BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Nov. 27

Movers and Shakers

Penrose TherapeuTx – Michigan’s Penrose TherapeuTx named Mark de Souza as its new chief executive officer. He brings years of experience to the company. de Souza has led fundraising initiatives for companies totaling more than $250 million. Most recently as CEO of Revolution Global, a leading multi-state cannabis health and wellness company, de Souza raised over $100 million in investments which fueled innovative research into commercialization in the complex and highly regulated cannabis health and wellness industry. Revolution Global achieved market leadership and launched several successful health-focused products under his leadership. He also served as president of County Cork, LLC, a family office-owned investment company specializing in all senior management issues relating to asset allocation, risk analysis and business development.

Ultimovacs ASA – Amgen veteran Ton Berkien was named chief business officer of Norway-based Ultimovacs ASA. Berkien will join Ultimovacs from his current position at Amgen as Director Global Business Development. At Ultimovacs, he will lead all business and corporate development efforts and continue to maintain and foster connections with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Berkien’s joined Amgen after that acquired Nuevolution, a Danish small molecule development company, at which he led the commercial and business activities as chief business officer. During his tenure at Nuevolution, Berkien contributed to a number of corporate achievements including an IPO, executing a program out-licensing deal with Almirall as well as drug discovery collaborations with Janssen Biotech and Amgen. Prior to that, Berkien was acting head of Corporate Development/M&A at Takeda/Nycomed, where he completed several M&A transactions in the United States, Europe and in various emerging growth markets such as China, Brazil, India and Colombia. Earlier in his career, Berkien held senior manager positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rijnconsult, KPMG and Gilde Investment Management. Berkien is currently a board member of the Nordic Pharma Licensing Group.

Taysha Gene Therapies – Kathy Reape and Laura Sepp-Lorenzino were appointed to the board of directors of Dallas-based Taysha Gene Therapies. Reape was most recently chief medical officer at Spark Therapeutics where she oversaw clinical development, pharmacovigilance and medical affairs activities. She also oversaw the development of Spark’s pipeline of gene therapies addressing CNS disease, hemophilia, metabolic disorders and inherited retinal dystrophies. Sepp-Lorenzino is currently the CSO at Intellia Therapeutics and has held several senior positions over her extensive career. Most recently, she was vice president and Head of Nucleic Acid Therapies at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. She previously served as Alnylam’s vice president and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, where she led the hepatic infectious disease strategies therapeutic area and was a key figure in partnering and in-licensing activities. She spent 14 years at Merck & Co., including as department Head of the RNA therapeutics discovery biology unit.

MichBio -- Lola Eniola-Adefeso was appointed to the board of directors of MichBio. Eniola-Adefeso, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, was appointed to complete a term expiring in December 2022. Eniola-Adefeso is a co-founder of Asalyxa Bio, which is focused on the development of a treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), including the variety found in COVID-19 patients.

ZYUS Life Science – Canada’s ZYUS formed a Clinical Advisory Committee to provide strategic advice and guidance for the company’s clinical programs. The committee is chaired by ZYUS’ Chief Medical Officer Lionel Marks de Chabris, a leading expert in chronic pain management and addictions medicine. The committee includes four initial committee members including Mary Lynch, David J. Shulkin, Cedric Francois and Alice Zwerling. Mary Lynch is a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Psychiatry and Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. Shulkin previously served as the ninth Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin has served as the chief executive of multiple hospitals and health systems. Francois is the co-founder and CEO of Apellis Pharmaceuticals. Francois served as president CEO of Potentia Pharmaceuticals, a private biotechnology company he co-founded in 2001. Zwerling is an Assistant Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Dragonfly Therapeutics -- Alex Lugovskoy has joined Dragonfly Therapeutics as chief operating officer. Lugovskoy served as chief development officer of Morphic Therapeutic Inc. for the past five years, where he was responsible for drug development into first-in-human clinical studies, and built and led safety assessment, technical operations, regulatory affairs, quality management, program and alliance management, information technology, data science, and business development. Previously, Lugovskoy served as vice president of Therapeutics of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals for six years, and as Associate Director of Drug Discovery at Biogen Inc. for nine years. In addition to Lugovskoy, the company bolstered its Scientific Advisory Board with the addition of leading drug developer and clinician Rob Hershberg. Hershberg began his career as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and later, Hershberg co-founded VentiRx Pharmaceuticals. Hershberg joined Celgene in 2014 and was promoted to chief scientific officer in 2016, and was subsequently named Head of Business Development & Global Alliances. He is currently a Venture Partner on the Frazier Life Sciences team.

IntraBio Inc. – Gilead Sciences veteran Jim Meyers was named president and CEO of U.K.-based IntraBio Inc. Meyers spent 22 years at Gilead Sciences, most recently serving as head of Worldwide Commercial Operations and chief commercial officer, where he was responsible for the commercialization of all Gilead products, including pricing and market access, in North America, Europe, Middle East, Australia, and Japan.

Aelis Farma – Anders Gersel Pedersen was named chairman of the board of directors of France-based AELIS FARMA. Pedersen held roles at Eli Lilly and Lundbeck. He retired as head of Research and Development at Lundbeck.

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