BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Oct. 30
NantKwest – Billionaire biotech entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong has stepped down from his role as chief executive officer of NantKwest and will become executive chairman of the board of directors. Richard Adcock will replace Soon-Shiong at the helm of the company as CEO. Soon-Shiong remains the largest shareholder in NantKwest. Adcock was most recently CEO of Verity Health Systems, a California-based nonprofit healthcare system that he steered through a successful restructuring event. Prior to Verity Health, Adcock served as chief innovation officer for Sanford Health, the largest rural nonprofit healthcare system in the U.S. As executive chairman, Soon-Shiong will continue to play a key, active role in NantKwest’s business and in the development of the company’s long-term business strategy.
Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals – Mark Kirschbaum was named chief medical officer of Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Kirschbaum is an experienced hematologist/oncologist with over 30 years of experience in molecular medicine, new drug development, clinical trial design and patient care. As CMO, he will be responsible for advancing Cyclacel’s pipeline and will lead clinical strategy, patient safety, and medical affairs. Most recently, Kirschbaum served as head of Hematology/ Oncology at ArQule Inc., which was recently acquired by Merck. Before ArQule, he was senior medical director with global clinical development responsibilities at Daiichi-Sankyo, Taiho Pharmaceuticals and BeiGene.
Adaptate Biotherapeutics – Stewart Kay was named chief business officer of London-based Adaptate. Most recently he was CBO at Crescendo Biologics and prior to that was senior director of Transactions at GlaxoSmithKline in the Worldwide Business Development group. Before joining GSK, Stewart also held senior business development roles at Asterand plc and Evotec AG.
Cygnal Therapeutics – Cambridge, Mass.-based Cygnal expanded its Scientific Advisory Board with two new members, John B. Furness and Clifford Woolf. Furness is an expert on the relationship between neuroscience, nerves and the gut. He is a professor and researcher at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Woolf is an award-winning researcher at Boston Children's Hospital.
Nuvation Bio – Jennifer Fox was named chief financial officer of Nuvation Bio. Fox will be responsible for corporate strategy, business development, investor relations and corporate communications. Fox joins Nuvation Bio from CitiGroup, where she most recently served as a managing director and co-head of the Healthcare Corporate and Investment Banking Group. Prior to CitiGroup, Fox held senior positions in investment banking at Deutsche Bank, Bear Stearns, Bank of America and Prudential Securities.
OneOncology – Bob Gallagher was named chief operations officer and will be responsible for overseeing all operations functions for the high-growth community-based oncology platform. Before coming to OneOncology, Gallagher was a division vice president at DaVita, a national dialysis provider, where he led operations in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Alabama. Gallagher also led the home dialysis strategy for an eight-state region in the Southeast.
Sapreme – Netherlands-based Sapreme tapped Miriam Bujny as chief development officer. Bujny will apply her expertise in RNA and antibody therapeutic development to further advance Sapreme’s proprietary endosomal escape platform through preclinical development. Prior to joining Sapreme, Bujny worked at ProQR Therapeutics as senior director R&D. She also headed the Translational Science department and oversaw biomarker and assay development activities across a variety of RNA therapy programs for rare diseases. Prior to that, she worked in various roles for Janssen.
Monte Rosa Therapeutics – Boston-based Monte Rosa expanded its leadership team with the appointments of Min Wang as chief operating officer, Ajim Tamboli as CFO and Jullian G. Jones as head of business development. Prior to joining Monte Rosa, Wang served as COO of BlueRock Therapeutics. She previously served as senior vice president, General Counsel at Agios from inception through its IPO to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. Before Agios, Wang served as Senior Patent Counsel at Genentech and Merck. Tamboli joined the company from Rodin Therapeutics, where he served as CFO. Earlier in his career, Tamboli led coverage of and executed IPOs and follow-on offerings for numerous biotech and healthcare companies at Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse and Lazard Frères. Jones previously served as senior director of Oncology Business Development at Eli Lilly. Prior to Lilly, Jones served in several leadership roles at Boehringer Ingelheim, including business development and licensing, marketing and new product planning.
Inscripta – Sri Kosaraju, who serves on the board of directors of the company, was named president and CEO of Inscripta. Kosaraju succeeds Kevin Ness. Prior to joining Inscripta, Kosaraju was president of Penumbra. Earlier, Kosaraju spent 16 years at J.P. Morgan, where he was most recently head of Healthcare Equity Capital Markets and co-head of Technology Equity Capital Markets.
GentiBio – Catherine Thut and Tom Wickham joined GentiBio as CBO and CSO, respectively. In these roles, Thut will be responsible for leading the company’s corporate development, strategy and financing, and Wickham will drive the company’s research and development activities to advance the company’s scientific platform and shape research strategy. Thut most recently served as CEO of Makana Therapeutics. Prior to Makana, she was executive director in the Business Development and Licensing group at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Thut also worked at Merck Research Laboratories as Therapeutics Area group leader for Ophthalmology Research. Wickham most recently, Tom served as senior vice president of Research and Development at Rubius Therapeutics. Prior to Rubius, he held senior roles at numerous leading biopharmaceutical companies, including as vice president of R&D at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, senior director of Preclinical Pharmacology at EMD Lexigen and at GenVec, Inc.
NervGen Pharma – Randall Kaye has been named to the board of directors of Vancouver-based NervGen Pharma Corp. Kaye previously served in CMO roles overseeing clinical research programs and development, including those with a specific focus on developing novel therapies for central nervous system disorders. Presently, Kaye is the CMO at Neurana Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Before this, he held the position of CMO at Click Therapeutics, Axsome Therapeutics, and Avanir Pharmaceuticals. He was also the vice president of Medical Affairs at Scios, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company. For over 10 years, he was the senior director overseeing Pediatric Health and Allergy Disease Management at Pfizer, Inc.
Galien Medstartup Awards – E-scopics, TreeFrog Therapeutics and Wandercraft were named winners of the 2020 Galien Medstartup Awards. The Galien Medstartup Awards recognizes Franco-American collaborations in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, and digital health. The award aims to provide innovative French businesses with the opportunity to shine alongside the biggest names in the industry. E-Scopics S.A.S is a MedTech company developing dematerialized ultrasound technologies, to enable ultralight digital “echoscopes.” TreeFrog Therapeutics is a stem cell company that will enable millions of patients to access the medical revolution of cell therapies by overcoming current critical manufacturing issues. Wandercraft ‘s job is to make wheelchair users walk again.
QurAlis – Angela Genge was named CMO of QurAlis Corporation. Genge is the Executive Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute’s Clinical Research Unit and the Director of Montreal Neurological Hospital’s ALS Global Center of Excellence. The company also announced the formation of its Clinical Advisory Board, which will work closely with Genge on QurAlis’ clinical research and development programs in ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as the company prepares to move its pipeline to the clinical stage. Advisory Board members are Ammar Al-Chalabi, a professor of Neurology and Complex Disease Genetics at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Head of the Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, and Director of the King’s Motor Neuron Disease Care and Research Centre; Jinsy Andrews, an associate professor of Neurology in the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine at Columbia University, and serves as the University’s Director of Neuromuscular Clinical Trials; Merit Cudkowicz, the Julianne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Neurology and Director of the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General Hospital; Dame Pamela J. Shaw, who served as director of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Translational Neuroscience for Chronic Neurological Disorders, and the Sheffield Care and Research Centre for Motor Neuron Disorders; Philip Van Damme, a professor of Neurology and director of the Neuromuscular Reference Center at the University Hospital Leuven in Belgium; and Leonard van den Berg, a professor of neurology who holds a chair in experimental neurology of motor neuron diseases at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Avomeen – Luke Miller was named senior vice president of Lab Operations. In this position, Miller will further strengthen and expand Avomeen’s laboratory operations to support the company’s continued growth. Most recently, Miller 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.