BioSpace Movers and Shakers: Nov. 26

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In a short week leading up to Thanksgiving, several companies made leadership changes as they eye the coming year. We round up who made power moves this past week. 

Brickell Biotech – As Boulder, Colo.-based Brickell moves its lead product candidate into late-stage trials, the company initiated a leadership change. Brickell tapped Robert Brown as its new chief executive officer beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Brown, an Eli Lily veteran, takes over the role of CEO from Reginald Hardy, a company co-founder. Hardy will remain on Brickell’s Board of Directors and will serve as special advisor to the CEO. Brown was tapped for his experience bringing drugs to market. At Eli Lilly, Brown was instrumental in bringing drugs like Taltz, Cialis and Cymbalta to market. At Lilly, Brown served as chief marketing officer. Additionally, he served as president and general manager of Lilly’s China affiliate, Lilly Suzhou JV.

Genevant Sciences – Genevant Sciences, which launched in April, named Bo Rode Hansen as president and CEO. Prior to joining Genevant earlier this year, Hansen served as global head of RNA Therapeutics at Roche, and as general manager of the Roche Innovation Center in Copenhagen. Before that, he was head of drug discovery and alliance management at Santaris Pharma A/S. he was brought to Roche when the Swiss pharma giant acquired Santaris in 2014.

In addition to Hansen, Genevant named Mark Kay as an independent member of its board of directors. Kay is a leading researcher in RNA therapeutics. He has been the Dennis Farrey Family Professor in Pediatrics and Professor of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine since 1998. He is the co-founder and board member and Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member of LogicBio Therapeutics. He is also a scientific co-founder and SAB member of Voyager Therapeutics.

Axovant Sciences – Genevant wasn’t the only Roivant subsidiary to make some changes to its leadership. Gene therapy company Axovant added five members to its senior leadership team. Industry veteran Greg MacMichael, joins Axovant as senior vice president of technical operations with responsibility overseeing manufacturing of Axovant’s pipeline of gene therapies. MacMichael most recently served as senior vice president of development, manufacturing and quality control at NantKwest. Prior to that, he was the global head of biologics process development at Novartis.

Parag Meswani, joins Axovant as senior vice president of commercial strategy and operations. Meswani has served in various leadership roles at Novartis, Pharmacia, Biogen, and most recently, Spark Therapeutics. At Spark, he served as head of U.S. marketing and diagnostics, leading the development and execution of the brand strategy for Luxturna.

Paul Korner was named head of clinical development.  Korner most recently served as vice president of medical strategy and clinical development at Sarepta Therapeutics.  Prior to Sarepta, he held executive-level roles at Ardelyx and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

As head of vector delivery and optimization, Greg Stewart will be responsible for ongoing clinical refinement of Axovant’s gene therapy programs. Stewart most recently served as chief scientific officer at Pairnomix. Prior to Pairnomix, he was vice president of vector delivery at Voyager Therapeutics.

Sean O’Bryan will assume responsibility for regulatory affairs. He previously served as vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at Lysogene. Prior to Lysogene, he was senior director of regulatory affairs at Bluebird Bio.

Notogen, Inc. – Toronto-based Notogen, a regenerative therapeutics company, named Gary Margolis as its new CEO. Margolis most recently served as Managing Director, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of DRI Capital Inc. Prior to his tenure at DRI Capital, Margolis was a legal associate at Dewey Ballantine LLP in London, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York.

Alkahest, Inc. – Elizabeth Jeffords was named chief commercial and strategy officer at San Carlos, Calif.-based Alkahest. Jeffords joined Alkahest from Genentech and Roche Pharmaceuticals where she was most recently the vice president of Genentech’s U.S. ophthalmology portfolio and was directly responsible for sales and marketing of Lucentis. At Genentech, she previously served as head of U.S. strategic pricing and contracting management, as well as head of U.S. market analysis and strategy.

Isofol Medical AB – Sweden-based Isofol named Roger Tell as its chief scientific officer and head of clinical development. He has numerous management and advisory roles at companies such as Eli Lilly, Merck, AstraZeneca, Servier and Aprea Therapeutics. As CSO, Tell will be in charge of scientific research and technical operations at Isofol and will take a leading role in the development of Isofol's Phase III product candidate, arfolitixorin.

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