Movers and Shakers in the Biopharma Industry for July 9

Executive Silhouette

It was a slow week as far as changes were made at the executive level in the biopharma industry. Still, three companies made key appointments that will potentially spur strategic growth for stakeholders.

Acceleron Pharma – Cambridge, Mass.-based Acceleron named Robert K. Zeldin as its new chief medical officer, who most recently served as CMO of Belgium-based Ablynx NV.  Habib Dable, Acceleron’s chief executive officer said Zeldin is joining the company “at a critical time” as it advances its lead product candidate, luspatercept, into multiple hematologic indications.

“Robert’s breadth and depth of experience should prove immensely valuable in executing on our clinical development goals,” Hable said in a statement.

At Ablynx Zeldin was responsible for the medical, regulatory, pharmacovigilance, clinical operations, biostatistics and data management functions of the company. Prior to Ablynx he was head of global clinical development Stallergenes SA. He also spent five years at Novartis, his final three as U.S. Medical Franchise Head, Respiratory and Dermatology.

Zeldin replaces longtime Acceleron CMO Matthew Sherman, who announced his planned retirement earlier this year. Sherman will remain on staff until the anticipated mid-2018 release of topline Phase II data from the BELIEVE trial of luspatercept in beta-thalassemia patients, Acceleron said. After that, he will serve in an advisory capacity for one year thereafter.

H. Lundbeck A/S -- Former XTuit Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Officer Deborah Dunsire takes over as CEO of Denmark-based H. Lundbeck A/S. She takes over as head of Lundbeck following the departure of Kåre Schultz, who left the company to helm Teva Pharmaceuticals. Dunsire, who was included as one of BioSpace’s 10 women CEOs “leading the charge” last month, has a solid history as a leader in the biotech and pharma industries.

Prior to her one-year tenure with XTuit, Dunsire served as CEO of FORUM Pharmaceuticals (formerly EnVivo Pharmaceuticals) and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, until it was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

PredictImmune – U.K.-based PredictImmune named life sciences veteran Paul Kinnon as its new Chief Executive Officer. Kinnon joins the company after it secured £4.7 million ($6.23 million) in a Series A equity funding round. The funds from that round will be used for the commercial development of laboratory services and diagnostic kits for routine use in clinical gastroenterology, and an additional £4.3 million ($5.7 million) investment from the Wellcome Trust to support a prospective multi-center clinical trial of a prognostic biomarker product for treatment guidance in Crohn’s disease.

For 25 years Kinnon has held numerous roles across the industry. He began his career as an analytical chemist at Smithkline French & Beckman Research, a predecessor company of GlaxoSmithKline. He has held leadership positions at Transgenomic, ZyGEM Corp., Life Technologies, Guava Technologies, and Cellomics. 

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