Roivant Taps Genentech Veteran as Operating Chair Ahead of Pipeline Day

Published: Jul 10, 2018 By

Time for a Change

Changes continue coming to Vivek Ramaswamy’s Roivant Sciences following a June shakeup that saw a 10 percent cut in employment and the restructuring of its business operations.

This morning the company announced an additional series of updates hours ahead of its first Pipeline Day. The company goes into its Pipeline Day with a significant addition to its leadership team. Myrtle Potter, the former president and chief operating officer of Genentech, has been named Vant Operating Chair. She is expected to serve as one of two Roivant representatives on the boards of all biopharmaceutical companies in the Roivant family.

“It is my belief that the Roivant model represents the future of industrial organization in the biopharmaceutical industry, and I look forward to drawing on my operating experience at companies like Genentech and my board experience at companies like Amazon to help lead Roivant towards a dominant position in biopharma,” Potter said in a statement.

Prior to Genentech Potter was president of Bristol-Myers Squibb's U.S. Cardiovascular and Metabolic business.

In addition to onboarding Potter, Roivant shared several key milestones that will likely be a focus of its Pipeline Day, including the launching of a new company, Immunovant. The Pipeline Day event is expected to include presentations, fireside chats and Q&A sessions with executives across the Roivant family of companies.

First, Roivant said that RVT-1401 will form the foundation of a new company, Immunovant. RVT-1401 is a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn). Blockade of FcRn-Immunoglobulin G (IgG) interactions has been shown to lead to the rapid depletion of IgG. RVT-1401 has potential as a treatment for IgG-mediated autoimmune diseases. Preliminary clinical data from an ongoing Phase I study for RVT-1401 will be presented at Pipeline Day. There was no additional information provided by Roivant on its newest subsidiary.

In other Vant news:

  •          Enzyvant initiated a rolling BLA submission for RVT-802 for the treatment of complete DiGeorge Anomaly.
  •          Genevant, which launched in April, announced a significant strategic partnership with BioNTech, advancing five mRNA-based therapeutic candidates into development.
  •          Axovant expanded its gene therapy pipeline with the addition of AXO-AAV-OPMD for the treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy.
  •          Myovant announced the close of screening in the Phase III LIBERTY 1 study for relugolix in uterine fibroids. Data is expected in the second quarter of 2019.
  •          Arbutus dosed the first patient with AB-506, Arbutus' second-generation capsid inhibitor. The company also will advance AB-423, its' novel RNA destabilizer, into clinical trials later this quarter. That will pave the way for all-oral combination studies in hepatitis B patients in 2019.
  •          Urovant added Kurstjens and Pierre Legault to its board of directors. 

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