BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Nov. 6

Executive Leaving Office

Amarna Therapeutics – Markwin Velders, the former vice president of Operations and a managing director of Kite Pharma joined the supervisory board of Netherlands-based Amarna Therapeutics. Velders is presently chairman of HollandBIO, the association of Dutch biotech companies, and provides years of experience, specifically in the cell and gene therapy areas. Before joining Kite, he was chief scientific officer at Dutch AM-Pharma, Business Unit Manager at TNO Biosciences and chief executive officer at SomantiX.

Imperative Care – Daniel Davis, the current chief operating officer of California-based Imperative Care, Inc., has been appointed to the additional role of president and will oversee the growth of the company’s technology portfolio for the treatment of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Prior to joining Imperative Care in 2019, Davis served as chief commercial officer and president of North America at Penumbra, Inc., where he led the launch of the first FDA-cleared aspiration system for neurovascular mechanical thrombectomy.

Mogrify – U.K.-based Mogrify added three to its scientific advisory board. Christine Mummery, Graziella Pellegrini and Giulio Cossu were added to the ranks of the board. Mummery is a professor of Developmental Biology in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at Leiden University Medical Center and founded the first induced pluripotent stem cell core facility in the Netherlands. Pellegrini is a professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Cell Therapy Program Coordinator at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari”, and co-founder and R&D Director at Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l. Cossu, is a professor of Regenerative Medicine at The University of Manchester and visiting professor at the Max Delbruck Centre, Charitè in Berlin.

acousia Therapeutics– Jonas Dyhrfjeld-Johnsen joined Germany-based Acousia in the new role of chief development officer. Having worked in various translational R&D positions in the hearing loss and CNS area for more than ten years, Dyhrfjeld-Johnsen will further strengthening Acousia`s scientific clout and technical expert network in the field.

Horizon Therapeutics – Karin Rosén joined Ireland-based Horizon Therapeutics as executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer. Prior to Horizon, she was senior vice president, U.S. medical affairs at GlaxoSmithKline. Before GSK, Rosén was senior vice president, U.S. and global medical affairs at Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc. and before that, Rosén was therapeutic area head, immunology, at Genentech.

X4 Pharmaceuticals – Art Taveras was named CSO of Cambridge, Mass.-based X4. Taveras will lead all research and non-clinical development functions supporting the company’s pipeline of investigational therapies. Taveras joins X4 from CoMET Therapeutics, where he served as CSO. Previously, he was the founder and CSO at Transform Therapeutics. He also and served as president and CSO at ShangPharma ChemPartner. Prior to that, Taveras was vice president of Small Molecule Drug Discovery and CMC Development at Biogen Idec, and Alantos Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Amgen in 2007.

Avomeen – Luke Miller was named senior vice president of Lab Operations at Avomeen. Miller comes to Avomeen with more than 25 years of experience in lab operations and leadership in the biopharmaceutical and CDMO industries. Most recently, he served as the vice president of Lab Operations at Metabolon. Prior to this, he held a position as a director of Analytical Chemistry in Drug Discovery at GlaxoSmithKline.

Rallybio – Paula Soteropoulus was appointed to the board of directors of Connecticut’s Rallybio. Soteropoulus currently serves as executive chairman of a venture-backed biotechnology company and a member of the board of directors of uniQure. Previously, she served as founding CEO and member of the board of directors of Akcea Therapeutics. Prior to Akcea, she was senior vice president and General Manager of Cardiometabolic and Rare Disease Businesses and Strategic Alliances at Moderna, Inc.

ICER – Leigh Purvis, director of Health Care Costs and Access in AARP's Public Policy Institute, was appointed to the governance board of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). In addition, ICER's Advisory Board will be joined by Mark McClellan, founding Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University.

DURECT Corporation – Norman Sussman was named chief medical officer and will oversee the clinical development of DURECT's pipeline including multiple indications for its lead investigational drug candidate DUR-928. Sussman joins DURECT from Baylor College of Medicine, where he was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery. Sussman has also had leadership experience in industry as the founder and vice president of both Amphioxus Cell Technologies from 1995 to 2003 and Hepatix, Inc. from 1993 to 1995.

FAST BioMedical – Privately-held FAST named Jim Dillon to its board of directors. Dillon is a former St. Jude Medical and Abiomed executive, with significant experience capitalizing and commercializing first-in-class heart failure and cardiorenal syndrome technologies. Dillon is currently CEO of Reprieve Cardiovascular and previously oversaw St. Jude Medical’s America’s product portfolio including Structural Heart and Heart Failure.

Relief Therapeutics -- J. Paul Waymack was appointed as development and regulatory consultant to Switzerland’s RELIEF. He will be responsible for establishing Relief's new Clinical Advisory Board and recruiting experts to join this body. Waymack currently serves as president of Waymack Consulting, which provides expert services to healthcare companies. He was the founder of Kitov Pharmaceuticals and served as its chairman of the board of directors as well as its CMO from the company's founding until his retirement in 2019.

VectivBio AG – Based in Switzerland, VectivBio named Sarah Holland as chief business officer and Aditya Venugopal as head of business development. Most recently, Holland served as Global Head of licensing at Lonza AG. Prior to Lonza, she led External Science and Partnering across the globe for Sanofi R&D. Venugopal most recently served as executive director at Intercept Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he was an associate director at Navigant Life Science Consulting.

Tacalyx – Klaus Schollmeier was named chairman of the board of directors of Germany-based Taxalyx. Schollmeier is managing director of a consulting and investment firm. He also serves as chairman of the board of several European biotechnology companies.

CalciMedica Inc. – Daniel Geffken was named interim chief financial officer of CalciMedica. As a founder and managing director at Danforth Advisors, he served as chief financial officer and strategic consultant to life science and biotechnology companies, ranging from start-ups to publicly traded companies, including Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Atea Pharmaceuticals, Cabaletta, Cidara Therapeutics, Homology Medicines, Stealth BioTherapeutics and Transkaryotic Therapies.

Deep Genomics – Toronto-based Deep Genomics appointed Amanda Kay to the newly-created role of chief business officer. Kay will oversee an expansion of partnership strategy at Deep Genomics and lead corporate strategy as the company works to advance drug discovery and development efforts powered by its expanding platform, called the AI Workbench. Prior to joining Deep Genomics, Kay was senior vice president of Corporate Development and a member of the executive team at Synlogic, Inc. Prior to joining Synlogic, she served as COO for Pfizer’s Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit. Additionally, the company also appointed Thomas E. Hughes, CEO of Navitor Pharmaceuticals, to the board of directors. Prior to joining Navitor, Hughes served as president and CSO of Zafgen and previously led Zafgen as CEO from 2008 to 2017.

Intravacc – Virgil Schijns was named CSO of Netherlands-based Intravacc. Schijns, a former professor at N.C. State University, will have overall responsibility for the scientific and clinical strategy, including scientific and clinical affairs.

Agenus – Steven O’Day was named CMO of Agenus Inc. O’Day has been a principal investigator for more than 200 clinical trials. O’Day was part of a small group of investigators to treat the first patients with the first checkpoint antibody, the anti-CTLA-4 ipilimumab. He has served as professor of medical oncology and director of clinical research and immuno-oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute and co-director of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Research Center.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals – Alexander Denner, the founding partner and chief investment officer of Sarissa Capital Management LP, has been appointed to the board of directors of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. Denner has been with Sarissa since 2011. From 2006 to 2011, Denner served as a senior managing director at Icahn Capital L.P. Prior to that, he held roles at Viking Global Investors and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Denner serves on the board of directors of Biogen Inc. In the last five years, Denner has served as chair of the board of directors of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and The Medicines Company, as well as a member of the board of directors of Bioverativ Inc.

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