BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Nov. 26
Biopharma and life sciences companies strengthen their leadership teams and board with these Movers & Shakers.
Sarepta Therapeutics – Louise Rodino-Klapac, who currently serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief scientific officer, has been named the company’s head of research and development. She will continue to serve in the CSO role. Gilmore O’Neill, who has served as head of R&D since 2018, will leave the company at the end of November and remain in a consulting capacity until March 31, 2022.
Kaia Health – Digital therapeutics company Kaia Health tapped Nigel Ohrenstein, the co-founder of Lumeris, as president. He will be tasked with accelerating the company’s growth as a leader in musculoskeletal care. Ohrenstein brings over 20 years of experience dedicated to transforming the healthcare system. As co-founder of Lumeris, Ohrenstein helped build Lumeris into the leading value-based care company.
Blade Therapeutics – Bay Area-based Blade announced Bassem Elmankabadi will serve as senior vice president of clinical development. In this role, Elmankabadi will oversee strategy and execution of Blade’s clinical development programs. Prior to joining Blade, he held the position of executive medical director managing clinical development for the fibrosis and oncology platforms at FibroGen. Elmankabadi previously held a leadership role at Amgen as senior medical director, global clinical safety officer. Before his roles with Amgen, he was a medical director, clinical instructor at UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles.
Imago BioSciences -- Laurie Keating, a seasoned life sciences veteran with more than 40 years of experience, has been appointed to the board of directors of Imago. Keating most recently served as chief legal officer at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where she led the company’s global public policy and government relations, legal, and intellectual property groups. Prior to joining Alnylam, Keating served general counsel and secretary at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Millennium, Keating was the founding chief executive officer of Hydra Biosciences, a privately held, venture-backed company, and served on Hydra’s Board for six years. Keating currently sits on the Board of Directors for Immuneering Corporation and MassBIO.
FogPharma – Massachusetts-based FogPharma expanded its leadership team with two appointments. Lihua Yu was named chief data officer and Keith Orford was tapped to serve as chief medical officer and executive vice president of clinical and translational science. Yu, former president and chief data science officer of H3 Biomedicine Inc., will oversee the development and implementation of FogPharma’s data science strategy. Prior to H3, she held roles of increasing responsibility at AstraZeneca and served as cancer bioinformatics leader. Orford will oversee translational medicine and clinical development initiatives for FogPharma. Orford joins FogPharma from Calithera Biosciences where he served as CMO. Prior to Calithera, Orford was the clinical development lead in the Immuno-Oncology and Combinations Development Performance Unit at GlaxoSmithKline. Before GSK, he worked on early clinical development programs at Merck across multiple therapeutic areas.
Connect Biopharma – Steven Chan was appointed chief financial officer of Connect Biopharma Holdings Limited. Chan succeeds Eric Hall who served as Interim CFO. Chan joins Connect from Delphon Industries LLC, where he served as CFO and led its finance, human resources and legal functions. Prior to Delphon Industries, Chan served as head of finance and principal financial and accounting officer at Arcus Biosciences. Chan has also held financial leadership positions at several listed companies in the technology, financial services, and life sciences sectors, including Myokardia, Inc., Solta Medical Inc., Moody’s Analytics, and Logitech, Inc.
Elucida Oncology – Ian Somaiya was named CFO and chief business officer of New Jersey-based Elucida. Somaiya has over two decades of experience in finance and biotechnology. Most recently, he was CFO of TCR2 Therapeutics where he successfully navigated the company through its IPO and two follow-on financings. Prior to TCR2, Somaiya spent over 20 years on Wall Street where he conducted extensive research on more than 100 biotechnology companies across diverse therapeutic areas, technology platforms and stages of development. He was Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Research at BMO Capital Markets, and also served as a Managing Director and Equity Analyst at Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Piper Jaffray Companies and Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc.