Changing of the Guard: Four Biopharma Companies Appoint New CEOs

CEO Spelled on Blocks

Companies across the biotech and biopharma industries recently reported a slew of new leadership appointments, several of which have been explicitly focused on the fields of oncology and precision medicine. 

The most recent appointment includes Dr. Phil L’Huillier, named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Germany’s biopharma company CatalYm GmbH. Dr. L’Huillier takes the helm of the novel cancer immunotherapy development company starting May 17. Over his approximately 20-year career, Dr. L’Huillier served as Executive Director and Board Member of Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and served in various executive leadership roles across the biopharma and biotech industries.

Dr. L’Huillier served as Head of the European Innovation Hub & Business Development at Merck & Co. in North America (MSD). He works as a member of the MSD global Business Development and Licensing Leadership team and heading a scientific and business development professional group geared toward identifying, assessing, and developing new science garnered from academia, biotech, and peer-pharma. 

“This company has significant potential to reshape the cancer immunotherapy space through the novel mechanism currently being tested in early clinical development,” said Dr. L’Huillier, in a statement. “I very much look forward to working with the highly experienced and talented CatalYm team and Board to create new treatment options for patients not currently responding to checkpoint inhibitor treatments. The design of the ongoing clinical trial is smart and has the potential to pave the way for innovative combination therapies in patients with a high medical need.”

Another recent leadership appointment includes Tim Clackson, Ph.D., former President and Chief Technology Officer of Xilio Therapeutics, named CEO of Cambridge, Mass.-based Theseus Pharmaceuticals. Theseus is a biotech company focused on developing targeted oncology assets known as pan-variant kinase inhibitors. 

"Collectively, we are leveraging decades of insight to develop innovative medicines to confront the scourge of treatment resistance,” said Dr. Clackson in a statement. “With the backing of our top-tier investors, I look forward to realizing Theseus' vision to build an industry leading precision oncology company that is passionately committed to outsmarting cancer resistance for the benefit of patients."

And on Monday, Karyopharm Therapeutics announced it had appointed Richard Paulson to President and CEO of the company. Paulson is a member of Karyopharm’s Board of Directors and was the Executive Vice President of Ipsen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and CEO of global biotech company Ipsen North America. 

"As Karyopharm is now at a pivotal point in its commercialization efforts, I am excited to lead the Company in its next chapter of growth and innovation as we seek to expand XPOVIO's impact across indications and geographies,” commented Paulson. “Importantly, Karyopharm's culture is rooted in a commitment to patients, which is in complete alignment with my personal value system. I look forward to leveraging my experience in global product commercialization and executive leadership to further advance Karyopharm's impact on patients and their caregivers with the goal of continuing to build our myeloma franchise and expand into additional hematologic and solid tumor indications."

On April 27, clinical-stage biotech company CohBar said it had appointed Joseph J. Sarret, M.D., J.D. to CEO and Director. “I look forward to leading CohBar as we continue to advance its pipeline of novel analogs derived from natural sequences encoded in the mitochondrial genome,” said Dr. Sarret, who most recently served as Chief Business Officer of commercial-stage biotech Corium International. “This is an exciting time to join CohBar with many potential milestones on the horizon. I am delighted to work with the team and Board of Directors to translate this groundbreaking science into novel therapeutics and realize the value of CohBar’s pioneering platform.”

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