Movers and Shakers Oct. 1

Movers and Shakers

Second Genome -- South San Francisco-based Second Genome tapped Chief Scientific Officer Karim Dabbagh as its new president and chief executive officer. Dabbagh will replace Glenn Nedwin, who retired from the company. Prior to Second Genome, Dabbagh served as head of the immunoregulation department and external R&D innovation for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases at Pfizer. Before Pfizer, Dabbagh co-founded Modus BioMedicine, a start-up biotechnology company focused on treatments for transplantation and autoimmune disease.

Curis, Inc. -- Lexington, Mass.-based Curis, Inc. named James E. Dentzer as its new president and CEO. Dentzer will replace Ali Fattaey, who has served as CEO since 2014. Prior to his role at Curis, Dentzer held leadership roles at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Amicus Therapeutics, Valeritas, and Biogen.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals -- San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals named Robert Kaper as its global head of medical affairs. Kaper most recently served as head of medical and scientific affairs for AMAG Pharmaceuticals. He has also held roles at Teva, Cephalon and Organon. Additionally, Acadia hired Eliseo Salinas as its chief scientific officer and head of external innovation. Salina most recently served as chief medical officer for New World Laboratories, where he led pre-clinical, clinical and regulatory activities for directly reprogrammed cell therapy programs in neurodegeneration.

Vividion Therapeutics – San Diego-based Vividion Therapeutics made a pair of appointments this week. First, the company named Fred Aslan as its president and chief business officer. Aslan most recently was the founder and CEO of Adavium Medical. Prior to Adavium Medical, he was a full-time investor at Venrock, a venture capital firm. In addition to Aslan, Vividion tapped Larry Burgess as its head of chemistry. Burgess most recently served as head of medicinal chemistry for Array BioPharma.

Dance Biopharm – San Francisco-based Dance Biopharm Holdings Inc. tapped Anne Whitaker as its new CEO. Whitaker will assume her new role Oct. 1. Whitaker has held numerous leadership positions in the industry, including serving as president and CEO of Know Bio, LLC, Novoclem Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Synta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. At Bausch Health Companies, Whitaker oversaw its Global Branded Pharmaceutical Business. She currently serves on the boards of Mallinckrodt plc.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals – North Carolina-based Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. tapped Damien Monaghan as the company’s director of quality. Monaghan will lead quality assurance and quality control operations for Aerie’s manufacturing plant in Athlone, Ireland. He will report to Finbar O’Neill, EU Director, Quality & Regulatory Compliance. Most recently, Monaghan held a similar position at Alkermes Pharma Ireland Limited.

VaultPharma, Inc. – Jack Kavanugh, who has spearheaded the commercialization of cellular therapies and emerging biotechnology firms, was named chairman of the VaultPharma, Inc. Board of Directors. Kavanaugh is the founder, former Chairman and CEO of ZetaRX Biosciences, which was acquired by Juno Therapeutics in 2013. Kavanaugh was also the founding director of the Center for Applied Technology (CAT) at City of Hope where he established and oversaw the offices of IND Development and Regulatory Affairs, Quality Systems, Technology Licensing and COH’s two precedent-setting GMP biologics manufacturing facilities, the Center for Biomedicine and Genetics and the Cell Therapy Production Center.

Millendo Therapeutics – Habib Dable, president and chief executive officer of Acceleron Pharma, has been named to the board of directors for Ann Arbor, Mich.'s Millendo Therapeutics, Inc. Dable has served as head of Acceleron Pharma since 2016. Prior to Acceleron, he spent more than 20 years at Bayer AG in a number of commercial and operational leadership roles, ending his tenure there as President of Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. Prior to his role as president of U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Bayer AG, Dable was global head of specialty medicine for Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for the global launch of multiple brands. Dable recently served on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). .

Nuventra Pharma Sciences – Two former reviewers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Brian Furmanski and Gene Williams have joined Durham, N.C.-based Nuventra Pharma Sciences as consultants. Furmanski has more than eight years of drug development experience. He previously served as an investigator at GlaxoSmithKline and then as a senior clinical pharmacology reviewer at the FDA. Williams spent 20 years at the FDA as a primary reviewer and team leader.

Ra Pharma – Cambridge, Mass.-based Ra Pharmaceuticals named Aoife M. Brennan to its board of directors. Brennan currently serves as interim president and CEO and chief medical officer of Synlogic. Brennan joined Synlogic in 2016 from Biogen, where she most recently served as head of the Rare Disease Innovation Unit. Prior to Biogen, she was director of clinical development at Tolerx, a biotechnology company focusing on immunotherapy for Type 1 diabetes.

X4 Pharmaceuticals -- Adam Mostafa has been named chief financial officer at Cambridge, Mass.-based X4 Pharmaceuticals. Mostafa joins the X4 team from a similar role at Abpro, where he was instrumental in achieving key financing and business development objectives during a period of strong growth. Prior to Abpro, Mostafa was a managing director in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Cantor Fitzgerald.

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