Biotech Leadership Transformations for July 2


With the end of June, numerous biotechs shored up their boards of directors and other advisory boards with new members as the companies continued to shape their future strategies.

Abivax – Paris-based ABIVAX tapped its current scientific advisory board member Ian McGowan as its chairman of that advisory board. Additionally, the company added Juergen Rockstroh to the advisory board. McGowan takes over as chair from Luc Teyton, of the Scripps Institute, who will continue as a regular member of the board. The changes were made to “support the transition from a discovery-focused biotechnology company to a biopharmaceutical development company,” the company said. McGowan is a professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Rockstroh is the current Head of the HIV Outpatient Clinic at the University of Bonn in Germany.

Concept Life Sciences – John Vu has been appointed as the director of West Coast business development for Manchester, U.K.-based Concept Life Sciences. In his role, Vu is expected to expand the group’s presence in and support for the U.S. market.  Vu joined Concept from Eurofins, where he was Director of Business Development, responsible for sales of in-vitro and in-vivo pharmacological services for the preclinical research market. Vu has previously held senior business development roles with Marken, Wuxi Apptec and Evotec.

Voyager Therapeutics – Cambridge, Mass.-based Voyager Therapeutics named Andre Turenne as its new president and chief executive officer effective July 16. Turenne takes over for the current president and CEO Steven M. Paul, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Pail will continue to serve Voyager on its board of directors and as a member of Voyager’s Science & Technology Committee.

Turenne joins Voyager from Sanofi where he served as global head of business development and licensing. In that role, he was responsible for partnering activities across all of Sanofi units including Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi Genzyme, Diabetes-Cardiovascular, General Medicines, and Consumer Health, and also served as Chair of the Sanofi Transaction Committee. He previously served as global head of strategy and business development at Genzyme following its acquisition by Sanofi.

Voyager pointed to Turenne’s “strong track record of commercial and business development experience,” as well as his “deep understanding” of the company’s gene therapy programs as reasons he will be an ideal fit for the company.

Orchard Therapeutics -- Jim Geraghty was named chairman of the board of directors for Orchard Therapeutics. Geraghty replaces Ben Auspitz, a partner at F-Prime Capital, who has served as Orchard’s chairman since 2016. Auspitz will transition from his current role on the board, Orchard said.

Geraghty has more than 30 years of strategic experience as a senior executive at biotechnology companies developing and commercializing innovative therapies. Geraghty most recently served as head of North America strategy and business development at Sanofi. He also served as senior vice president of international development at Genzyme, president of Genzyme Europe, and founding president and CEO of Genzyme Transgenics. Geraghty is chairman for the boards of Idera, Pieris and Juniper Pharmaceuticals, and is a member of the board of Voyager Therapeutics.

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. – Israel-based BrainStorm expanded its leadership team with seasoned industry veterans Joseph Petroziello and Susan Ward. Petroziello, who most recently served as head of scientific communications and publications at Juno Therapeutics, will serve as vice president of scientific & corporate communications, and Ward, who formerly served as head of early clinical development at Pfizer, will serve as head of clinical operations. The two have a combined 50 years of experience in the industry. Both will be based in the United States.

Caris Life Sciences – Texas-based Caris tapped three members for its senior membership team. Caris appointed Brian Brille as vice chairman, who will be responsible for corporate and business development, M&A and capital markets. Michael Sullivan was named chief commercial officer and Nicholas Nelson was tapped as chief business officer.

Most recently Brille was based in Hong Kong and served as President of Asia Pacific for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Sullivan spent more than nine years at Roche Diagnostics, where he held leadership positions spanning the entire commercial operation. Most recently, Sullivan was general manager and business unit lifecycle leader of the company's core oncology franchise. Nelson most recently served as head of commercial and corporate development at Trovagene, where he led business and market development for the company's oncology based non-invasive biopsy portfolio.

iTeos Therapeutics – Belgium-based iTeos named David Hallal,  the former CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and Tim Van Hauwermeiren, the current CEO of Argenx, to its board of directors. Hallal was named chairman of the company’s board and Van Hauwermeiren joined as an independent non-executive director.

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals – Watertown, Mass.-based EyePoint named Göran Ando to the company’s board of directors. Ando is the former chairman of the board at Novo Nordisk. He most recently served as CEO of Cell Tech Group PLC.

Silence Therapeutics – Dave Lemus was named to the board of directors for RNA-therapeutics company Silence Therapeutics. Lemus, who is the COO and CFO of Proteros biostructures Gmbh, is a non-executive director for Silence.

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