Movers & Shakers: Odyssey, Daiichi Sankyo, Atsena and More

While Biogen and Seagen made the biggest C-suite splashes this week, other companies across the biopharma industry also bolstered their leadership teams with new talents.  

OxSonics Therapeutics

Jérôme Marzinski assumed the position of chief executive officer of U.K.-based OxSonics.

Marzinski is an independent board member of Cimon Medical, a Norwegian ultrasound specialist focusing on cerebral blood flow monitoring, where he was also the Interim CEO. Before this, he was CEO of Visiometrics, an ophthalmic diagnostic company. He also spent six years in senior positions at ev3 and served as chief operating officer of Vexim.

Marzinski is an independent Board member and strategic advisor to life sciences start-up Aniling and owns MedCape Advisors, a management consulting agency for life sciences companies, providing advice on go-to-market strategy and international expansion.

Chief Financial and Business Officers

Atsena Therapeutics

Elisabeth Leiderman will take over the role of chief financial and chief business officer of N.C.-based Atsena. She currently serves as a board of directors member and audit committee chair of bluebird bio.

Before joining Atsena, Leiderman was CFO and head of corporate development at Decibel Therapeutics. Previously, Leiderman was CBO and corporate secretary at Complexa, Inc., and senior vice president, head of corporate development at Fortress Biotech.

CinCor Pharma, Inc.

Michael W. Kalb was named executive vice president and CFO of CinCor. He is replacing Terry Coelho, who is retiring from her role as executive vice president, CFO and chief business development officer.

Kalb previously served as CFO for Amarin Corporation. Before that, he spent seven years at Taro Pharmaceuticals, where he served as CFO and chief accounting officer. He also served as director in the accounting and financial consulting group of Huron Consulting Group Inc.

Ubiquigent Limited

Hozefa Amijee was named head of business development at U.K.-based Ubiquigent, a drug discovery and development company focused on novel deubiquitinase (DUB) modulators.

Hozefa joins Ubiquigent from Cellesce Ltd where he served as head of business development. He has over 20 years' of scientific and commercial experience in the life sciences industry, ranging from small biotech R&D to bespoke CRO and CDMO offerings.

Comera Life Sciences Holdings

Janice Marie McCourt was named CBO of Mass.-based Comera. McCourt will be responsible for business development, including evaluation and execution of out-licensing, in-licensing and strategic transaction opportunities, and driving the execution of the Company's commercial strategy.

Prior to joining Comera, McCourt was the CBO and CDO at Lyvgen Biopharma. Prior to Lyvgen, she led business and corporate development and alliances for Heat Biologics, Edgemont Pharmaceuticals, Agenus and Amakem Therapeutics.

Sofinnova Partners

European life sciences venture firm Sofinnova named Mats Eklund as chief operating officer. Eklund will be taking over the helm of Sofinnova's corporate services team from Monique Saulnier, a managing partner retiring after 40 years with the firm.

Eklund most recently served as a senior advisor to two fund managers, NREP, a real estate fund manager, and Sprints Capital, a venture capital and growth capital investment company. Before that, Mr. Eklund was COO and CFO of Triton, a Northern European private equity and credit investment firm. Prior to Triton, Eklund was with GE for almost 14 years. 

Clinical and Medical Leaders

Daiichi Sankyo

Mark Rutstein was named head of global oncology clinical development at Daiichi Sankyo.

Rutstein brings extensive oncology development experience to Daiichi Sankyo. He has broad pharmaceutical experience in cancer drug development at Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer Healthcare, Eli Lilly and Amgen.

Prior to joining Daiichi Sankyo, Rutstein worked at BMS as vice president of oncology development. Before BMS, he held the role of vice president, global oncology clinical development at Bayer Healthcare, where he led clinical development of small molecule kinase inhibitors. He also worked at Eli Lilly where he contributed to the clinical development of an anti-angiogenic agent, and at Amgen on developing a thrombopoiesis-stimulating protein.

Akari Therapeutics

Longtime veteran John F. Neylan III was named chief medical officer of Akari Therapeutics.

Before joining Akari, he was CMO and head of research for Angion Biomedica Corporation, where he led the development of therapies for chronic fibrotic conditions of the lung and kidney and acute organ injuries. Previously, he was CMO for Keryx Biopharmaceuticals and senior vice president, clinical development for Genzyme Corporation. Neylan was the vice president of research & development at Wyeth Research, where he led development of transplant immunosuppressants, antivirals/antibacterials, antiarrhythmics, chemotherapeutics, and hemophilia factor replacements.

He also served on multiple advisory committees for the FDA.

Before working in the industry, Neylan was a professor of medicine at Emory University and medical director of the Emory Renal Transplant Program.

Korro Bio

RNA editing company Korro Bio tapped Venkat Krishnamurthy as senior vice president and head of platform. The company also named Stephanie Engels as SVP and head of people and culture.

Krishnamurthy has over a decade of experience in various RNA modalities, including siRNA, mRNA and therapeutic genome editing technologies. 

Krishnamurthy comes to Korro after serving in an executive director role at Eli Lilly & Company, where he was responsible for strategic direction for Lilly's genetic medicine portfolio. Prior to this, Krishnamurthy was a team lead at AstraZeneca. He began his industry career at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and was one of the early chemists to advance the company's siRNA platform.

Engels has over 20 years of human resources leadership experience in the life science and healthcare sectors. Before joining Korro, Engels served as vice president, head of HR business partnerships and corporate functions at Moderna. Prior to Moderna, Engels was vice president of talent at Zimmer Biomet. Previously she served as head of HR, corporate functions & global product strategy at Shire.

Odyssey Therapeutics

Boston-based Odyssey named Jeff Hermes as EVP of enabling sciences and promoted Natalie Dales to the newly-created role of chief of research operations and portfolio strategy. Hermes will oversee capability development and implementation for Odyssey's platform approaches and technologies, and Dales will drive scientific strategy and facilitate collaboration across the organization.

Most recently, Hermes was VP of in vitro pharmacology at Kallyope, and before that, he was head of screening and translational enzymology at Roche. Prior to Roche, Hermes spent over 25 years at Merck and ultimately served as head of screening and protein sciences. 

Dales most recently served as VP of enabling sciences for Odyssey. Before that, she spent 15 years at Novartis, where she held roles of increasing responsibility. 


Industry veteran Alecia Pritchett was promoted to chief growth officer of digital health company, ixlayer.

Pritchett started her career in the lab, where she helped drive efforts to introduce cutting-edge genetic testing solutions. She joined ixlayer in 2019 to transform the remote lab testing industry.

Back to news