Seres Therapeutics Taps Alkermes Veteran as New CMO

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After nearly five years at Alkermes, Lisa von Moltke has left the company and taken a new position as chief medical officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based Seres Therapeutics.

At Alkermes, von Moltke served as head of clinical development since 2015. Now, she will helm Seres’ efforts to begin a late-stage trial focused on the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection. At Seres, von Moltke takes over the spot formerly held by David Cook, who left the company last year when the company initiated a change to its corporate practices to focus its resources on its highest priority, clinical-stage microbiome therapeutic candidates.

In a brief statement, von Moltke said she is excited about joining Seres at the pivotal time it’s advancing its C. difficile infection candidate into Phase III studies. In addition to that program, Seres is also taking aim with its assets at ulcerative colitis and cancer.

“I look forward to working with the team to bring Seres’ innovative microbiome therapeutic approach, a new modality of medicine, forward to patients with serious diseases,” von Moltke said.

The Phase III ECOSPOR III will assess SER-109, an oral, first-in-field microbiome therapeutic candidate for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. The company halted enrollment in the Phase III trial last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Seres said it believed the ECOSPOR III study remains well-powered to evaluate the efficacy of SER-109 and anticipates topline results later this year. If the results are promising, Seres intends on seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. SER-109 has received Orphan Drug designation from the FDA.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Shaff said Seres will benefit from von Moltke’s “extensive experience directing successful development programs, leading clinical teams, and interacting with regulatory agencies across multiple areas of medicine.”

Prior to joining Seres, von Moltke most recently served as Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development at Alkermes. Before that, she held positions as Vice President of Clinical and Exploratory Pharmacology at Sanofi Genzyme and Senior Director of Translational Medicine at Millennium Pharmaceuticals/Takeda Oncology. She also served as president of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and as the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

In addition to von Moltke, Seres has also boosted its board of directors with recent additions. Last month, the company tapped Paul Biondi, executive partner at Flagship Pioneering, for a seat on the board. Before Flagship, Biondi spent 17 years at Bristol Myers Squibb, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. In December, Seres named Stephen Berenson as chairman of its board of directors. He replaced Roger Pomerantz who stepped down from the role after serving six years as chairman. Berenson is a managing partner at Flagship Pioneering.

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