BioSpace Movers & Shakers, May 14

Movers and Shakers

Akouos – Kathy Reape was named chief development officer of Boston-based Akouos. Reape most recently served as chief medical officer at Spark Therapeutics where she oversaw clinical development, pharmacovigilance, and medical affairs activities. Reape was a key member of the team responsible for the development and commercialization of Luxturna, the first FDA-approved in vivo gene therapy approved for an inherited retinal disease caused by mutations in both copies of the RPE65 gene. Prior to Spark, Reape was senior vice president of clinical development focusing on global brands research and development at Allergan and Actavis.

CARMAT – France-based CARMAT’s board of directors is reorganizing its governance and appointed three new directors. The company tapped Florent Battistella, David Coti and John B. Hernandez as directors. Battistella founded Nisima, a holding company, which holds stakes in various firms, notably in the naval and aeronautical sectors. Coti is vice president of marketing at digital marketing company TBR. Hernandez is currently Clinical Director and Head of Clinical Research and Medical-Economic Affairs at Google.

Relay Therapeutics – Patrick Riley was named senior vice president of artificial intelligence for Relay Therapeutics. Riley brings 15 years of experience from Google and extensive knowledge in applying these technologies to drug discovery. At Google he served as principal engineer and senior researcher on the Google Accelerated Science team.

Codiak BioSciences – Jennifer Wheler was named chief medical officer of Codiak BioSciences. Wheler most recently served as chief medical officer of Bicara Therapeutics. Previously, Wheler led first-in-human studies for novel immuno-oncology assets at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. She also worked in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where she served as Principal Investigator on more than 30 Phase I trials. Benny Sorensen, who has led the preclinical to clinical translational work and clinical strategy for Codiak for the past five years, will become Senior Vice President of Strategic Projects.

SpringWorks Therapeutics – Mike Burgess was named head of Research and Development at SpringWorks Therapeutics. Burgess will lead the R&D organization as the company continues to advance its diversified targeted oncology pipeline and to expand its portfolio with additional oncology programs. He succeeds Stephen Squinto, who served as Acting Head of R&D since the company’s launch in 2017. Squinto will continue to serve on the SpringWorks Board of Directors. Burgess joins SpringWorks from Turnstone Biologics, where he was President of R&D. Prior to Turnstone Burgess led translational medicine, early-stage clinical trials and clinical pharmacology across all therapeutic areas at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Before that, he held different senior leadership positions at Hoffmann La-Roche. Prior to Roche, Burgess was with Eli Lilly and Company, where he worked on early-stage oncology trials.

LogicBio Therapeutics – Andrea Paul was named general counsel and corporate secretary and Janice Olson was named senior vice president of strategy and portfolio management at LogicBio. Paul joins LogicBio Therapeutics on May. She is currently at Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., where she has held roles of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as vice president of legal. Prior to Akebia, she served as senior corporate counsel at Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Olson joins LogicBio Therapeutics effective June 7. She spent more than 25 years at Genzyme (now Sanofi Genzyme) holding multiple roles, most recently serving as head of global medical affairs operations. Before that, Olson served as vice president of portfolio and program management for the Genzyme R&D center. The company also announced the resignation of Kyle Chiang, who will be stepping down as chief operating officer effective May 28, to pursue an opportunity at a venture capital firm focusing on early-stage sustainability and life sciences focused ventures.

Atara Biotherapeutics – Cokey Nguyen was named chief scientific officer at Atara.  Nguyen comes to Atara from Fate Therapeutics where he served as Vice President, Innovation, Research and Development. Prior to that, he was leader of the targeted immunotherapy group on the Oncology R&D team at Pfizer, producing bispecific antibodies for solid tumors and hematological malignancies and bringing them into the clinic.

Hemispherian AS – Norway-based Hemispherian formed its clinical advisory board. The board will be chaired by Roger Stupp, chief of Neuro-Oncology in the Department of Neurology and Paul C Bucy Professor of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University Chicago. Members include Michael Lim, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University; Monika Hegi, head of the Laboratory of Brain Tumour Biology and Genetics at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne; and Einar O. Vik-Mo, head of the Surgical Neuro-Oncology section at Oslo University Hospital.

TellBio – Pritesh J. Gandhi was named chief executive officer and Annie Partisano was named head of operations. Prior to joining TellBio, Gandhi was General Manager at Alnylam. Prior to joining Alnylam, Gandhi had a wide-range of global medical affairs responsibilities in launching four first-in-class medicines in hematology/oncology at Sanofi Genzyme. Earlier in his career he held roles at Millennium and Alexion. Prior to joining TellBio, Partisano held various leadership positions within Medical Affairs at Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi Genzyme, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and most recently, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, where she was Vice President of Medical Operations.

Candel Therapeutics – Carrie S. Cox has been named chairman of the Candel Therapeutics Board of Directors. Cox is currently the chairman of Organon, a women’s health spinoff of Merck & Co. She was also recently the chairman of Array Biopharma. She also serves on the board of directors of Cardinal Health, Selecta BioSciences and Texas Instruments. Prior to her numerous board roles, she served as president of Schering-Plough's Global Pharmaceutical Business and CEO of Humacyte. Fortune magazine named Ms. Cox to its List of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” six times. Paul Manning, the outgoing Chairman, will continue to serve as a director.

Neurocentrx Pharma – Susan Foden was named chairman of the board of directors of Scotland-based Neurocentrx. Currently she is a non-executive director of Evgen Pharma Plc, QBio ASA, Oxford Ancestors Ltd and is a member of the Investment Committee for the Centre for Drug Discovery and Development Leuven.

Tubulis – Christian Grøndahl was named inaugural chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board. Over the course of his career, Grøndahl has been involved in founding and initiating multiple biotechnology companies based on novel technology platforms, including SNIPR Biome, Freeline Therapeutics, Gyroscope Therapeutics, Quadrucept Bio and Folium Science. Since 2015, he has held the position of CEO of SNIPR Biome, a CRISPR company. He also served as the CEO of Kymab in the U.K. Earlier in his career, he held various R&D and corporate development roles of increasing responsibility. He was CSO and Head of R&D at Zealand Pharma. Grøndahl worked at Novo Nordisk as VP and Corporate VP in R&D as well as in Corporate Development.

Replimune Group – Tanya Lewis was appointed to a newly created position of Chief Development Operations Officer. Lewis previously served on Replimune’s board of directors and resigned on May 7 in order to join the executive team. Lewis joins from Karyopharm Therapeutics where she served as Chief Regulatory Strategy and Strategic Operations Officer and was responsible for project management and portfolio review. Prior to Karyopharm, Lewis held leadership positions at several companies, including Tesaro and Millennium.

SCYNEXIS, Inc. – Christine Coyn was named chief commercial officer. Most recently, Coyne served as Senior Vice President, Commercial at Paratek Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, she led marketing and sales teams in biotech and large pharma companies such as Wyeth-Ayerst Global Pharmaceuticals, Endo, and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.

Korros Bio – Vineet Agarwal was named chief financial officer of Korro Bio. He joins from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. where he most recently served as Senior Executive Director in the Healthcare Investment banking group.

Penrose TherapeuTx – Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, founder and CEO of MyOwnMed, was appointed to the scientific advisory board of Penrose TherapeuTx. Seyfert-Margolis has nearly two decades of experience at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Health. Seyfert-Margolis served as a Senior Advisor for Science Innovation and Policy in the Office of the Commissioner of the FDA during six years of the Obama Administration. She also served as the Director of the Office of Innovative Scientific Research Technologies at the NIAID.

Veracyte – Mike Stapley will succeed Veracyte cofounder Bonnie Anderson as CEO. Stapley will join Veracyte from his current role as the chairman and CEO of Helix, Inc. Prior to Helix, Stapley served in key executive leadership positions at Illumina, Inc., including CFO, chief administrative officer, and executive vice president. Before joining Illumina, Stapley was senior vice president, finance at Pfizer Inc. Prior to that he served in a variety of senior finance roles at Alcatel-Lucent, Cadence Design Systems, Inc, and Coopers & Lybrand. Anderson will move into an active executive chairman role, serving as a trusted advisor to Stapley to ensure a smooth transition, and will continue to serve on the board. 

STRIKE Pharma – Sweden-based STRIKE Pharma named Pyrosequencing and Olink veteran Mårten Winge as CEO. Winge has held executive management and board positions at Pyrosequencing, Olink, Halo Genomics and Proxeon. Most recently he was CEO of Cartana AB, which was acquired by 10x Genomics. He is currently on the board of Countagen and Inhalation Sciences, acts as an advisor to Inossia, and is a business coach for Uppsala Innovation Center.

Medicenna Therapeutics – Mann Muhsin was named CMO of the Toronto-based company. Muhsin has more than 20 years of experience in medical practice and drug development. Muhsin designed and executed early and late stage oncology trials for companies such as Oncosec, Halozyme Therapeutics, HUYA Bioscience and most recently at Nektar Therapeutics.

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