. Serhan is the Simon Gelman Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and also Professor of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He is Director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as well as Director of the Serhan Laboratory at Brigham.

Neurimmune Therapeutics – John Dellapa was named general counsel for Switzerland-based Neurimmune. Dellaps joined the company from the legal firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. He has advised Neurimmune on numerous global transactions since Neurimmune’s inception in 2006. Dellapa is a board member of the BioBuilder Educational Foundation. Prior to his role with the law firm, he served as group general counsel at Fisher Scientific International, Inc.

Tessa Therapeutics – Jeffrey H. Buchalter was named an independent director of Singapore-based Tessa Therapeutics. For more than 30 years, Buchalter has held various chairmanships and senior management positions, including serving as chairman of the board, president and CEO of Archimedes Pharma. Prior to joining Archimedes, he helmed Enzon Pharmaceuticals and Ilex Oncology, Inc. He has also served as a senior executive at Pharmacia, Wyeth and Schering-Plough.

Sensus Healthcare – Ziv Karni was named chief scientific officer of Florida-based Sensus Healthcare, Inc. Karni, a pioneer in medical technology research and development, has more than 30 years of experience in the development and sales of medical and aesthetic technologies. Karni joined Sensus from Alma Lasers, where he has served as CEO, president and head of research and development.

Click to sign up for job alerts

Krystal Biotech – Julian S. Gangolli was named to the board of directors of Pittsburgh-based Krystal Biotech. He will serve as a member of the Nomination and Governance Committee. Gangolli is president of North America of Greenwich Biosciences, a GW Pharmaceuticals PLC Company. He is responsible for building out the US commercial infrastructure and spearheading the launch of its lead therapeutic product Epidiolex. Prior to GW Pharmaceuticals, Gangolli served as president of the North American Pharmaceutical division of Allergan, Inc. for 11 years.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals – John J. Crowley was named chief financial officer of Fusion Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, Crowley served as CFO at Merus, Inc., where he led the finance and investor relations functions. Prior to Merus, Crowley served as corporate controller and chief accounting officer of Charles River Laboratories, Inc. Previously, he served as CAO of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and held senior corporate finance positions at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Amphivena Therapeutics – South San Francisco-based Amphivena Therapeutics, Inc. tapped Victoria Smith as chief scientific officer. Smith joins Amphivena from Gilead, where she led the Biologics and Target Biology Group, responsible for biologics-focused drug discovery and translational research in oncology. Prior to that, Smith was Arresto Biosciences’ vice president of Research and Preclinical Development. In addition to Smith, Amphivena said Peter Van Vlasselaer, joined the Amphivena Board of Directors as an independent Executive Chairman. Van Vlasselaer was most recently the CEO of ARMO Biosciences. Before that he was president and CEO of iPierian, Arresto and Avidia.

Cerevance – Lee A. Dawson was named vice president of neuroscience. Most recently, he served as vice president of CNS drug development at Astex Pharmaceuticals, where he established and developed their global neuroscience research strategy. Prior to Astex, Dawson spent six years at Eisai Ltd.

DalCor -- Paul R. Fonteyne was named chairman of the board of directors for DalCor Pharmaceuticals. Fonteyne will assume the position from Robert McNeil, Ph.D., who will continue to serve on the DalCor board. Fonteyne’s career spans more than three decades of leadership roles across North America and Europe with companies including Boehringer-Ingelheim, Merck, and Abbott Laboratories. Until 2018, he was President and CEO, Boehringer-Ingelheim USA. He is a past board member of the National Pharmaceutical Council and PhRMA. He serves on the boards of ResTORbio Inc., Gelesis Inc. and Ypsomed AG.

California Life Sciences Association – CLSA, the trade association representing California’s life sciences sector, expanded its board of directors to add three new members. Jamey Millar, senior vice president of Managed Markets and Government Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline; Wendye Robbins, president & CEO, Blade Therapeutics; and Dirksen Lehman, corporate vice president of public affairs at Edwards Lifesciences. CLSA also announced that Lehman has been added to its executive committee.

Know about someone making a big move in the life sciences industry? Send editorial suggestions to for inclusion in our Friday Movers and Shakers roundup. Looking to make a move yourself? Check out BioSpace’s job board for thousands of the latest life sciences jobs.

Back to news