Biotech Movers and Shakers for July 16

Movers and Shakers

With the Independence Day holiday in the rearview mirror, numerous biopharma companies continued to adjust their leadership ranks and strengthen the members of various boards representing and overseeing the companies.

Orchard Therapeutics – U.K.-based Orchard Therapeutics added Joanne Beck to its board of directors. Beck is currently the executive vice president of pharmaceutical development and operations and a member of the executive committee at Celgene. Prior to Celgene, Beck served as head of pharmaceutical development at Shire from 2012 to 2016. She has also held leadership roles at Abbott, Genentech and Amgen.

BioNJ – New Jersey’s trade association for life sciences BioNJ hired John Slotman as its new vice president of government affairs. Slotman moved to BioNJ from his role as head of Graduate Medical Education Policy and Teaching Hospital Issues at the New Jersey Hospital Association.

Immusoft – Seattle-based Immusoft Corporation tapped Jason D. Fontenot as its new chief scientific officer. Fontenot has extensive research and drug development expertise, most recently serving as the head of exploratory research at Juno Therapeutics until that company was acquired by Celgene for $9 billion earlier this year. While at Juno, Fontenot was responsible for advancing the company’s early-stage engineered T cell therapy pipeline and overseeing the development of next-generation cellular and genetic engineering strategies in collaboration with internal and external partners. Prior to Juno he served as group leader at Biogen with a focus on T cell biology and immune regulation. With an understanding of the immune system and modified B cell therapy, Fontenot is expected to help the company advance its programs and extend its platform.

SaviMichael Jacobs was added to Virginia-based Savi’s advisory board. Savi provides supply chain management software and machine intelligence analytic solutions. Jacobs is currently head of supply chain at Ferguson Enterprise, a plumbing materials supplier. He served as chief product officer and chief logistics officer at Keurig, Inc. and as senior vice president of logistics at TOYS R US.

Cedilla Therapeutics -- Rosana Kapeller, the former chief scientific officer at Nimbus Therapeutics, was named an independent member of the board of directors at Cedilla. Kapeller spent more than eight years at Nimbus Therapeutics. Prior to that, she served as head of research at Aileron Therapeutics. Kapeller is an adviser to Atlas Ventures and has served as a consultant to Third Rock Ventures.

Depomed, Inc. -- Phillip B. Donenberg was named chief financial officer of Illinois-based Depomed. He will assume his position on July 16. Donenberg will succeed August J. Moretti who has served as Depomed’s CFO since January 2012. Moretti is leaving the company to pursue a position in the San Francisco area, the company said. Donenberg most recently served as CFO for AveXis, Inc. At AveXis, Donenberg led all aspects of financial management and accounting operations, controls and reporting processes and played a key role in the recent sale of AveXis to Novartis for $8.7 billion. Prior to that, Donenberg held CFO roles at BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 7 Wire Ventures LLC and RestorGenex Corporation. Donenberg also serves on the Board of Directors at IR2Dx, Inc., a diagnostics company for diabetes. 

Syntimmune, Inc. – Vertex veteran Mario Saltarelli was named chief medical officer of Syntimmune. Saltarelli replaces acting CMO Donald Johns, who will become head of medical and scientific affairs for the company. At Veretx Saltarelli managed clinical development projects across multiple therapeutic areas. While at Vertex he was one of the key players in the approval of Symdeko. Saltarelli also served as CMO of Annexon Biosciences and CSO for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. In addition, he held leadership roles at AbbVie and Pfizer.

BioBridge Global – Texas-based BioBridge Global established a new Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board. The board members are: Phil Vanek, general manager of GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business; Gregory Bonfiglio, founder of Proteus LLC; and Kenneth Bertram, former commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) -- Jeanne Haggerty was named head of government affairs and external relations at BIO. Haggerty has been with BIO for more than 10 years. Most recently she helmed BIO's Federal Government Relations team. In her new role at BIO, Haggerty will oversee BIO’s federal and state government relations, as well as alliance development activities at the federal and state levels. That includes BIO's relationships with patient advocacy organizations, state biotechnology associations, university and academic research institutions, and other third-party stakeholders, BIO said.

Laboratory for Advanced Medicine (LAM) – Following the launch of cancer-testing platform IvyGene, Irvine, Calif.-based LAM named Jinjie Hu as its new chief regulatory officer. Hu has more than a decade of experience working directly with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Hu served as president and principal consultant at Axteria BioMed Consulting, Inc. and also served as a senior consultant for Biologics Consulting Group. Additionally, Hu served as a World Health Organization adviser for its diagnostic prequalification program.

Octave Biosciences -- George Scangos, chief executive officer of Vir Biotechnology and former CEO of Biogen, and Michael Pellini, managing partner at Section 32 and current Chairman of Foundation Medicine, were named to the board of directors of Octave Biosciences. In addition to his extensive leadership history, Scangos currently serves on the boards of directors of Agilent, Exelixis and Decibel Therapeutics and on the board of trustees of both the Boston Museum of Science and the Biomedical Science Careers Program. Pellini is a director and scientific advisory board member at Cira Discovery Sciences, Inc., and a Director of Adaptive Biotechnologies, Inc., Vineti, Inc., Tango Therapeutics, Inc., Singular Genomics, Inc. and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

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