BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Sept. 24

Movers and Shakers

Life sciences organizations strengthen their leadership teams and boards with these Movers & Shakers. 

Ventyx Biosciences – Sheila Gujrathi bolstered its leadership with the appointment of Sheila Gujrathi as the new Executive Chair of the Board of Directors, and Jorn Drappa as chief medical officer. Gujrathi is the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Gossamer Bio. Prior to Gossamer, Gujrathi served as CMO of Receptos. Before that, Gujrathi served as Vice President of the Global Clinical Development Group in Immunology at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Gujrathi also held roles in the immunology, tissue growth and repair clinical development groups at Genentech. Prior to joining Ventyx, Drappa served as executive vice president of R&D at Horizon Therapeutics. Prior to Horizon’s acquisition of Viela Bio in March 2021, he served as Head of R&D and CMO at Viela Bio. Before that, he served as Vice President, Clinical Development at MedImmune/AstraZeneca. Prior to MedImmune/AstraZeneca, he served as Senior Medical Director for inflammation and autoimmune diseases at Genentech. Earlier in his career, he served as a Medical Director for Amgen.

Rentschler Biopharma – Germany’s Rentschler named Christian Schetter as chief scientific officer. He will be responsible for process technology and innovation. Prior to joining Rentschler Biopharma, Christian Schetter was Managing Director at Arix Bioscience plc. He served as CEO of Rigontec GmbH and before that, he was president & CEO for Fresenius Biotech GmbH. Schetter is also Non-Executive Chairman of STipe Therapeutics, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eternygen GmbH and Independent Board Member of OMEICOS Therapeutics GmbH.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals – Amy McKee, the former deputy center director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence, was appointed to the BioCryst Board of Directors. McKee currently serves as vice president of regulatory consulting services for Parexel, a leading global clinical research organization. Prior to joining Parexel in 2019, McKee spent more than a decade at the FDA in leadership roles of increasing responsibility. While there, she applied flexible, evidence-based regulatory approaches to assess novel drugs for serious unmet needs.

Selecta Biosciences – Kevin Tan was named chief financial officer of Selecta. Prior to joining Selecta, Tan served as treasurer at Sarepta Therapeutics where he was responsible for the liquidity and capital management of the company. Prior to his time at Sarepta, Tan served as Senior Portfolio Manager at CPP Investments, a Canadian pension fund where he managed billions in capital across the public markets.

Mereo BioPharma – Pierr Jaqcquet was appointed to the board of directors at Mereo BioPharma. Jacquet is currently Managing Director and Vice Chairman of L.E.K. Consulting’s Healthcare practice. He has served in a variety of leadership roles over 20 years at L.E.K., including Global Head, Healthcare Practice, Global Leadership Team, the Americas management committee, and various partner operating committees. In addition to serving on Mereo’s Board of Directors, Dr. Jacquet is a Director of Exact Sciences, on the Advisory Board of Life Science Cares, and previously served as a Director of Osprey Pharmaceuticals.

Lyndra Therapeutics – Doug Dachille, former Chief Investment Officer of American International Group (AIG), Inc., and Jillian Moo-Young, Managing Director at AIG were appointed to the Lyndra Therapeutics Board of Directors. Additionally, Lyndra announced the promotion of Jessica Ballinger to president and Chief Operations Officer. Ballinger has been a member of the Lyndra leadership team since 2016, and has played a leading role in building Lyndra as Chief Operations Officer and, previously, Vice President of Reimbursement and Strategic Alliances.

Aadi Bioscience – Brendan Delaney was appointed COO of Aadi Bioscience. Most recently Delaney was chief commercial officer at Constellation Pharmaceuticals. Prior to this, as CCO at Immunomedics, Inc. Delaney began his career at Bristol-Myers, Genentech and Chiron in roles of increasing responsibility in oncology marketing and strategy, and led global branding, strategy and franchises in Novartis’ oncology division for blockbuster brands.

Fore Biotherapeutics – Kim Blackwell was appointed to the board of directors and Sujit Basu was named senior vice president of Manufacturing and Technical Operations. Blackwell is currently the CMO of Tempus Labs. Prior to Tempus, she worked at Eli Lilly, where she was Vice President of Early Phase Oncology and Immuno-oncology. Basu joins Fore from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, where he was Vice President, Pharmaceutical Sciences, R&D. He previously worked at Shire as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development, Technical Operations. Prior to Shire, Basu served as Vice President at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and has also held positions in chemistry, manufacturing & controls (CMC) at Altus Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes, Inc. and Sarabhai Chemicals, A.S.E. Ltd.

Kronos Bio – Marni Kottle was named senior vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at Kronos. Prior to Kronos Bio, Kottle was vice president of Corporate Communications at Gilead Sciences. Prior to Gilead, she covered business news, including the biopharmaceutical and health care industries at the San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Jasper Therapeutics – Lawrence Klein and Chris Nolet were appointed to the board of directors at Jasper. Nolet will assume the role of Audit Committee Chair. Klein currently serves as COO at CRISPR Therapeutics, where he previously served as senior vice president and head of strategy and business development. Before joining CRISPR, he was an associate partner at McKinsey & Company. Nolet currently serves on the boards of three publicly-traded life science companies and the board a life science industry organization. He is the former West Region Life Sciences Industry Leader and Partner at Ernst & Young, having retired in June 2019.

Optibrium – U.K.-based Optibrium named Andy Black as non-executive Chair of its Board of Directors. Black as served in chairman roles at Synetic Life Sciences and Sygnature Discovery. Prior to his current roles, Black co-founded Kinapse, an international business providing expert advisory and implementation services to life science industries.

Dotmatics – Mike McKee was named the new president of U.K.-based Dotmatics. McKee takes over the helm of Dotmatics from Founder, Stephen Gallagher, who will continue to focus on strategic growth initiatives involving investments, acquisitions, and product expansion opportunities across the Dotmatics and Insightful Science ecosystem. Most recently, McKee was the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Insider Threat at Proofpoint. Prior to this, McKee was the CEO of ObserveIT.

MiroBio – Novartis veteran Carolin Barth was named CEO of MiroBio. Barth most recently served at Novartis as global head of commercial and pipeline strategy, cell and gene. She held roles at Novartis of increasing responsibility over 17 years, including serving as global program head for several development programs and commercial launch leader in the areas of dermatology, rheumatology and chronic myeloid leukemia.

Be Biopharma – Mitchell Chan was named CFO and head of Corporate Strategy at Be Biopharma. Prior to joining Be Bio, Chan was CFO at Viela Bio. Prior to Viela Bio, he served as the Director of Investor Relations for AstraZeneca, North America. He also held several roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech-Roche.

Nimbus Therapeutics – Ian Sanderson was appointed CFO of Nimbus. He succeeds Holly Whittemore, who will transition to the newly created role of Chief Accounting Officer. Sanderson joins Nimbus from Boston Pharmaceuticals, where he served as CFO. He previously served as CFO at Catabasis Pharmaceuticals.

ImmuneID, Inc. – James S. Scibetta was named CEO. Scibetta succeeds David Donabedian, Venture Partner of Longwood Fund, who had been serving as CEO and will serve in an advisory capacity to the company. Scibetta joins ImmuneID after serving as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Maverick Therapeutics Inc. Prior to Maverick, he held various executive leadership roles at Pacira Pharmaceuticals, including President, and previously CFO. Previously, Scibetta served as CFO of Bioenvision Inc. Merrimack Pharmaceuticals.

Evaxion Biotech – Denmark-based Evaxion named Birgitte Rønø as CSO. Prior to joining Evaxion, Rønø served as a specialist, team leader and project manager at Novo Nordisk A/S, where she led early drug discovery projects, evaluated in-licensing opportunities, and supported drug development projects with pre-clinical and biomarker expertise.

AMR Action Fund – William Burns was appointed board chair of the AMR Action Fund. Burns previously served as CEO of the global Pharmaceutical Division of Roche, on the main Roche board, Genentech, Chugai, and as a non-executive director of Shire Pharmaceuticals and the smaller biotechnology companies Crucell, Biotie and Okairos. More recently, Burns was a board member of Wellcome Trust until 2020. Currently, Burns is a member of the Novo Holdings advisory group, chair of Molecular Partners, Vestergaard Holdings and vice chair of Mesoblast.

SAGE Therapeutics – Chris Benecchi was named CCO of Sage Therapeutics. Benecchi will lead Sage’s global commercial efforts across all Sage programs, new product planning, strategy, and competitive intelligence. Benecchi joins Sage from Alexion, where he served as Global Head of Commercial Excellence. Previously, he spent eight years at UCB in commercial roles of increasing responsibility including Global Launch Head, Commercial and Medical Affairs, Immunology and Global Commercial Strategy Lead, Immunology. He began his career in sales at J&J and held sales leadership and senior marketing roles at Takeda as well.

Abeona Therapeutics – Vishwas Seshadri has been appointed President and CEO, effective Oct. 15. Until then, Seshadri will remain in his current role as Head of Research & Clinical Development and will lead the company’s search for a new R&D leader. Prior to joining Abeona, Seshadri served in roles of increasing responsibility at Celgene Corporation, now a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Renovacor, Inc. – Jordan Shin was named senior vice president of Clinical Development and Translational Science. Prior to joining Renovacor, Shin served as vice president of Medical Development at Lung Biotechnology, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, he served as a consultant for Acceleron Pharma, Inc.

GenEdit, Inc. – Romualdi Corbau was named CSO and Aaron Mishel was named CFO of GenEdit. Corbau joins GenEdit from Freeline, where he led the research organization and built differentiated systemic gene therapy capabilities. Before Freeline, he was the Translational Lead at Spark Therapeutics. Corbau began his pharmaceutical career at Pfizer Global Research & Development. Prior to joining GenEdit, Mishel served as the CFO of Magnetic Insight. Previously, he was the Head of Finance for Modis Therapeutics. Prior to Modis, he was Director of Business & Corporate Development at BioMarin Pharmaceutical.

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