BioSpace Movers & Shakers: SOTIO, Voyager, Nutcracker and More


Biopharma and life sciences companies added numerous changes to their leadership teams this week, with Cara TherapeuticsSOTIO BiotechAgenus, and more filling several C-suite positions.

Cara Therapeutics – Ryan Maynard was named chief financial officer of Connecticut-based Cara Therapeutics. Maynard was most recently the CFO of LetsGetChecked, a global healthcare solutions company. Prior to that role, Maynard served in various executive roles at Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including 10 years as CFO. Maynard currently serves on the board of directors of Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc.

SOTIO Biotech – Robyn Hunter, who most recently served as CFO of Fortress Biotech, was tapped for the same role at SOTIO Biotech. Before Fortress, she served as corporate controller for Indevus Pharmaceuticals. Hunter serves on the board of Tenax Therapeutics, where she serves as the audit committee chair.

Also, the company named Martin Steegmaier as chief scientific officer. Steegmaier served as the global head of research at MorphoSys following its acquisition of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. His career began in positions with increasing responsibility, including advancing first-in-class oncology projects into the clinic with Boehringer Ingelheim's Oncology Drug Discovery Department. He later joined Roche Pharmaceuticals as head of discovery for large molecule research.

Agenus – Immuno-oncology company Agenus added two members to its leadership team. Patricia Carlos was named chief regulatory, quality and safety officer. Todd Yancey was named global clinical development, medical affairs and commercial development advisor. 

Prior to Agenus, Carlos served as senior vice president of regulatory and quality at Arcus Biosciences. Before that, she held various leadership roles at BeiGene, Medivation, Gilead Sciences and Bayer. 

Yancey previously served as SVP of global medical affairs and new market development at BeiGene. Before that, he held senior positions at BioMarin, Medivation, Onyx, Genentech and Amgen.

ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. – Gail M. Farfel was named chief executive officer of Toronto-based ProMIS. Before joining ProMIS, Farfel served as executive vice president and chief development officer of Zogenix, Inc. Before that, she held positions of increasing responsibility at SmithKline Beecham, Pfizer, Novartis, G. Meredith Consulting and Marinus Pharmaceuticals.

Voyager Therapeutics – Voyager made multiple senior leadership appointments. Peter Pfreundschuh was named CFO, Todd Carter was named chief scientific officer and Trista Morrison was named SVP of corporate affairs. 

Pfreundschuh previously served as CFO of Frequency Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Frequency, Pfreundschuh served as CFO, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary for UroGen Pharma Ltd. Before UroGen, Pfreundschuh was the CFO of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. He also served in senior roles at Immunomedics Inc., CircuLite Inc., AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Ernst & Young, LLP. 

Carter most recently served as Voyager's SVP of Research. Prior to joining Voyager in 2016, he served as the senior science advisor to the office of the director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Before that, he held research positions at BrainCells Inc. and Ambit Biosciences Inc. 

Morrison recently served as chief corporate affairs officer for rare disease company Saniona. Previously, she served as VP of communications and patient advocacy for Sobi in North America. She has also held positions at PR with Purpose, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., BioWorld Today and multiple public relations agencies.

Promontory Therapeutics – New York-based Promontory added two members to its leadership team. Helene Shea was named VP of chemistry, manufacturing and controls. Kate Hogg Call was named VP of clinical operations. 

Shea has recently held several leadership roles as VP and head of CMC at Saniona, a Danish rare disease company. Previously, she served in similar roles at AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Johnson Matthey Pharma Services, and Albemarle Corporation. 

Hogg Call most recently served as senior director of clinical operations at Checkmate Pharmaceuticals. She held similar roles at Catalyst Clinical Research, LLC, Synteract, Novella Clinical, and inVentiv Health Clinic.

Welldoc – Digital health company Welldoc named Simon Salgado as chief revenue officer. Before joining Welldoc, Salgado served as VP of enterprise health services at Podimetrics.

ImmPACT Bio USA – Jonathan Benjamin was named chief medical officer. He most recently served as senior vice president for clinical research at Atreca, Inc. Before joining Atreca, Benjamin served as medical director at Amgen Inc. Prior to transitioning to the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Benjamin was an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplant at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dunad Therapeutics – Ruben Tommasi was named chief research and development officer. He will lead the company's global R&D strategy and be responsible for cultivating Dunad's pipeline growth and lead programs. He comes to Dunad from Entasis Therapeutics, helping spin it out from AstraZeneca, where he served as head of Infectious Disease Chemistry. Prior to AstraZeneca, he spent nearly 17 years at Novartis, where he led medicinal chemistry efforts for the infectious disease therapy unit.

DiaMedica Therapeutics – Julie VanOrsdel Daves was named SVP of clinical development operations. Daves most recently served as a consultant to DiaMedica and as VP and global head of clinical operations at Sanifit. Prior roles include leadership positions in clinical operations at Edgewise Therapeutics, miRagen Therapeutics, Chiltern, Array Biopharma, and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

Nutcracker Therapeutics – Rob Schott was named chief medical officer of California-based Nutcracker. Schott comes to Nutcracker Therapeutics from Sangamo Therapeutics, where he held the position of SVP and head of development. Prior to Sangamo, Schott served as CMO at Chorus, an operationally independent subsidiary of Eli Lilly.

Fabric Genomics – Sean Hofherr, an experienced diagnostics leader and geneticist, was named chief operating officer and clinical director of Fabric Genomics. Prior to joining Fabric, Hofherr served as CSO of GeneDx. His background includes building the molecular diagnostics program at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC.

VOZ Advisors – Veronica Todaro was named president and chief executive officer. She succeeds Ellen Coleman, who will serve as president emeritus and senior advisor. Todaro was previously EVP and chief operating officer of the Parkinson's Foundation, where she led the development and execution of strategy and operations. Prior to that, Todaro held the role of vice president of national programs at the foundation.

Longeveron – Jerome Bailey was named vice president of business operations. Bailey joins the company from Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, where he served as senior director of program management. Before Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Parexel. Prior to Parexel, Bailey held senior management roles at Applied Clinical Intelligence, Theorem Clinical Research, BDH Clinical Research, Covance, and Eli Lilly.

Ratio Therapeutics – Jacob Hesterman was named chief data officer of Boston-based Ratio. In addition to oversight of the data platform, Hesterman will manage imaging and dosimetry for Ratio's discovery and clinical programs. Prior to joining Ratio, Hesterman was a founding member of Invicro, first serving as SVP of image analysis and then as chief technology officer and ultimately as the CTO of Realm IDx, the parent company of Invicro.

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