BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Sept. 6


PhRMA – Bristol-Myers Squibb Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Caforio has taken on the role of chairman of the board of directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Prior to his new role, Caforio held the position of chairman-elect and before that, the position of treasurer for the PhRMA board. He takes over for Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt, who retired from the French-based company Sept. 1. Caforio has served as CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb since May 2015 and became chairman of the board of directors of that company in May 2017. Prior to his role as CEO, Caforio has held numerous leadership roles at BMS, including president of U.S. commercial operations and chief commercial officer.

Bayer – Johnson & Johnson veteran Marianne De Backer has taken over as the new head of business development and licensing of Bayer’s pharmaceutical division. De Backer will be based in Berkeley, Calif. and lead Bayer's external pharmaceutical growth strategy and activities globally in all key areas of pharmaceutical innovation and alliance management. De Backer joins Bayer from Johnson & Johnson where she spearheaded business development activities across different therapeutic areas and geographies, which in many cases led to medicines now available to patients. She most recently held the position of vice president of M&A Operations and Divestitures for J&J’s pharmaceuticals group and led Infectious Diseases & Vaccines Business Development including transactions, acquisitions, scientific licensing and alliance management.

Synlogic – Cambridge, Mass.-based Synlogic bolstered its leadership team with the additions of Richard Riese, as chief medical officer and Michael Slater, the new head of regulatory affairs. Riese most recently served as vice president of clinical development at Alnylam where he led clinical development projects in several areas across Alnylam's rare disease portfolio. Previously, he served as head of translational clinical sciences in the Research Unit at Alexion, where he was Slater was the head of regulatory affairs and later, development operations at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals from 2010 to 2019. Prior to Merrimack, Mr. Slater held various regulatory roles in several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Acusphere, Inc., Anika Therapeutics, Inc., ImmuLogic Pharmaceuticals, Biogen and Hoechst Pharmaceuticals. In addition, the company announced the departure of Todd Shegog, chief financial officer, who is leaving to pursue another opportunity. The Company has commenced a search for a new CFO.

GENFIT– France-based GenFit tapped Pascal Prigent to helm the company as its new CEO. Before this appointment, Prigent served as head of the company’s marketing and commercial development operations. Jean-François Mouney will remain chairman of the board. Prigent joined GENFIT in May 2018 and has worked closely with leadership since his arrival. Prior to GENFIT, he had over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including international management roles with Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline.

Accent Therapeutics – Shakti Narayan has been named CEO of Lexington, Mass.-based Accent Therapeutics. Narayan was most recently chief business officer of Tango Therapeutics, where he was responsible for business development, finance and various operational functions. Prior to Tango, Narayan was head of transactions at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, where he helped build J&J’s Innovation Centers model. Before that, Narayan led business development as part of the management team at Nodality, a VC-backed personalized medicine biotechnology company. Narayan’s career began in business development at Genentech and as a life sciences transactional attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

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Orbit Discovery -- Mario Polywka joined Orbit Discovery’s board of directors as a non-executive director. Polywka retired as chief operating officer of Evotec after 12 years in the role and now sits on that company’s supervisory board. He is also a member of the board of Forge Therapeutics Inc. and Exscientia Ltd. Previously, he held COO, CEO, chairman and non-executive director positions within Evotec and Oxford Asymmetry International as well as a number of Oxford and Southampton University spin-out companies.

Locate Bio – U.K.-based Locate Bio Ltd. appointed John von Benecke as CFO and COO. Locate also announced that Rob Quirk, a founder of the company, previously the acting CEO and more recently the COO of Locate, will be leaving the company after many successful years of service and has stepped down from the board. He will continue to assist Locate Bio as a consultant.

MODAG – Germany-based MODAG named Johannes Levin as CMO. Levin is a Group Leader in the Neurodegenerative Diseases Group of the Department of Neurology of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Levin serves as Principal Investigator to many clinical studies including the largest interventional MSA trial in Germany and international cohort studies such as the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network, and the Genetic Frontotemporal dementia Initiative.

Click Therapeutics – Ross J. Muken was named CFO of Click Therapeutics. Muken joins Click from Evercore ISI, where he was a senior managing director and Partner. Prior to joining Evercore, Muken served as a managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities, where he helped build the healthcare platform into a top franchise at the company.

Kallyope -- Juha Lauren has been named chief business officer of Kallyope. Lauren joins Kallyope from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals where he was senior director of Business Development and R&D Strategy. While at Regeneron, he focused on deals with platform technology companies such as Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, bluebird bio, and Intellia Therapeutics, resulting in broad R&D collaborations.

PolarityTE -- Peter Cohen has been named chairman of the board of directors at Utah-based PolarityTE. He has served on the board since 2015 and was formerly lead director. Cohen founded the investment firm Ramius Capital and was the CEO and chairman of the board of Cowen Inc., one of the foremost healthcare and biotech-focused investment banks.

Alpha Tau Medical– Israel-based Alpha Tau Medical named Robert B. Den as its new CMO. Den will lead the clinical research functions for Alpha Tau, furthering the company mission of innovation in cancer therapy. Den is currently an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Biology, and Urology at Thomas Jefferson University, He currently serves as the Chair for the Data Safety and Monitoring Committee and is a member of the Institutional Review Board.

Locana, Inc. – Kathie Bishop joined Locana, Inc. as CSO. Bishop will lead all research, preclinical development and clinical development activities for programs addressing significant unmet needs. She will also play an integral role in overseeing and building collaborations with pharmaceutical and academic partners. She most recently served as CSO at Otonomy and before that, served as CSO at Tioga Pharmaceuticals. Before Tioga, Bishop served in various leadership roles at Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

gvk bioSciences – India-based GVK named Sudhir Kumar Singh as COO and Ramesh Subramanian as CCO. Sudhir joined GVK BIO in 2013 as a senior vice president and has been driving the Discovery Research business. Prior to joining GVK BIO, Ramesh served as the senior vice president at Piramal Pharma Solutions.

Northwest Biotherapies -- Kevin T. Duffy was named vice president of medical affairs and external collaborations at Maryland-based NW Bio. Duffy is joining NW Bio from Merck, where he has served as Research Scientific Director in the Keytruda program over the last five years. Prior to his time at Merck, Duffy served in Medical Affairs and Scientific Affairs positions in several pharmaceutical companies, including as a Regional Scientific Manager for oncology and cardiovascular therapeutics at AstraZeneca.

Moderna, Inc. -- Tracey Franklin has been appointed chief human resources officer at Moderna. Franklin will join Moderna in October 2019 following 15 years at Merck, where she led Merck’s global talent strategy as HR Chief Talent and Strategy Officer.

Cala Health – Renee Ryan was named CEO of Cala Health. Founder and current CEO Kate Rosenbluth will continue to lead in the role of Founder and CSO. Ryan he most recently served as head of venture investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation. She has been a member of Cala Health’s board of directors since the company’s inception in 2014. Prior to her leadership at JJDC, Ryan was a healthcare investment banker at R.W. Baird, Jefferies and Goldman Sachs.

AbCellera -- Andrew Booth was named CFO and Tryn Stimart was named general counsel of Vancouver-based AbCellera. Booth joins AbCellera from STEMCELL Technologies, where he held roles of head of Instrumentation, CFO and CCO. Stimart joins AbCellera from Gibbons P.C., where he was a partner. At the law firm, Stimart worked with pharma clients like Gilead and Takeda on high-profile business and IP disputes.

Somatus -- Jon Kunkle was named CFO of Virginia-based Somatus. Most recently, he was CFO and head of finance at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, where he oversaw more than $4 billion in operating revenue for the 750,000 member integrated health plan. Prior to that, he held executive leadership positions at Aetna and Coventry Health Care.

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